Interrupting America’s shopping frenzy on the sacred capitalist holiday of Black Friday, protesters flooded malls and Walmarts from Ferguson to Los Angeles, bringing news of racism and labor exploitation.

Two separate movements were at work Friday. First, a group called Our Walmart has been organizing annual protests in an effort to unionize the workforce of the nation’s largest retailer. Many Walmart employees subsist off of government-funded social programs and donations. Our Walmart wants to raise workers’ wages and hours.

Second, activists are still demanding action in the wake of the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

The Guardian reports on the scene at an upscale mall in St. Louis:

On Friday afternoon a crowd of around 300 mostly young protesters, white and black, gathered inside the city’s big, upscale Galleria mall.

Two black female Macy’s employees burst from the department store and joined the marchers, shouting “Fuck it, shut this shit down” and prompting wild cheers from protesters, who echoed their cries.

One activist, a social worker from Baltimore, told The Guardian why the timing is important: “Superficial, stress-fuelled shopping stops people from focusing on the real issues.”

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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