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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:55 AM

The BEST Wal-Mart Black Friday strike/protest in the country: Paramount, CA (*PIC HEAVY*)

More than 1,000 protesters participated (including 17 W-M employees who walked off the job at that ONE STORE)

9 protesters were arrested, including a retired pastor in clerical collar, capturing news headlines and photos

Impressive DIVERSITY of protesters in many ways

Shoppers deterred by protest: shoppers report store surprisingly empty

Strike organizers say 50 W-M associates walked out at this and 4 other SoCal stores alone, contrary to W-M PR BS


This store wasn't close to me, but it seemed a good idea to be there--both to participate and to document the action in photos--because it had a lot of advance publicity and "buzz," with about 200 L.A. Occupiers and others signing up in advance to join with workers in the protest.

The action, scheduled from 10am to noon, began with a rally in the parking lot of the Paramount Wal-Mart.







AHA! An Occupier! I think I recognize this guy from the Occupy L.A. protests...




The diversity of the protesters was impressive, not just as individuals but in the many different groups that showed up, on the ground, to support the strikers and W-M employees. Many union groups, beginning with UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which organized the strike) and going on to SEIU and others; political groups like the Wobblies; church clerics and church groups; young student groups, like the wonderfully passionate students from Pasadena City College; and veterans--like me and the Korean War vet I met, who wore our vet caps (in my case, along with my 'WE ARE THE 99%' T-shirt) to show U.S. veterans' support for this cause; and the striking W-M workers themselves, who displayed their own unique signs addressingtheir working conditions. Nice, too, to see the occasional Obama logo.




















After the parking lot rally, protesters marched past the Wal-Mart entrance in what seemed a never-ending procession, with chanting, drums, bicycle horns and noisemakers. Like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it was a very long procession, drawn out even longer as the protest's volunteer marshalls halted marchers in front of the entrance frequently to allow shoppers to enter and leave the store. I tried to capture some of the signs, and the distinct groups, as they passed...





"We are the machinery. We can shut it down."



A great group of Pasadena City Colloege students.
























Of course, the REALLY BIG DEAL that captured the attention of the media was the arrests. Nine protesters volunteered to engage in civil disobedience and to be arrested for it. They sat down on Lakewood Blvd. and refused to leave, even after the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. issued a dispersal order (from a loudspeaker on a Sheriff's Dept. helicopter.).





As the nine sat in the street, brother and sister protesters came by to offer them pieces of bread, and flowers.








The dispersal order was issued at 11:50am. At 11:55am, the Sheriff's Deputies moved in...








Stephanie (sp?), in cuffs, signals to her fellow and sister protesters...



As soon as she was cuffed, the huge crowd of protesters loudly chanted her name...


The rest is here:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_22054148/walkmart-walkout-protestors-planning-arrests-at-paramount-location


Edited to add:

Best photo of Pastor Miller's arrest (via DU):
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021874379

Good article by Nadin on a protest in San Diego:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021874865









47 replies, 5732 views

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Reply The BEST Wal-Mart Black Friday strike/protest in the country: Paramount, CA (*PIC HEAVY*) (Original post)
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 OP
xchrom Nov 2012 #1
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #2
NoMoreWarNow Nov 2012 #8
daleanime Nov 2012 #3
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #4
lunatica Nov 2012 #5
myrna minx Nov 2012 #6
sheshe2 Nov 2012 #7
Coyotl Nov 2012 #9
LineLineReply ?
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #11
Coyotl Nov 2012 #22
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #23
Coyotl Nov 2012 #25
me b zola Nov 2012 #10
JohnnyChill Nov 2012 #12
Samantha Nov 2012 #13
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #14
JaneyVee Nov 2012 #15
99Forever Nov 2012 #16
DhhD Nov 2012 #17
Common Sense Party Nov 2012 #18
HangOnKids Nov 2012 #29
Common Sense Party Nov 2012 #30
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #32
Common Sense Party Nov 2012 #33
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #35
snot Nov 2012 #19
Fire Walk With Me Nov 2012 #28
snot Nov 2012 #36
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #37
UnrepentantLiberal Nov 2012 #20
LoisB Nov 2012 #21
ananda Nov 2012 #24
patrice Nov 2012 #26
tilsammans Nov 2012 #27
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #31
limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #34
Initech Nov 2012 #38
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #41
ZombieHorde Nov 2012 #39
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #40
SomethingFishy Nov 2012 #42
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #43
countryjake Nov 2012 #45
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #46
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #47
Pterodactyl Nov 2012 #44

Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:31 AM

1. ...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:36 AM

2. HA! Watching CNN, I just saw my girl's sign featured.

We must've spent at least 10 minutes in conversation. A wonderful, wonderfully Liberal lady!



