Activists see Black Friday as opportunity to protest

As consumers in Greater Boston were preparing to kick start their holiday shopping season on Black Friday, workers of a Walmart store staged a protest, alleging poor treatment by the retail giant toward its workers.

Around two dozen protesters stood at the four corners of the intersection near Granite Crossing, where the Massachusetts Walmart store is situated. They were holding signs calling for an increase in wages to $15 per hour for all store employees. They were encouraging drivers to support their demand.

The protest was organized by “Jobs With Justice,” a labor advocacy group. It was the third consecutive year when protesters demonstrated outside of store.

Activist Casey Doyle, who is not a member of Jobs With Justice, said that the size and notoriety of Walmart’s poor treatment toward its workers made it “symbolic” of the broader industry.

But a spokesperson for the retailer claimed that the protest didn’t make much difference to customers or associates.

Walmart workers’ protest was not the only protest that shoppers witnessed on Black Friday, which marks the start of holiday shopping.

Protests were also organized in several cities across the nation by scores of people, who have been protesting since Monday, after a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Nearly 200 protesters chanted, “Stop shopping and join the movement” in front of the Galleria mall in Richmond Heights, forcing the mall to temporarily shut down. Around 50 people had the same effect at West County Mall in Des Peres.

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