“Good rally, guys!” announced UFCW Local 1500 honcho Bruce Both after Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James led a placard-wielding mob in chants of “No Wal-Mart!” and “Not in my neighborhood!”
After all the banter denouncing “poverty-wage jobs” died down around 1:48 p.m., some fired-up protesters blew off steam by dancing to Outkast’s 2003 smash-hit “Hey Ya!” which blared over the activists’ PA system amid appropriately “ice cold” temperatures.
The crowd had gathered outside Washington Mutual Bank in Brooklyn’s Albee Square on Thursday afternoon to protest the world’s largest “gender-biased” retailer’s rumored interest in coming to the location.
“Grand Opening” signs at Jay Jewelers and M&M Beauty Supply seemed rather ironic on this day, given the clouds of doom hanging over storefronts across the whole retail complex.
Wal-Mart or not, bulldozers are headed to the outdoor mall site, which sold for a whopping $125 million this week, to make way for a “high-rise housing, retail and office complex,” according to Thursday’s NY Post.
At least one retailer is already moving out. Music Factory on Fulton Street was advertising “over one million dollars in inventory” available at huge liquidation-sale discounts, though a manager there suggested the shop’s closing next week had more to do with the general downturn in CD-store business.
And he said he hadn’t even heard about the mall’s forthcoming destruction.
– Chris Shott