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Buy Nothing Day ~ TARGET WAL-MART

Ideas about how to impede conspicuous consumption.
Buy Nothing Day ~ TARGET WAL-MART

The Buy Nothing Day holiday (BND) has caught on somewhat and may very
well be one of the best vehicles we have in terms of getting to a
healthier, happier, saner, sustainable way of life. With that in mind
the following is a collection of ideas about what we can do to make
BND more effective by bringing it to America's largest corporate
retailer known as WalMart. If you are down with these ideas (and want
to make them more effective) please repost and forward this article by
email and/or conventional post.

The day after Thanksgiving...

Show up at your local Wal-Mart, bright and early with your friends,
and start filling carts with the most desired consumer "goods" (small
toys and expensive trinkets are ideal since all this stuff will have
to be re-shelved) -- try not to break anything. If you don't simply
abandon the carts before moving on to the next store, you might
realize that you forgot your wallet after everything has been rung up
(ideally at the busiest hours -- say at 11am and 5pm).
Do not piss in the dressing rooms or leave anti-consumerism agitprop
around the stores. Whatever you do, do not try to monopolize employee
time on the sale floor or on the phone (time is money and employees
are a consumer convenience) and certainly don't bring a stopwatch to
make a game of that activity. Breaking glass or leaving nails in the
parking lot would be going too far. Try to have fun on BND but don't
try to create as much of an inconvenient hassle as is humanly/heavenly
possible. Remember, your not trying to change the world with
collective effort. Don't repeat these activities throughout the
holiday shopping season after the BND holiday and, whatever you do,
don't get caught if you break any of these rules. Take care and have
fun.

www.adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd/
www.buynothingday.co.uk/
 http://comp.uark.edu/~scummin/psa/walmart.html
www.walmartwatch.com

homepage: homepage: http://www.adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd/


I don't see the point... 20.Nov.2004 04:35

flowers skunk

... in annoying the overworked, underpaid clerks with these kind of tactics. I think would be better to avoid the store altogether or better yet, go out into the parking lot and hand out flyers of why people shouldn't shop at Walmart.
And besides, although Walmart might be the worst of the lot, they're not the only corporate stores run by greedy capitalists who exploit. How about bugging some other stores, like Safeway, Kmart, etc., for a change.

Wal-Mart First! 20.Nov.2004 05:24

Yeah Yeah Mama

People can still hand out fliers about why Wal-Mart sucks while other tactics are being employed to impede conspicuous consumption. Other corporations can still be targeted too. Wal-Mart though is everywhere and can be a rallying point. As far as the employees go... they can always quit or, better yet, ask for a raise and get fired. Perhaps loggers shouldn't be hassled either since they are only chopping down forests. Maybe politicians should be cut some slack too since they are only doing what politicians do. Participate by not participating, participate by handing out fliers, or participate by really complicating the business of corporate America. It's all good.

d 20.Nov.2004 10:14

illin

Buy nothing, just use the toilet and don't flush.

It's called culture jamming... 20.Nov.2004 11:08

cynic

Flowers Skunk, think about it. The original post does not advocate "annoying" the help. They are going to have to be at Mall-Wart working for their crappy wages ANYway, so whether they are talking to "us" or real shoppers is irrelevant. The point is to consume as much of the store's time as possible because that SLOWS purchasing! If a bunch of people are taking up space in the checkout line, but not buying anything, that slows shit down and ultimately reduces the sales!

If you wanna hand out flyers in the parking lot, that's cool, too. Everybody needs to take part in whatever way possible. Avoiding the store is NOT actively fighting the consumer culture, because if you give a crap about any of these issues, you are already avoiding WalMart (and other big national stores). Avoiding WalMart is the bare minimum of what everyone should be doing every day.

