Whitehall, MI Residents Start Online Petition to Avoid Wal-Mart Shopping
Sprawl-Busters first began writing about Whitehall, Michigan's battle against Wal-Mart in March of 2013. Activists there have continued to speak out against the negative impact that Wal-Mart has on our local and national economy, emptying out the downtown business core of small communities, and leaving our economy with a low wage workforce struggling to stay above the poverty level.
The Whitehall group, Back Off Wal-Mart, Not Our Town (BOWNOT) has posted the following message on change.org:
"Wal-Mart's founder, Sam Walton, once said, 'If Wal-Mart's presence creates a fuss, I encourage us to walk away from this kind of trouble, because there are just too many other good towns out there who do want us.' The present generation of Waltons and their corporate board reject this sentiment. Over the past several decades Wal-Mart has grown to become the world’s largest retailer. The Waltons have simultaneously become America’s wealthiest family, but their appetite for more wealth and for control over the supply and source of food and other essential goods has no limits. They insist on building in communities where a majority of residents have clearly indicated they do not want a Wal-Mart store.
Wal-Mart Supercenters don’t fit in small resort towns, historically significant neighborhoods, urban centers and other unique communities. The addition of a large box store to these areas can destroy downtowns and local economies; dramatically change a community’s character; and lead to increases in traffic congestion, environmental pollution and crime.
The people of the White Lake Area in Michigan, which includes the towns of Whitehall and Montague, have been fighting to keep Wal-Mart from building in adjacent Whitehall Township for nearly two years. We have demonstrated our opposition to Wal-Mart in peaceful protests, by speaking at municipal meetings and finally by taking our case to local and state courts. BOWNOT (Back Off, Wal-Mart -- Not Our Towns) has raised and spent over $60,000 for legal and other expenses to defend against Wal-Mart’s unwanted intrusion into our community. More than 4,000 people have donated funds and signed petitions to stop Wal-Mart from building here. We believe any impartial observer would conclude that the majority of White Lake Area citizens do not want a Supercenter in our area.
We are not alone in having to fend off a WalMart invasion. Hundreds of communities across America and in other countries have opposed or are currently opposing them. More than 300 cities and towns have held their ground against Wal-Mart, but many communities continue to be overpowered by this retail giant. In addition to BOWNOT in the White Lake Area, groups in Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Ballston (NY), East Rockland Key (FL), Richmond (VA), Wheatbridge (CO), Wildomar (CA) and elsewhere have been standing up and saying no to Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart refuses to hear the voices of the people of the White Lake Area and other cities, towns, and neighborhoods across America. Send them the only message they can understand: the loss of customers and sales. Sign this petition and let Wal-Mart know that you will not shop at ANY of their stores until they discontinue their predatory intrusion into areas whose residents have clearly said they do not want a Wal-Mart store.
The Walton Family and the Wal-Mart Board of Directors
Return to the policy of your founder, Sam Walton, and stay out of communities where the people have clearly shown they do not want a Wal-Mart store.
What you can do: Readers who want to support the residents of the White Lake Area of Michigan in their battle against Wal-Mart can go to Change.org and sign their petition to the Waltons and the Wal-Mart board of directors: