Over 450 community supporters gathered in support of Walmart strikers and the Capital Plaza Walmart store in Landover Hills, Md. on Black Friday. Photo by Bill Burke.

From Union City–With word that Walmart would open for Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving evening, action in Maryland began last Thursday night when dozens of local activists greeted shoppers at stores in Capitol Heights, Baltimore and Columbia, MD, to show their solidarity with Walmart workers who struck across the country to demand respect on the job, an end to retaliation, and fair wages.

Friday morning the crowd grew to over 400 at Walmarts in Laurel and Landover, with a strong showing of union members from UFCW Local 400, which helped organize the action, along with many others there in solidarity. “Walmart must change its ways,” said Cindy Murray, a Walmart worker in Laurel, Md. and a founder of OUR Walmart who rallied the crowd before the action. “It’s not like they don’t have the money. They’re making millions on the backs of American laborers.”

The crowd marched, chanted, and sang re-worded Christmas carols – led by members of the DC Labor Chorus – at two Maryland Walmart stores, where a throng of Walmart managers and lawyers kept activists as far as possible from Black Friday shoppers. Reverend Jones, of the Living Faith Baptist Church, spoke to Walmart managers and a jostling crowd of reporters, reminding them “if we hear any word of anyone being retaliated against, we will be back!”