Thursday, November 26, 2009

The following story and appeal is from the Wake Up Walmart people. For those of us out here in the civilized world 'Black Friday' is the name given to the first Friday after American Thanksgiving, when the dogs of consumerism are let loose upon the land and bodies fall left and right in the mad scramble for a supposed deal. Sort of like a Boxing day without gun control. The dreaded day is tomorrow which, incidentally, is also the first of two Buy Nothing Days being celebrated this year by others who are not drooling so much to spread their cash upon the fields of useless junk. But hopefully more about that later.

Last year Black Friday became infamous when Walmart employee Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death upon opening the door to a crowd of "shoppers" in Long island New York. A glance at the wikipedia entry for Black Friday above will show that he has not been the only victim, merely the one whose death was most publicized. This year Wake Up Walmart is asking you to help spread the word about the lack of safety at Walmart during this dark day. Here's the story.
The Dark Side of Black Friday:‏
For Walmart, Black Friday has become synonymous with the tragic death of Jdimytai Damour: the Walmart worker trampled by an ill-managed "doorbuster" crowd at a Long Island Walmart. After a barrage of criticism following the stampede, Walmart characterized the tragedy as a singular "incident." Now, the truth is coming out.

According to Newsday, Damour's Walmart faced a similar stampede in 2007. A Black Friday crowd pushed the store's front door off its hinges before trampling fallen customers. The same article also covers a damning sworn statement by a local Walmart employee. During the Black Friday 2008 investigation, he noted, "I was there, like in past years, to help people up as they fall coming in the doors."

Looking back, the 2008 Black Friday stampede appears to have been a predictable annual affair. Walmart failed to adequately prepare for it. Mr. Damour died because of it.

You can play a part in keeping this year's Black Friday free of disasters like that which claimed the life of Jdimytai Damour. Join our online campaign to alert holiday shoppers and keep tabs on Walmart's handling of Black Friday crowds.
Spread the word to holiday shoppers: hold Walmart accountable for store safety on Black Friday.

Black Friday is likely to be bigger than ever in 2009. Polls suggest the possibility of a near 25% increase in participation this year over last. This, in concert with Walmart's aggressive promotion of holiday sales, will almost assuredly generate massive crowds this Friday.

If Walmart couldn't anticipate the Long Island tragedy, we can't rely on it to handle record crowds this year. We know Walmart has splurged on advertising, but we need your help to ensure it doesn't skimp on security.

Join our campaign for a safer Black Friday: ask holiday shoppers to tell their story about crowds spotted at Walmart stores, send us photos, and spread the word.
Help us hold Walmart to a higher standard of safety during this year's Black Friday blitz

Ogera Charles, Jdimytai Damour's father, has a simple request this year: that "the company and shoppers will do whatever is needed to prevent a repeat of last year’s disaster." Our hopes are the same. In that spirit, please join us in promoting safety and accountability during Walmart's Black Friday events.
Thank you for all that you do, and please enjoy a safe holiday weekend.
The Team,