Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday protest at Mt Vernon Walmart

This Banner proclaims the  ideal of protestors at
 the  Mt Vernon Walmart Supercenter on Black Friday. 

Well over a hundred people showed up for Black Friday 2012 rally at the Mt. Vernon Walmart Super Store.   The crowd included neighbors,  some Walmart workers on strike and members of Occupy Bellingham.   All were there to support Walmart's employees right to speak out . "Our Walmart" and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 21 organized the event. Volunteer Lawyers showed up and told Walmart we had the right to take pictures since the parking lot in front of the store was on public property - a great strategic advantage for us. We were all  peaceful and considerate of property.  We did not deter shoppers from going into Walmart.  However Walmart workers were happy to see so many there in support of their grievances.  The Union Leader said this was a good start to what will be a long haul to change Walmart's attitude and practices with employees.  He also claimed Walmart didn't really know what to do with us.

At the end of the rally several informative speakers addressed the crowd. Skagit County Democratic Committee Woman - Janet McKinney  -  outlined conditions endured by Walmart employees while Walmart made record breaking profits ( click here for video ).  Walmart employee - Lori Amos -  narrated her experiences working 13 years for Walmart.  As a representative of co-workers associated with "Our Walmart", she spoke out for better working conditions, work place safety, benefits, and improved wages ( click here for video).   Lutheran Pastor -Terry Kyllo - inspired us with his Thanksgiving vision of a better future for Walmart and its employees (click here for video.    The rally ended with the String Band Jamboree from Deming strumming a rousing rendition of  "which side are you on" - a labor song written for coal miners in 1931 and adapted for Skagit County in 2012  (click here for video ).

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