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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:37 AM

8. sweet!

 

love the sign

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:41 AM

3. Rock on....

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:46 AM

4. Oh, crap! I forgot a god one. I really need to add this.

Stephanie (sp?), in cuffs, signals to her fellow and sister protesters




As soon as she was cuffed, the huge crowd of protesters loudly chanted her name.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:55 AM

5. Thank you! And great narrative too!

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:26 AM

6. Excellent work! K&R

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:34 AM

7. Thank You. Great Post.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:46 AM

9. What is the covered face photo?

Where was that?

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:10 AM

11. ?

Do you mean the mask? All the photos are from Friday's protest at the Paramount Wal-Mart.

I skipped my own covered-face tradition on this one. In the past, I've sometimes included a photo of pinboy3niner in a post like this...


http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002510352

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:57 AM

22. Why is this photo of the Occupy LA Protestor added to this album?

I guess that is the question.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:11 AM

23. It is not "added"

The photo is of a protester who was at that Wal-Mart protesting with us yesterday.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:41 AM

25. We need a Raise the Minimum Wage strike and a Union of Low Wage Workers, the ULWW

It is time to reconsider how unions are organized. One union should represent the interests of all low wage workers.

Or, it is time to organize the unions we have to do just this in concert.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:00 AM

10. K&R

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:14 AM

12. It's nice to see a protest...

...where the signs don't have any spelling mistakes.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:31 AM

13. I am so proud of all of these participants

This is a new day, people are standing up for themselves.

I have never bought one thing from a Walmart. I have boycotted them since they started popping up in this area. I knew how they treated their employees. I do not think rewarding an entity that conducts itself in this manner is a good thing. I wonder if they have ever attempted to calculate how much more in sales they could achieve if they simply charged their corporate behavior.

Sam

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:43 AM

14. OOPS! I also neglected to include my photo of Pastor Miller, who was arrested

The best news photo was linked here by DUer Fire Walk With Me:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021874379

The Press-Telegram's Brittany Murray got another good photo...



The media at the protest were confined to the *median* in the middle of Lakewood Blvd. (lol), and I wasn't allowed to go there--so the best photo I got of Pastor Miller's arrest was this one, with him in cuffs and being marched to the Sheriff's van....



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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:45 AM

15. IWW flag!

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:50 AM

16. Solidarity!

It has begun. Bless you all.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:24 AM

17. The police arrest American citizens for telling the .01% that they want to work a living wage job

with benefits instead of getting taxpayer funded food stamps, taxpayer funded rent, taxpayer funded health care for themselves and their family and charity provided utility benefits. And it is the legal right of Americans to see if workers want to set up a labor union or join one already formed. As it is a legal right to unionize, it is illegal for a state or local government to issue an order of trespassing just because the owners want to continue to elude the faith of the American People.

Right Wingers do not want to pay taxes, as in the TEA Party and GOP. Then why on Earth do RW Americans want to allow themselves to pay for the responsibility of the 1%?

I would like the next Right Winger that complains about the tax code, to go down and start his her protest at Wally World. Carry a sign that says we will not continue to support the 1% cheaters. Carry a sign that says that we will not continue to cover the responsibility of the 1%, after all, most workers at Wally World do not pay taxes.

The GOP abuses both the poor, the middle class, and their RW taxpayer base. And it has since Reaganomics/Trickle-Up began.

A tax code renewal will be happing in Congress soon. We the People need to be speaking out to our lawmakers.

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Response to DhhD (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:42 AM

18. Is that why the police arrested them? Because they told others something?

No, it's not.

They were arrested for sitting in and blocking a public street, from the looks of it.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:59 PM

29. You Have Will Rogers In Your Sig Line?

 

How fucking sad Will would be to see that.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:53 PM

30. Sod off.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:24 PM

32. It's called civil disobedience

Sorry for any inconvenience to you.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #32)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:36 PM

33. Right. They Were NOT arrested for telling people something.

They were arrested for breaking laws. Just making sure we're clear.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #33)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:47 PM

35. Oh, yeah.I'd say we're crystal.

Thankyou for your input.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:52 AM

19. Is anyone else disturbed to see police in paramilitary garb?

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Response to snot (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:48 PM

28. Walmart sent similar sheriffs (LOTS of them) when SoCal Occupy shut down a facility earlier / year.

 

Pics, video:

http://occupyobservations.blogspot.com/2012/02/f29-mira-loma-california-alec-walmart.html

But the kicker was near Chicago this October 1, when warehouse workers and protesters again did a sit-down to shut down a facility. These came from out of a nearby warehouse, and they had an LRAD (sound cannon) as did yesterday's Paramount sheriffs.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:55 AM

36. Thank you.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:30 AM

37. Don't forget their vehicles...

Last edited Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:17 AM - Edit history (1)

Like this L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. vehicle that you and I saw when it was staged here at the Occupy L.A. Mayday (M1GS) protest to intimidate protesters.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:53 AM

20. Awesome.

 

Great pics.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:55 AM

21. Wal*Mart couldn't pay me enough to step into one of their stores.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:14 AM

24. Great pics!

I especially love the Occupy signs.

