A few weeks after focusing on Related Co., the flash mob disrupts Walmart CEO Mike Duke appearance in Bryant Park
Activists promise to continue disrupting Walmart and its partners
New York, NY—New York Jobs with Justice and members of the Walmart-Free NYC Coalition released video of a flash mob at a speech by Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart. Nearly a hundred singing and dancing activists converged on Bryant Park on Wednesday to protest Walmart for its record of mistreating women, African Americans and Latinos and the LGBT community.
The flash mob drew crowds of passersby as they performed a song and dance to the tune of Jean Knight’s Mr. Big Stuff, rewritten to the lyrics, “Mr. Walmart, who do you think you are? Mr. Walmart, never gonna get my love!” Video of the event is posted at bit.ly/mr_walmart.
“Walmart can spend as much money as it wants to buy its way into New York,” said Javier Valdes, Deputy Director of Make the Road NY, one of New York City’s largest community organizations. “But that doesn’t change the fact that Walmart doesn’t share New York’s values. They have settled a lawsuit for discriminating against black truck drivers, fired Latino workers who complained about being called racial slurs, and is facing the largest sex discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history.”
Walmart is reportedly looking to open many stores throughout the five boroughs. One possible location is the Gateway II development in East New York, Brooklyn, which is being developed by the Related Companies, who was the focus of the first Anti-Walmart flash mob. The site was subject to a lengthy community planning process, and Related’s recently reported move to introduce a Walmart into those plans without community consent have raised a flurry of opposition from concerned residents, community organizations and local elected officials.
At a recent Housing Preservation and Development hearing, concerns were raised that the City-sponsored appraisal of the land was incomplete.
According to event organizer Austin Guest of NY Jobs with Justice, “If Walmart opens stores in our city, there is no indication that they will stop their track record of killing local jobs, treating workers poorly, and eliminating competition from responsible employers. We will keep following Walmart and its allies to make sure that New Yorkers know what Walmart will bring with them into New York.”
For more information, visit www.walmartfreenyc.com.