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2005-11-07
Fairbanks, AK. “Leave A Cart” Campaign At Wal-Mart

Activists in Fairbanks, Alaska are engaging in a little Saul Alinsky type organizing. To show their true feelings about Wal-Mart, Fairbanks residents are going to shop at Wal-Mart -- but instead of picking something up, they're leaving something behind. While other activists have taken up the idea of just pushing around an empty cart at Wal-Mart, in Alaska they're filling those carts up with merchandise. Here's their report: "A modification of the 'shop 'till you drop' action is to not push around empty carts, but to stuff them full of hard-to-reshelve items and then simply leave the cart in the aisle. This is an action that we are planning to do this Saturday, and have a huge action on November 25th. But, quite simply, this is something that anyone can do at anytime all over the country at any big box store. It costs the stores to pay their employees to put those items back. The carts will jam up the aisles and maybe there'll be a shortage of available carts for consumers. A friend told me "you know, these businesses aren't socially conscious, and the only way to reach them is through their pocketbook." She stopped into our Wal-Mart yesterday and "forgot" where she left her cart. We are working on a reproducible note that can be left in the bottom of the cart for the employees to read. Anyway, maybe you can post this suggestion on your site, and just maybe it can become a nation-wide campaign. Lots of variation on it, too. My first goal would be to have this 'problem' of abandoned shopping carts on their board of directors agenda."

What you can do: Sprawl-Busters does not endorse shopping of any kind at Wal-Mart -- but this "leave a cart" campaign is not a form of shopping, so other community groups may wish to organize an event similar to the Fairbanks action. Maybe we should "abandon" our shopping carts in the aisles, just as Wal-Mart has abandoned hundreds of empty discount stores along our roadsides -- just so they could build bigger and bigger superstores down the block. For local contacts in Fairbanks, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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