I heard about a girl 20.Nov.2004 13:00

clamydia

who once went into a clothing store and accidentally squirted a tube of crazy glue all over a whole rack of a bunch of clothes. Later, her friend came in to the store and discovered the hardened glue all over the clothes and alerted the management of the store. The clothes had to be sold as clearance, decreasing profit for the store and putting the items in a more reachable place for poor people. Too bad they didn't just throw the clothes out, as stores like WalMart are wont to do, because then the clothing would have been free for the girl and all her friends, so long as they wouldn't have minded climbing into the dumpsters!

walmert expose video 20.Nov.2004 15:56

Mother

Here is a link to a very good documentary on warfart.

 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/

Analysis of a Particular GND Action 20.Nov.2004 22:49

BND studies

BND/adbusters ran some website coverage a couple of years ago similar to what is being academically and hypothetically being discussed and evaluated in the article.

Here is an abstract analysis of that discussion:

It depicted a virtual critical mass of filling shopping carts, shopping very slowly, abandoning loaded carts randomly in the aisles, getting more carts, filling them, abandoning them, etc.....

Rather than parse the "fairness" or equal opportunity of corporate pain, it might be considered that this kind of activity might result in a particular megabox location's, say a W*M's, as having sales figures for "the biggest shopping day of the year" fall behind those of that day last year--virtual failure in the capitalist model of constant, increasing growth.

It would seem realistic that in the assembly line of corporate tasking, the employees get paid (such as it is) the same whether they replenish the shelves from pallets of homogeneous products destined for one location on the shelves or from shopping carts full of miscellaneous, mixed and disordered single items from all over the store. In the W*M example, the wealthiest family in the world might even find it necessary to expand its work force, albeit temporarily--but then aren't all of their employees temporary?

It would seem that one feature of this kind of action for any considering it would be that it minimizes the enjoyable spectacle of theatre before sympathizers. The more nonchalantly and browsingly that the carts are loaded by anonymous shoppers, and the longer and more steadily it goes on, the more certain and firmly grid lock occurs. It would seem that in theory, the participants would have to forgo any expressions of group solidarity, and rather, work for the end in mind, whatever that might actually be. In a sense it's a process that must be carried out quietly, to blend in with the overall level and character of consumer activity, and which will not yield tangible immediate gratification. It could be seen by some as tedious and boring, after the first hour. (Possibly portable audio and headsets would offset this.) One result might be that less land-fill destined imported material will leave the site this year than last year, by the slowing and clogging of the conveyor belt of consumption in the virtual factory of "buying." This has some antecedents in the sit-down and slow-down shop floor strike, possibly consistent with the beliefs of some participants about controlling the application and impacts of their positions as consumers, analogous to workers, in the retail buying factory, where the "product" they partcipate in producing is the use of global cheap labor, resources and subsidies to exchange and disperse water, air and soil pollution and land fill feedstock for garagantuan corporate profits, meagerly and miserly redistributed to the "workers."

Theoretically, a favorable distribution of participants might be a team of 10 or 20 special shoppers at each of a fixed list of metro area targets. Then, after an hour or so, and at random times after that, individuals in the a special shopping the teams go musical chairs to one of the other targets in that list. In other words, groups wouldn't be arriving and departing as groups after the initial beginning of the activity. The need would seem to be to achieve plausibility as independent shoppers, but also be able to conduct the special shopping at a uniform level of intensity at each location throughout BND, from opening to closing, by continually shopping and randomly changing locations throughout the day. But done in such a manner that there are always nearly the same number of special shoppers, doing their special shopping at each location throughout the day. As said, it would appear that the only results immediately sensed would be the achievement of gridlock, and, less tangibly, the perception that possibly profits would fail to meet projected goals for BND.

In the limit, it would have to be considered that grid lock would occur to such an extent that a particular location would have to alter its operation, possibly requiring the shut down of consumption at the buying factory at some time during BND in order to get the aisles cleared.

