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Solidarity Action for Wal-Mart Warehouse Workers results in 47 arrested

October 2, 2012

This brief article is re-posted from Common Dreams.


When about 650 members of community, labor and faith organizations rallied today in Elwood, Illinois in support of workers at a key Walmart warehouse striking to protest “poverty wages,” sexual harassment, racial discrimination and extreme work conditions, they were met with riot-gear-clad police and the private security Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Mobile Field Force who surrounded them, arrested all 47 who committed civil disobedience by sitting in the road, and told the other peaceful protesters to disperse or risk “chemical or less lethal munitions being deployed.”

“They call us bodies and that’s what we feel like.” – Mike Compton, one of the striking warehouse workers.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter permalink
    October 2, 2012 1:43 pm

    It seems the biggest issue is the privatization of police services. Since when does a private militia paid for by the company have the right to arrest protestors supporting unionization in the U.S.? That sounds more like something that would happen in Indonesia or Kenya. Apparently the Blackwater model is being used on our own soil, against our own citizens.

  2. October 2, 2012 1:47 pm

    I would agree Peter. Some of us have witnessed this militarization of police departments first hand and a solid analysis of this trend is Stephen Graham’s book Cities Under Seige: The New Military Urbanism.

  3. Dave Jones permalink
    October 2, 2012 6:32 pm

    Peter makes a good point, has the ACLU or anybody ever challenged this? what was the outcome?

  4. October 2, 2012 6:34 pm

    The ACLU and the Lawyers Guild have both challenged this kind of militarizing on local police departments, but rarely have they won.

  5. bureaucracy FTW! permalink
    October 3, 2012 7:43 pm

    yeah, if police weren’t private everything would be just fine!

  6. October 3, 2012 8:23 pm

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that if police remained part of the state and funded by tax money that this is ok, the point was more to the issue of the further militarization of the cops.

  7. Read permalink
    October 4, 2012 12:08 am

    The photo looks like those from the Nazi Germany circa 1935. Jackbooted SS troops.
    I find this very disquieting.

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