On Saturday June 30, 10,000 residents concerned about the growth of Los Angeles’ low wage economy and the influence of the nation’s largest retailer marched through L.A.’s Chinatown to call for an end to the “Walmartization” of L.A. jobs. Saturday’s march and rally was the largest anti-Walmart demonstration in history.
Demonstrators included Walmart associates from stores, workers at Walmart warehouses, local residents, community organizations, faith leaders and union members who have united in a growing campaign to keep Walmart out of Chinatown and make the retailer change the way it treats workers and communities.
Saturday’s event began with a rally in Los Angeles State Historic Park and proceeded along Broadway to the intersection of Broadway and Cesar Chavez Ave. There, under Chinatown’s historic dragon gate, speakers made their statements. There were also performances by Tom Morello, No Age, Ben Harper and Steve Earle.
This effort to hold Walmart accountable to the concerns of workers and communities has gained new energy in recent months as the bribery scandal and purported cover up, allegations of new labor violations at warehouses and the company’s aggressive efforts to open a Chinatown store against the wishes of local residents have raised new and deeper concerns about Walmart and its practices.