In an effort to raise awareness for “income inequality” and “corporate greed,” organizers of various Occupy chapters have revealed their newest move: “Occupy Black Friday.”
It's what it sounds like.
The idea is that they will protest numerous retailers the day after Thanksgiving in an effort to disrupt credit card usage and their 4th quarter profits, thereby rattling the stock market.
On the website stopblackfriday.com, the organizers have written the following:
ON NOV. 25th: OCCUPY LARGE CHAINS AND PUBLICLY TRADED RETAIL. Hit the 1% where it hurts - in the wallet.
Keep in mind that we are not occupying small businesses or hardworking people -- we must make a distinction between the businesses that are in the pockets of Wall Street and the businesses that serve our local communities.
We are NOT anti-capitalist. Just anti-crapitalist.
Below is a shortlist for publicly traded large businesses to Occupy or to boycott on Black Friday. Luckily, most of them don't have good presents anyway. If you want to see the top 100 retail businesses for 2010 to boycott, click here.
On Black Friday, Occupy or boycott:
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Amazon.com (yes, we have to stay away from Amazon, too!)
- AT&T Wireless
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Dick's Sporting Goods (I was surprised, too!)
- Dollar Tree
- The Home Depot
- Neiman Marcus
- Toys R'Us
- Verizon Wireless
However, as pointed out by Commentary Magazine, there is one mega retailer missing from their list.
Want to take a guess?
Men’s Wearhouse. Despite the fact the clothing retailer regularly posts a profit from Black Friday sales, it has has managed to insulate itself from protests by “standing” with the "99%" (although one store did have its windows smashed during the Occupy Oakland riots).
Along with a "blacklist" of large retailers, the website also offers sign ideas for protesters who want to partake in the events:
In addition to encouraging site visitors to not spend money on Friday, the website encourages occupation, and “Occupy” protesters typically have featured sit-ins, on-site camping, slogan cheering and sign-waving as their modes of protest.
Currently, many businesses are unhappy with the Occupy protests. For example, as Security Info Watch reports:
Businesses near Occupy Seattle on Capitol Hill say the protesters need to clean up their act and businesses near Westlake Park are worried demonstrators might ruin their Black Friday.
At least 150 Capitol Hill businesses have sent a letter to Occupy Seattle, which is currently occupying the south end of Seattle Central Community College. They say the camp is a health and safety risk, and they want the protesters to clean it up.
Given that many businesses and business owners are already displeased with the Occupy movement, a general boycott of their stores on Black Friday probably won't help anything.
“The Occupy movement probably thinks it’s sticking it to the man with this protest, but it’s actually the local stores and their employees who are going to get hit with any of the fallout,” writes Commentary Magazine. “Poor sales mean more layoffs after the holiday season. Yet more evidence that the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t actually interested in combating unemployment and advocating for the middle class.”
Indeed, protests such as this will most likely have an adverse effect on the average, middle class American. This has led some analysts to predict that the Occupy protests may have some unintended political consequences.
“The Occupy Wall Street,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, “is a tremendous asset and it’s a movement that I think will be very helpful in the 2012 elections, and I think it’s a mistake to interfere with them continuing to annoy middle class Americans.”
He may be right. If Occupy organizers continue with demonstrations like the one they have planned for Black Friday, their already waning public support may disintegrate completely.
That's where there could be political consequences.
If public opinion turns against the Occupy movement, it may start to gravitate towards the type of 2012 presidential candidate who says of the Occupy movement, "Go get a job right after you take a bath," as opposed to the candidate who says "The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side..."