Tag Archives | Black Friday

Great Gifts! Save More! Don’t Wait! Special Buys! 1,800 Dead! Evil Scumsuckers Go Home!

28-weeks-later-robert-carlyle-on-the-runDoorbusters!  Stampedestarters!  Momtramplers!  Punchthrowers!  Abby Zimet writes at CommonDreams:

Okay, all done. After months of impassively, unthinkingly trashing each morning’s florid email from the black hole of greed and profiteering that is Walmart – “Map Out Your Black Friday Shopping Trip! New Value of the Hour! Save More With Home Value Bundles! - we just had one of those Network-inspired “I’m mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore” moments. It’s not just ’cause they sell something called “hamburger helper cheeseburgr macaroni” – though WTF? – and call it food, or even because they famously asked their own grossly underpaid workers to donate food to other grossly underpaid workers for a Thanksgiving dinner nobody will have time to eat anyway because they’ll all be working to feed the endless greed of the multi-billionaire Waltons, yet another reason for the welcome and overdue wave of strikes hitting them this week. It’s because of this: Many months after over 1,200 workers in Bangladesh were killed in the dual disasters of the Tazreen factory fire and Rana Plaza garment factory collapse, Walmart has refused to contribute a penny to international compensation funds to assist the families of the dead and the over 1,800 workers injured because it was “financially unfeasible” to do so; has blown off a meeting in Geneva where companies came to discuss such compensation; has offered to create its own safety scheme that critics say is so flawed, vague and unenforceable it’s virtually meaningless, despite the fact that one in five Walmart factories still fails safety tests, a figure that leads advocates to charge that Walmart did and still does have “blood on its hands”; and reportedly and with great fanfare offered $50 million in low-cost loans to Bangladesh garment factories to improve conditions – loan offers which Walmart claimed were met with several “no thanks,” but  which labor advocates in Bangladesh say were, in fact, never made, leaving them still waiting for any substantive change.

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Black Friday Isn’t Even the Best Day to Get a “Deal”

dawn_of_the_dead_1978_404_303_photos121This won’t be news to most disinfonauts, but here are some details you can share with your less informed friends and family.  Tiffany Hsu writes at the Los Angeles Times:

As the hardiest of shoppers prepare for the annual Black Friday consumption frenzy, many are convinced it’s their one shot at a great deal.

But “that’s not even close to the truth,” said Matthew Ong, senior retail analyst at online personal finance company NerdWallet Inc. Bargain hunters can — and, in some cases, should — avoid the Black Friday weekend crush, several experts said. Many characterize the shopping bonanza as an expertly marketed ploy to capitalize on shoppers’ fear of missing out. By dangling a small batch of irresistible savings, stores land hordes of hopeful shoppers all scheming to score the retail version of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Yet only a tiny percentage of customers end up with the most desirable deals.
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Police Arrest Black Friday Protesters On Behalf Of Walmart

On Black Friday, peaceful protest is a jailable offense, while violent mobs are acceptable so long as they are spending money. Rania Khalek writes:

The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn’t be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

On Friday, at least 1,000 Walmart employees throughout the country walked off the job to protest Walmart’s poor labor practices. Local police departments have been happy to disperse and even arrest strikers and their supporters on behalf of the world’s largest retailer.

At a Walmart store in Paramount, just outside of Los Angeles, some 1,500 people rallied against Walmart. Josh Eidelson, live-blogging about the Walmart strikes at The Nation, reports that “Nine people have been arrested for sitting in the street on Lakewood Boulevard, including three striking Walmart retail workers from area stores.

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Woman Pepper Sprays Shoppers To Get Xbox

walmartNBC Los Angeles reports on some Black Friday action. Over the past two months, in our society, pepper spraying anyone, anytime to get what you want has become completely normalized:

A customer shot pepper spray at other customers at a busy Northridge Wal-Mart store late Thursday night, causing minor injuries to at least 10 people who had been waiting hours for Black Friday savings, according to Los Angeles firefighters and a police lieutenant. The Associated Press later reported 20 injuries.

A witness told NBC4 that the incident started as people waited in line for the new Xbox 360. The witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line.

It appeared only one person would need to be transported to a hospital for treatment.

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Occupy-Themed Best Buy Marketing Campaign

Have you been curious how the Occupy movement would be co-opted? Occupy Best Buy combines the red-hot protest movement with Black Power fist iconography in an effort to get people pumped up about buying plasma screen TVs or whatever it is they sell at Best Buy. Definitely the worst of the occupations to spring up so far. Best Buy claims that no affiliation with the web site, though one would suspect that it’s a viral marketing effort:

occupy

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24/7 Consumerism Is Killing Us

Image Courtesy of Colorado Indymedia

Image Courtesy of Colorado Indymedia

While it’s certainly an interesting and laudable idea — trying to reclaim time and head space back from the hyper-capitalist/consumerist society — do we need to use a piece of religious dogma to do it? What’s the difference between doing what we can as a society to free ourselves from corporate mind control and creating laws that would prevent someone from picking up something as simple as a gallon of milk on a certain day?

Denise Civiletti writes at the Riverhead Local:

County Executive Steve Levy wants to force stores to shut down between noon and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and has proposed a law forcing them to close or face penalties of up to $1,500. (See story.)

I think he’s right.

There are no days off any more, and it’s making us sick as a society. I don’t mean physically ill (though there’s likely a connection there, too); I’m talking about every other kind of wellness: spiritual, emotional and — yes — even moral health and well-being.

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