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Stencilists take on Wal-Mart

June 2, 2005

A group of activists hit Fayetteville, Arkansas with stencils, spraypaint, and posters to protest Wal-Mart’s annual shareholders’ meeting. The good news is that the posters look great, and the action made the local news. The bad news… they got caught:

Police said five men and one woman used glue early Wednesday to stick posters that criticized Wal-Mart on several campus buildings. One of the posters said “Everyday Low Wages,” and the other said “I Will Eat Your Town and Smile.”
Officers said the group also spray-painted anti-Wal-Mart slogans on campus. University police spokesman Gary Crain said he is used to seeing small problems in the past during the annual Wal-Mart shareholders meeting, as well as and during other events on campus.

An account from one of the arrested is on up on Austin Indymedia:

At approximately 4 in the morning, 2 nights before the Wal Mart Shareholders Convention, some associates and I were working on an art project around Bud Walton Arena, site of the upcoming Walmart Orgy. We were stopped by some “Walmart-Loss-Prevention Officers” and UAPD, who proceeded to question us about our activities, which might have included some wheatpasting and graffitti in Walmart territory….
As the UAPD made clear to me and my comrades, “if you are ever on the UA again, especially when Walmart is here, we will take you immediately to jail.” What good neighbors…Always.

Protests against Wal-Mart’s shareholders’ meeting are being coordinated by Against the Wal Coalition. Wal-Mart‘s labor practices — notably sexual discrimination, union busting, and low wages — and it’s creeping threat to local communities are well documented.
See the news report about the action here. Wal-Mart Watch is the best place to start getting information on Wal-Mart; perhaps the most exciting activist project I found through their resources page is the Los Angeles Superstore Ordinance, and there are many more.
Great job to the people who made the posters — next time, don’t get caught!

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