Protesters March Against Walmart in Chinatown

The demonstrators oppose the construction of Walmart's first Downtown L.A.'s store.

Led by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and L.A. folk-rocker Ben Harper, thousands of protesters marched in Chinatown Saturday to protest the proposed construction of a Walmart department and grocery store.

The photo on right comes courtesy of the staff of Judy Chu, D-El Monte.  Chu, who represents Altadena, addressed the crowd.

From the Huffington Post:

Several protestors told HuffPost that they did not want a Chinatown Walmart because they wanted to preserve the culture and businesses of Chinatown. Others expressed concern about Walmart's non-union jobs and reputation for low wages and lack of benefits.

The call for union jobs was clear at the march's destination stage underneath the dragon gate entrance into Chinatown. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello performed a few union songs, including an "uncensored" version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" that some protestors sang along to.

Several Walmart employees and members of other unions spoke, including Marta Madine, who works at a warehouse in San Bernadino that supplies to Walmart. "We demand to be respected as humans, not objects. We want to end retaliation against Walmart employees when they speak up," she said.

Click here to read the full story at Huffington Post: Los Angeles.

Previously on this topic:

Steve Lamb July 01, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Jeanette and I took part in that march yesterday. White people, Latino people, Asian people and many many African-American people marched. Union members from the teamsters to college professors marched. Small business owners marched. In that march we came together from our separate lives and marched as one AMERICAN UNIFIED people against a multinational corporation that is little better than a slave plantation. almost 15,000 Americans marched. The line was twelve people deep and a mile long. WalMart will never open 212 stores in Southern California. It will have to leave town.
pivoine66 July 01, 2012 at 02:29 PM
So how were they able to slide in to Altadena without anyone knowing until construction began?
Bob Musselman July 01, 2012 at 03:13 PM
So where is the list of current Chinatown retailers who hire union employees and provide health insurance? Or is the list too long to print here?
Mike Roberts July 01, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Are you referring to the LA Alliance for a New Economy's assumptions to arrive at the 212 number?
Mike Roberts July 01, 2012 at 04:00 PM
From what I've read, since they were moving into a building that used to be a supermarket, they didn't have to file for new permits. All it came down to was signing a lease with the property owner.
Angela Odom July 01, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I just read LAANE is involved here as well. They used to be a good organization until they got themselves tied up with the unions. This is the same outside organization that went into Inglewood telling the people in that community what they should want and how they should think without ever considering what the people in the community wanted. They walked in to a community that overwhelmingly wanted Wal-Mart. It wasn't until a couple of weeks prior to the vote on Wal-Mart did LAANE and the union realize the people's talking points were not their talking points. After all of those years in the community, after spending all of the union's money in that community, they learned the community did not care about their talking points. They would have lost that victory had it not been for turning their heads in the opposite of fear and really listening to the community and changing their talking points to match that of the community. The union and LAANE had to learn -- two weeks prior to the vote -- what Wal-Mart already knew going in, the community's experience with unions made Wal-Mart look like Tickle Me Elmo. I hope they're not doing the same thing in Chinatown.
Peter July 01, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Ivan G July 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
The local residents in the area of the new market want it. Even local business owners say it is needed. If it were any other non-union market, there would be no complaints.


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