Occupy Tampa plans to "reverse shoplift" at Wal-Mart as part of a national day of action
Wednesday, Occupy Wall Street called for a national day of action to shut down corporations. Movements worldwide have planned various non-violent demonstrations at some of the worldâs most profitable corporations. Members of Occupy Tampa are planning an action inside a Hillsborough County Wal-Mart at the 4:00 p.m. hour.
Occupy Wall Streetâs main target today is the American Legislative Exchange Council. The group drafts model legislation for stateâs in a process that opponents say abandons the true legislative process. In Tampa, occupiers are taking that message to Wal-Mart, which is one of ALECâs biggest financial contributors. Steve Gentile is with Occupy Tampa.
âTheyâre invested in slave labor, making cheap products at pennies per hour. The workers are usually working 20 hours a day, sleeping at their station and literally only making pennies. And then we wonder why all these prices at Wal-Mart are so cheap. Theyâre making high profits. Theyâre just steamrolling these local family businesses out of the community. They canât compete with these low prices and then Wal-Martâs basically taking money out of the community.â
The group plans to enter a Wal-Mart somewhere in Hillsborough County. They will give thank you cards to employees. Gentile said theyâre doing that so employees know that occupiers stand in solidarity with them. But he added the group is also going to do an action they call âreverse shoplift.â
âBasically, we made a bunch of shirts that are describing Wal-Martâs actions and weâre just going to â instead of shoplifting â weâre putting these shirts on the shelves with tags that say free on them.â
Sarah Wald is with Occupy Wall Street. She said groups from all over the world are taking part in the action.
âThere are over 80 cities today targeting the American Legislative Exchange Council and drawing attention to their role in crafting â they claim 10% of the legislation that comes through at the state level.â
In a phone interview, Wald said some Wal-Marts in southern California were actually closed temporarily as a result of massive demonstrations. Smaller gatherings like the one in Tampa that is only expected to have about 20 people, might not see the same results. But Wald said the message is still important.
âThe creativity today has been really impressive. In Occupy Salt Lake City â is actually having a debutant ball to draw attention to the way ALEC has introduced a copy-cat SB 1070 bill into the Utah state legislature.â
Wald is referring to recently passed anti-immigration legislation in Arizona. Utah is one of ten states considering similar bills. She said with influence from ALEC on harmful state level legislation, Leap Day was the perfect day to send a message to supporters of the group.
âSo, itâs the perfect time to take a leap for a society with more democracy and opposing ALECâs undue influence in corrupting our democracy by putting forth these model bills that benefit corporations at the expense of our communities.â
Other actions have been planned across the country at large corporations like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Pfizer. But most of the attention has landed on Wal-Mart. Both Wald and Gentile said Wal-Mart is a good target because they donât allow their employees to unionize. Occupy Tampa is also considering what they call âOccupying the Food Supplyâ. If it happens, members would enter a grocery store and place stickers with messages on produce.comments powered by Disqus