Protest Black Friday - Best of the Left Activism

You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Protest Black Friday.

Happy Height of Capitalism Season! …or, happy holiday season, depending on your degree of festiveness. This is the time of year where we regularly hear of people getting trampled at Wal-Mart in the desperate rush to procure the item television advertising executives declare is the must-have, no-way-you-can-live-without-it gift.

Low-wage workers must report for duty while the CEOs and high level managers who demand their stores open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday are home with their loved ones. This annual injustice has expanded so much over the past decade that the only thing left is for stores to be open 24-hours from Thanksgiving morning through the end of Black Friday.

Luckily, there’s a super easy thing everyone listening can do to support the workers and stop further capitalist encroachment into our holidays: nothing. Really — you can just do nothing.

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. Adbusters is promoting Buy Nothing Day with the hashtag #BND and asking people to “participate by not participating.” Just stay home. Don’t go shopping; don’t cross picket lines of striking workers. Simply opt-out of the post-turkey dash for deals. Let family and friends you hear discussing their plans to shop on Friday, November 28th know that you’re parking it on your couch with a movie or a book. Possibly even invite them to join you.

Stores and malls are only opening Friday at dawn — some on Thanksgiving Day even — because people show up to shove each other out of the way in the hopes of saving 10% on a widget no one will remember was a thing by the time the snow melts. By not participating, you make it expensive for stories to open early, close late, and schedule extra staff.

If you are moved to fight the tryptophan coma and get up off the couch, you can attend a Walmart Black Friday Protest — organized at and under the hashtag “Walmart Strikers.” There are events happening all over the country in support of more than 2000 stores where workers are demanding a $15/hr living wage.

Obviously, abstaining entirely from the annual purchasing bonanza is a tough ask that can go over like a stocking full of lead in some families. So, if you do plan to do a bit of the traditional holiday gift buying — perhaps on Cyber Monday, which is December 1st this year — don’t forget you can redirect a portion of corporate profits into supporting the production of this show through our Amazon link:


Participate by not participating: Buy Nothing Day #BND via Adbusters

Follow and support Walmart Strikers via #WalmartStrikers on Twitter and Black Friday Protests

Sources/further reading:

"Sit-Down Strike at Walmart and Win? It's Been Done” via Huffington Post

"Letter: Working and middle class should support fast food workers” via Fight For $15

"Poll: Should retailers remain open on Thanksgiving?” with Steven Greenhouse on PBS Newshour

Watch: "This Black Friday, Workers to Challenge the Waltons” via OUR Walmart

Hear the segment in context:

Episode #879 "Capitalism will not set you free (Economics)"

Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich

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