Above: Activists in Secaucus, New Jersey, engage in an act of civil disobedience during a Black Friday Walmart protest. All photos by Allison Kilkenny
Below Photo Gallery Protests Across The Country
“If you let people know what’s going on, they’ll get involved too. They’re probably fed up with the same things,” he said. Bowers added that this labor struggle will influence future generations.
“I’m here to fight for everybody who has been done wrong. I feel like, if I don’t fight, our next generation of kids will not have a future. As a man, I have the right to stand up on my own two feet. And I’m doing it right now,” he said.
The National Labor Relations Board announced last week that it plans to pursue charges against Walmart for threatening and punishing workers who planned to go on strike last year.
The agency’s general counsel investigated and “found merit” in workers’ claims that Walmart “unlawfully threatened” employees for participating in walkouts during last year’s Black Friday. According to the agency, Walmart intimidated, surveilled or punished workers in fourteen different states, which is illegal under US labor law. The threats and intimidation include comments from official Walmart spokesperson David Tovar, who told CBS Evening News last year, “There could be consequences” for workers participating in any actions. Also in attendance at the Secaucus protest was Elaine Rozier, who worked at a Walmart in Miami, Florida, for eight years.
“I’m here today to represent all the solid Walmart workers that are afraid to stand up for their rights. I’m here to represent the nation, to let Walmart corporation know that we’re not standing back. I’m stand up for my rights, for my kids, for my grandkids and their kids. I’m tired of not getting living wages,” Rozier said, before thanking the other activists for lending support. Other arrests occurred in Chicago, where ten protesters were arrested for allegedly blocking traffic, along with nine activists in Alexandria, Virginia.
In Balch Springs, Texas, thirteen protesterswere also arrested for blocking traffic and “creat[ing] a dangerous situation” for themselves and drives, according to Deputy Chief Paul Haber. “Everyone has a living wage and we need one, too,” said Myron Byrd, 45, a Walmart worker who was led away in handcuffs by police.
According to organizers, at least fifty-five people have been arrested during this year’s Black Friday Walmart protests.
Update: Organizers from UFCW and Our Walmart now estimate more than 110 activists have been arrested.
The photos below are from November 29, 2013, the Black Friday Walmart protests. The photos all come from twitter unless otherwise indicated. They are grouped in alphabetical order by state.
More photos from Ted Majdosz of Black Friday strikes in Maryland and Virginia are available here.