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article imageOccupy Black Friday: Movement protests retailers

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 25, 2011 in Politics
The Occupy Movement came out to protest retailers on Black Friday as eager shoppers flooded the stores to try and buy specially priced items.
In Oregon Occupy Eugene protesters visited several stores in an attempt to convince Black Friday shoppers to put their pocketbooks and wallets away to support "Buy Nothing Day", the day they are calling Black Friday.
Occupy Eugene protestors arrived at the Valley River Center mall in order to demonstrate when the mall opened at midnight. KMTR reports the mall was very crowded, but remained generally peaceful. Police were present also. Based on reports it appeared people just wanted to shop.
KMTR reported one shopper said, “I think it's a waste of time. People are still buying.”
Walmart appears to a protest favorite on Black Friday.
At 2 a.m. some protestors showed up at Walmart in Eugene's Delta Oaks Shopping Center. This assembly chanted against Walmart calling it a "sweatshop." Later the group was told by police to leave. A group also gathered at another Walmart in town around 3 a.m.
According to Hawaii News Now,over a dozen Occupy Honolulu protesters stood in front of a Walmart on Keeaumoku Street to speak out against the retail giant.
Not unlike the Eugene group, the Hawaii group said Walmart "supports child labor and suppresses its work force", Hawaii News Now reported.
"Sweat shops in China and around the world produce these products. People are paying low prices at Walmart, and when Walmart came in here, this neighborhood lost a lot of mom and pop stores," Occupy Honolulu protestor Alala Zusman said.
Reportedly police were present and no arrests were made. The protests seemed to have no effect on shoppers' determination to buy.
"Usually people come out on this day because it's cheaper for everyone to get their stuff for what they need, usually for Christmas and stuff, but they are over here trying to cut it down I guess," Walmart shopper Christian Canete said.
In other media reports, Occupy Ann Arbor headed to a Michigan Walmart to encourage people to boycott Black Friday. In Oklahoma several Occupy members were arrested in what appears to be a scuffle with police. Reportedly some protestors were causing a disturbance, but one of the protestors, Mark Faulk, said, “Del City police ran and started tackling people from behind."
News Channel 5 in Nashville reported one Occupy protestor, Albert Rankin, said there was a "mixed reaction" from people.
Ranking said, "We started off by going to Wal-Mart where we went in and started signing a modified version of Jingle Bells, we made a few announcements about Walmart, and then we left the store."
Video taken at one of the Oklahoma Occupy movements at Walmart on Black Friday.
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