This article was submitted to us via our Facebook Page.
On Friday, November 23, 2012, the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, community members and workers protested outside of several Wal-Mart locations throughout the country.
In San Diego the community focused on ten locations including one located in the College Grove shopping center. As shoppers came into the store community members greeted them with stickers for shoppers to wear inside the store that read “We Support Wal-Mart Workers”. Many of the community were very supportive and one shopper said “she would wear the sticker proudly and ask management why they retaliated against it’s own employees”.
Over 50 community members and Wal-Mart workers participated in the action outside the store carrying signs and banners. One person even carried a large drum and wore a globe with dollar signs over his head. The management came outside and asked us to tell him to stop. We of course refused to follow any orders infringing on our right to speak out and continued to bring attention to Wal-Mart’s unfair treatment of workers. The San Diego Police also tried to intimidate us by telling us to quite down and monitored us. We passed out hundreds of flyers with messages of solidarity. Many in attendance had participated in Occupy San Diego and were members of and other community organizations and also conducted a “Mic-Check” inside the store.
This shopping center has a long history of ups and downs that are mostly impacted by poor development decisions and the economic roller coaster that is indicative of capitalism. However, this particular shopping center has a unique history with Wal-Mart. In 1998 the City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency purchased the land from a private owner on behalf of Wal-Mart at almost a $1 million dollar loss. In addition the Agency would be required to PAY Wal-Mart for this loss over 15 years at 10% interest adding up to over $2.5 million. Along with other public assistance Wal-Mart received almost $9 million in subsidies from the City of San Diego in order revitalize the shopping center. 
The Community Coalition for Worker and Economic Justice (CCWEJ) was recently formed by a broad base coalition of activist, community members, union representatives and ANSWER San Diego to address issues of gentrification and to support Walmart workers. CCWEJ members are fed up with welfare for multi-billion dollar companies like Wal-Mart. We demand they treat their workers with respect. Workers should receive a living wage and health care benefits for their hard work and dedication. Wal-Mart annual profits at this location are estimated at over 50 million and we know they can afford to pay their workers more.  The City of San Diego subsidized the construction of this Wal-Mart in hopes of revitalizing the area, but all we got was more traffic congestion and low-paying jobs. Why didn’t the city subsidize small businesses in the area and bring jobs with a living wage and health benefits?
We’re tired of Redevelopment Agencies entering into agreements with large corporations and subsidizing them while the public continues to suffer low-wages and are left out of the decision making process in our communities.
We will continue to organize and support workers at Wal-Mart who deserve better. These workers are our neighbors and friends who deserve better. We only see more of the same with the current Wal-Mart project being built in Barrio Logan and we are opposed to the manner in which the permits were issued for this location on Imperial Ave. We support the workers rights to organize and we oppose being left out of the discussions to so-called development in our communities. We will continue to meet and organize to oppose the Wal-Mart being built in Barrio Logan and the workers at all Walmarts until they are unionized.
Community Coalition for Worker and Economic Justice
 2003, Research Report by the Center on Policy Initiatives