Occupy Wall Street Photographer "Had No Idea" His Image Was For Sale at Walmart

Are you a feisty anti-corporate activist looking for that one piece of art that really captures you? Walmart has just the thing.

The massive retailer is now selling a panoramic print, "Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan, Manhattan, New York," described as "a licensed reproduction that was printed on Premium Heavy Stock Paper which captures all of the vivid colors and details of the original."

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Wal-Marts in New York City? It's Looking Less and Less Likely

Categories: Wal-Mart

At least for now, it looks like Wal-Mart is deescalating its push to break into New York City's retail market.

Although the big-box chain has reaffirmed its commitment to exploring opportunities to open up stores in the city, it seems clear that the company is tampering down the capacity of its campaign.

A recent New York Times report points to the company's failed efforts to bring stores to Queens, Staten Island and most recently to the East New York section of Brooklyn as possible reasons why it may be toning down its push. The report also reveals that the retail giant ended contracts with five lobbyist consultants tied to the East New York project.

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Sen. Schumer to Walmart: Please Stop Selling Assault Weapons

Categories: Guns, Wal-Mart
This seems like a move ripped right out of Bowling for Columbine.

As Vice President Joe Biden and his team of gun control policy thinkers finish up their legislative package this week, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has taken measures into his hands. According to the Daily News, the politician is busy writing letters to the CEOs of Walmart and six other corporations, all of which sell assault weapons. In this voluntary memorandum, Schumer is instructing these stores to cease and desist this action as a precautionary gesture before the gun control package is released in coming days.

A reinstated ban on assault weapons is one of the major expectations coming from Biden's office after the Newtown tragedy. The move by Schumer seeks to halt consumers from stocking up on assault weapons before Congress hears this package. Although it's uncertain how the legislative chambers will react to the comprehensive bill, Schumer is working against time here: In December alone, 2.2 million background checks (not exactly all for guns but probably the best indicator we have of sales index) were conducted -- a 58.6 percent increase from December 2011.

And this huge jump was credited to the fact that these consumers realize what could happen in coming months to their guns.

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Brooklyn Finds Out A Walmart is Not Coming Anytime Soon

There's a Target up in Harlem and on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. And there's an IKEA in Red Hook. And a K-Mart on Astor Place in the Village. But, somehow, New York City has maintained an immunity to the nation's largest employer, clocking in at 1.2 million employees, Walmart.

Plans were in the work since 2005 to bring a Walmart to East New York against opposition from people who presumably read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. The group, Walmart Free NYC, protested the Gateway II project - a development in the neighborhood - arguing that Walmart undervalued their workers and would only have a negative impact on the community.

Well, today, those concerns were met when Walmart announced it was ditching the plan and getting the hell out away from the Five Boroughs. The mega-retailer was unable to negotiate with the local Big Labor groups; and, notorious for its bad labor PR, this was the nail in the coffin.
Hooray for popular unrest against the corporate giant! You've done well, Brooklyn... for the time being.

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Bill de Blasio Creates Another Website To Tackle a Not Very Local Issue

Sam Levin
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, at a press conference on Iran, in March.
Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio has gotten some headlines recently about his campaign against car companies that do business with Iran.

In March, he created the website IranWatchList.com, designed to target companies that work with Iran and in some cases allegedly sell directly to Iran's military. We noted at the time that his involvement in the foreign policy matter was a likely appeal to Jewish voters as he preps for the 2013 mayoral race.

Well today, de Blasio is out with another website that it about another fairly not-local issue: Wal-Mart and its covert political spending.

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Mike Bloomberg Says It's Not His Job to Stop Wal-Mart -- Despite Mexican Bribery Scandal

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Sam Levin
Mayor Mike Bloomberg at a press conference this afternoon in Brooklyn.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg doesn't necessarily support Wal-Mart -- he just supports government staying out of the corporation's way.

The business-friendly mayor commented today on Walmart's campaign to open a store in New York City, a day after the New York Times exposed a $24 million bribery scheme -- and coverup -- at the company's largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico.

The controversy has already dealt a significant blow to Wal-Mart and likely won't help its efforts to move to the Big Apple.

Asked about the controversy today, Bloomberg didn't defend the company -- but he didn't criticize it either. Instead, he emphasized his stance on new business coming to the city.

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Ruben Diaz Sr. Calls Black Friday a 'Blessing'

Diaz thumbnail.png
C.S. Muncy
Diaz at an anti-gay marriage rally this past summer.
Now that state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. has officially lost the fight against gay marriage in New York, he's on to the next thing: Walmart. Diaz released a statement regarding Walmart's absence in NYC in light of this past weekend's strong Black Friday sales. In short: sucks about the pepper spraying and violence; congrats to Walmart for the great profits; now let's get a Walmart in the city ASAP. Diaz's statement in full, emphasis ours:

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Don't Get Too Worked Up About This New 'Walmartization of NYC' Study

A new study came out today from a labor-backed nonprofit called Alliance For a Greater New York (Align), and it presents a kind of doomsday scenario in which Walmart could open a whopping 159 stores in New York City. According to the study, if Walmart entered the NYC market this way, it could result in a net loss of almost 4,000 jobs, workers would lose on average 353 million dollars in wages per year, and there would be an increase in workers who must rely on public assistance to make ends meet. But how likely is this scenario? (Not very).

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NYC Residents On Track to Spend $215 Million This Year At Area Walmarts

Despite its claims to the contrary, Walmart has been trying to infiltrate New York City for some time now. The mega-chain even has a Walmart New York City website and has donated large sums to city programs. Their spin has always been that New Yorkers really want a Walmart, and maybe they're not so off the mark: people from New York City are set to spend $215 million at Walmarts outside the city this year, a 10 percent increase from last year. (Sorry, that Crain's link is behind a subscriber paywall.)

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Wal-Mart Bribes NYC With $4 Million Donation

Bloomberg referred to Wal-Mart as "one of the great corporate citizens in this country" during a press conference yesterday to announce the company's four million dollar donation to New York City's Youth Employment Program. The donation will create 3,400 jobs, and Bloomberg says that's all that matters. While many are suspicious that this donation is part of Wal-Mart's campaign to open up a NYC location, Michelle Gilliard, a representative for the company's philanthropic division, insisted that the money was simply part of an ongoing effort to help children and "make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers."

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