Black Friday protests target retailers opening on Thanksgiving

End Scrooge Employer’s Theft of Worker’s Holidays

At the very least require them to pay triple time. 

As hard as it may be for these fucking soulless Corporate Douches to imagine, employees have real lives outside of work.  As much as these Libertarian assholes would like us to be slaves we too have families we love, entertainments we enjoy far more than killing all the joy in our lives so some fucking rich asshole can make a profit off of our lives and labor.

From The Guardian UK:

Record numbers of workers plan to protest major retailers, with Walmart at centre of row over holiday wages and hours

in New York, Thursday 28 November 2013

Retail workers and union activists are preparing for a record day of action across the US on Friday, protesting wages and conditions on the busiest shopping day of the year.

Retailers, including Macy’s, are opening their doors on Thanksgiving for the first time this year, joining other store giants including Target, Sears and Kmart. But it is Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, which has attracted the focus of protests.

Protests are planned at more than 1,500 of Walmart’s 4,000 US stores on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday and traditionally the start of the festive shopping season. Last year similar protests attracted 30,000 workers and supporters. This year organisers said they expect even larger protests with retail workers angered by the decision of many more retailers to open on Thanksgiving, traditionally a national holiday.

Workers lobby group Our Walmart plans to lead protests by supporters and staff, many of whom will be working Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Church groups and civil rights, consumer and environmental organisations including the National Organization for Women, The Sierra Club, Color of Change and the National Consumers League have all pledged support.

Tiffany Beroid, who works at the stores Laurel, Maryland store, said she would be joining this year’s protest. Beroid, 29, said she earned $12,000 last year working full time as a customer service manager for the company but had to go part-time this year because she could no longer afford her child care. “Even if I worked 40 hours a week, I wouldn’t be able to afford child care,” she said. “We need better wages and respect in the workplace. Walmart can afford to treat us better.”

The company has said associates – as it calls its workers – who work over the holiday will receive an additional day’s pay, a 25% discount off a Walmart purchase and will be served a Thanksgiving meal during the Black Friday shift. More than a million associates are expected to staff Walmart stores during the events.

A Walmart spokesman dismissed the protests as “a union orchestrated PR event” and said that the National Labor Relations Board had okayed unions to pay some protesters $50 to join the protests. “Very few of these people will be actual Walmart employees,” she said. “We are really focussed on sales and serving our customers. We don’t believe there will be any disruption at stores. It’s business as usual at Walmart.”

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Addams Family Thanksgiving

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I’m tired of the Debunking of Thankgiving

Every year at this time politically correct people come out of the woodwork to debunk Thanksgiving.

Yes I realize the European Colonialists killed off the Indigenous People.  Genocidal wars are as old as the ancestors of modern humanity and not the invention of Europeans although they have waged more than their share.

While American kids are taught that the First Thanksgiving was to celebrate peace between the Pilgrims and the Indigenous Peoples of Massachusetts its origins like most origins is much older and found in harvest festivals around the world.

Harvest festivals as such usher in the Winter and mark the beginnings of a season of holidays and feasts that brighten what is the darkest part of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Christianity laid claim to those holidays and assigned Christian significance to them.

Yet with things like Christmas trees and yule logs it is hard to escape the pre-Christian origins of many of these seasonal rituals.

Today Robert Jensen has a piece on Alternet titled: No Thanks to Thanksgiving. Seems he expects us to all atone for events over which we had no control.

I will stipulate that colonialists did terrible things in the 1620s.  From the time the Spanish first came to the Americas they waged a genocidal war against the Native Peoples.

History is filled with campaigns of genocide.  No doubt there will be campaigns of genocide in the future as we run out of resources for the ever increasing billions of people.

At times like this I feel I have the right to invoke the Serenity Prayer.  Especially since in it one asks for the strength to change those things one can change, the serenity to accept those things I’m powerless to change and the wisdom to know the difference.

As I have gotten older I have come to realize I am powerless to change the past.

I barely have control over the events that immediately shape my life conditions and my ability to survive can be dependent upon the whims of a fickle employer with a bad temper.

The short version of the serenity prayer is this: Fuck it!

I’m thankful I am nearly 13 years sober.

I’m thankful for my relationship with Tina, we have been together longer than I’ve ever been together with another person.

I’m thankful for the pittance I get from Social Security, for Medicare and for e-Bay and swap-meets.

I’m thankful I currently don’t have to kiss the ass of some fickle boss who has a mean streak.

I’m thankful that I am an American.  I’ve had the opportunity to live in a number of incredible places in this beautiful country and have enjoyed the weirdness, craziness and beauty of all those places.

As angry as I am with too many things  I still have a glimmer of optimism.

Thanksgiving isn’t about shopping.  It isn’t about wars or remembering veterans. It isn’t about the long dead Pilgrims and Native People.

It’s a harvest festival, a time of giving thanks and feasting to celebrate the past year.  It is the first of a series of holidays that carry us through to after the start of the New Year.

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The Pope Slams “Tyranny” of Capitalism and “Idolatry of Money,” But Opposes Shift on Women, Abortion

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Sorry, Pope Francis: Reproductive justice and LGBTQ rights are economic issues, too

From Salon:

The new pope’s economic justice platform will continue to fall short if it ignores women’s and LGBTQ rights

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013

Pope Francis issued a mission statement for his papacy on Tuesday that features an incredibly direct indictment of free market economics and growing global inequality. Agnostic or religiously indeterminate progressives of the Internet were suitably excited, as they have been before about the new pope.

Francis doesn’t pull any punches when laying into those who preach the gospel of trickle down, noting in the 84-page document that, “This opinion [about trickle down theories], which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

His critique grows more explicit in the next paragraph, continuing:

While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.

Francis, to his great credit, is taking his religiously-grounded critique of capitalism well beyond the bland reassurances of his predecessors (and his many contemporaries in church leadership) that “the poor will inherit the earth,” and into a far more radical, policy-oriented place. He is using the heft of his position to pressure leaders to reform a global system that actively marginalizes billions of people across the globe.

Having the leader of 1.2 billion global Catholics get explicit about holding corporate heads and global leaders accountable for causing widespread poverty and all of its resultant suffering is no small thing. And his recent remarks have made all of the right people angry, which is also worth noting.

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Pope Francis ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ Calls For Renewal Of Roman Catholic Church, Attacks ‘Idolatry Of Money’

From Huffington Post:

By Naomi O’Leary Posted: 11/26/2013

(Reuters) – Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?”

The pope said renewal of the Church could not be put off and said the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy “also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion”.

“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.

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