The new Wal-Mart stores in DC chose to open on the settler holiday known as Thanksgiving, a day most workers get to spend with their families. As they did, striking Wal-Mart associates backed by community activsts and supporters set up a mock dinner table outside the Ga Ave Wal-Mart to distribute cupcakes and fliers while they picketed. Police tried to intimidate them out of having a table on public space but Rev Hagler stood his ground and it was the police who backed away.
Wal-Mart’s manager or one of his staff even claimed to police to own the sidewalk but police agreed in the end to not attempt to remove protesters from the sidewalk so long as the inner portion was not blocked. This would be a condition with or without Wal-Mart owning public space anyway. Still, this kind of behavior, where police are at the beck and call of private corporations, reminds me of the situation at Cove Point. There, ten extra Calvert County sherrif’s deputies get their paychecks directly from Dominion to protect the fracked gas export project from activists and local residents alike.
After a period of picketing and fliering shoppers, striking Wal-Mart associates and Rev Hagler delivered a letter to the manager of the store.
This is the cupcake table the police tried and failed to get rid of at Wal-Mart’s request.