Occupy.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:56 AM

26. Thanksgiving for more and more people starting to ask questions & to think for themselves.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:09 PM

27. K and R for sheer awesomeness!

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:04 PM

31. Emphatic K&R! Thank you so much for posting these pics and commentary for

 

folks like me who were laid up and unable to attend. I was with you in spirit yesterday and hope to attend the next action(s) in person.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:47 PM

34. k/r - These pictures are amazing. really cool. nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:32 AM

38. Go Paramount!!! If I lived closer I would have joined that protest!

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Response to Initech (Reply #38)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:13 PM

41. It's about 85 miles away from me

To drive there would take over 90 minutes, but I took public transportation. It was a 2-hour Metrolink train trip to L.A. Union Station, followed by trips on 3 different subway lines (Red, Blue, Green) and finally a ride on the #266 bus. I left home at 6am, returned at 6:30pm.

Both of the other two major SoCal protests (one in the West Adams/Crenshaw area in L.A., and one in Duarte) were much closer to me, but I was committed to going to the farther one because it looked like it was going to be significant (though I had no idea it would turn out to be the largest one in the country).

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:11 AM

39. Hail Satan. nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:04 AM

40. thanks for the pictures. but i have some questions about the protest (not

 

this one, but the bigger nationwide protest).

it seems like the protest didn't have much involvement by actual walmart workers and was more seiu & ucfw, & i'm wondering how much work they're putting into trying to organize actual walmart workers than pressure walmart via what seems to be basically a media event held to generate bad press for walmart (assuming the issues make it to the press).

in the heyday of union organizing, organizers would get their people into the workplaces as moles to organize/agitate & recruit good candidates for internal leaders; also they'd have some local presence, maybe a storefront or something.

i'm wondering what the actual strategy is.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:48 PM

42. It's not easy to get Wal-Mart workers on board when they can be fired

just for talking to a union rep.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:26 PM

43. yes, but the same thing was true back in the earlier era; yet they did it.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:02 PM

45. The protest at our Walmart was led by a 13-yr employee...

and what you call merely a "media event" actually had the effect of providing hope and that most reliable old stand-by...strength in numbers, demonstrating to those workers who were afraid to participate that standing up and fighting for their jobs is the only way that they will ever live better.

There is one Walmart in our big rural county, it is a major employer here, and it has used every union-busting tactic in the book to keep its workers down for many years now, with wicked undeserved firings, cutting the hours of long-time employees down to part-time, switching shifts on them, reprimands for incompetence, and not a one of those people were affiliated with any union. If you've ever worked for any non-union company, you would know that just the second they get any whiff of their workers taking a step toward organizing, that sort of hammer always comes down, so whatever strategy the Unions are using within the stores is not really our concern.

These workers' livelihoods are at stake and both the Strike and the Black Friday Protest are an inspiration, showing the simple power of solidarity.

The local action here made it the top of the front page of our little county newspaper. When more than a hundred folk trudge out in the blustering rain on the day after T'day to stand in front of the largest store in the area to protest a draconian employer, that is News!





http://www.goskagit.com/news/wal-mart-workers-in-mv-join-national-protest/article_1b6efb92-35c9-11e2-a56f-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ourwalmart/8211218501/in/photostream

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Response to countryjake (Reply #45)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:57 PM

46. yes, i understand that such events brings the issues into the open, gives

 

hope/ideas/etc to the workers, etc. i thought that was clear, but maybe not.

i also understand that if walmart learns people are interested in unionization, they're likely to get fired -- but that was also the case when organizers were building the first union movements, nothing new about it. that's the case in latin america today, where organizers and sympathizers are murdered. yet people persevered and did the hard, dangerous work.

i asked a simple question about strategy. i don't see any reason that it's 'not my concern'.

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Response to countryjake (Reply #45)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:37 AM

47. Great report and photos, thanks!

It's nice to see news of other successful protests around the country.

And this is just the beginning!

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:01 PM

44. I support Walmart workers!

They are always courteous, knowledgeable and easy to find when I need help.

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