Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the largest sales days of the year. Stores begin their holiday sales, and most offer sales specific to that day only, sometimes for a limited amount of hours during the day. This Black Friday, Nov. 23 (N23), the Occupy movement is coming together to protest the unethical business practices of large corporations, their marketing tactics and the consumers who buy into the hype. The movement is in support of small, local businesses and the self-employed.
The face Occupy Black Friday is putting to the name of corporate greed and unethical business practices is primarily Walmart, a corporation known for its unfair labor practices and accused with being a driving force of the downfall of small businesses. Occupy is also pushing the message of the point of Thanksgiving, to give thanks for what we have, and contrasting it with the point of Black Friday, consumerism.
Walmart workers have developed a protest group called “Our Walmart” to speak out about Walmart’s labor and business practices. Occupy Black Friday stands in solidarity with these workers, planning a Black Friday Boycott of Walmart. There are various groups in cities across the nation organizing protests and actions for N23. InterOccupy and Occupy the Boycott have an event page of their own on Facebook. Occupy Black Friday has its own page.
This article highlights the skepticism the movement has faced in its efforts to Occupy Black Friday last year. This skepticism definitely still exists, and it is a huge undertaking to attempt to break Americans from the cycle of consumerism. Advertising is strong, as are cultural traditions and norms of greed around the holiday season. However, if Occupy organizes this correctly, connects with the heads and hearts of consumers in the 99% effectively and makes a big enough presence across the nation, it just might be able to shake up this gigantic corporation and the unending cycle of consumerism, which would be a great feat for the movement.