Did the conceivers of this kind of action consider that it would have anything like an immediate or irreversable affect on some status quo? Probably not. Rather, it was more likely regarded as just one component in a panorama of subversion in what they perceived as an ongoing campaign of attrition--raising the stakes in an arena of activism for social, economic and cultural change where the advantages are so lopsided against democratic principles.

Workers have it hard enough 21.Nov.2004 01:34

tired of working minimum wage job

Don't just leave carts full of stuff in the aisles. These people already get paid next to nothing and are sometimes forced to work overtime for free. Why would you think that leaving shopping carts full of stuff around the aisles, stuff that they have to stay late to restock, would be a good tactic? These people didn't do anything to personally attack you, they probably hate Wal-Mart WAY more than you do. Don't make people's lives miserable to prove your point.

Workers wrongs 21.Nov.2004 11:02

Saks 5th Ave.

Fill the carts and more ask for a lot of help from the workers, they won't be there to help. They are to busy unloading the ships (trucks) from the slave factory. Anyone telling not to do this is the enemy. Listen to the pigs squeal.

Answers to Appeals to Fairness 21.Nov.2004 13:40

BND studies

When organized workers withhold participation, their labor and cooperation in generating the fruits of production, one issue that is confronted is that of scab labor--scab labor who, as fellow citizens, indisputibly, find themselves under the same wheels of the capitalist, mass resource plunder, pillage and aimless consumption as the organized workers. Both are similarly presented with overwhelming pressure to participate in a status quo having little bearing on the basic needs of a reasonable, healthy life, but rather is in the service of the accumulation of wealth and power, and the illusions attending to those goals. The organized workers militate against what they see as intolerable injustices, even to the extent of moving against scabs whose actions subvert the campaign of the striking workers. Are the striking workers being unfair to the scabs?

The exquisite structures of capitalism and its corporate manifestations, the aimlessly, ever upramped production of "stuff", the cultivation and training of the worker herd for a life of consumption of "stuff", the expanding, deepening vortex of destruction, degredation and manipulation of labor, resources and the very chemistries of life on the planet, inherently justified and motivated by the accumulation of wealth and power by the few, and the illusions of upward mobility for those same dubious goals--not simply reasonable, healthy, sane, peaceful lives-- for the rest, have been incrementally perfected, polished and buffed for generations within the corporate/military/governmental nexus. Unconventional proposals for resistance to the status quo, discussed in this thread, confront arguments about fairness, affects to fellow workers and "not working in the system"--as if "the system" hasn't been shaped and loop-holed by the few, their ancestors, spaw, and lacky wannabes, enshrining cultures of wealth and power accumulation and wars for profit on the backs of workers/consumers.

Unconventional, dispersed, insideous, random, just slightly under the radar campaigns of deed and attrition to subvert and monkey wrench the processes of global capitalism through interference with the mechanics, behavioral stuctures and economic forms of corporate, patriarchal, racist, colonial domination and wars setting worker against worker, culture against culture would seem to be one approach that supporters of BND have in mind. Is it because they have no illusions that the opportunities provided by the dominant culture to effect change have been trimmed and pruned to deflect the pressures for change and preserve the status quo?

How about this? 21.Nov.2004 15:15

Colby

Listen - it's not a coincidence that BND is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and the biggest shopping day of the year. ALL the businesses are gearing up for the rush, and trying to lure them with coupons, ad supplements, newspaper ads.

Well, this week, BND's a Friday. Sunday papers are LOADED with coupons. We should go and stuff flyers into as many papers as we can BEFORE that. Buy a paper from a kiosk, slip flyers into the others and into the front window of the kiosk while it's open! Buy a bunch of papers from a newsstand/convenience store, then flyer them and leave them on buses and subway trains for others to find! Starting tomorrow!

It's so that when they open up this bounty of adverts, they see a BND flyer at the same time, and they make the connection!

Un Shopping 21.Nov.2004 15:41

!

Some Wal-Marts have grocery sections. Some groceries have to be thrown out if they are left out in carts for unknown periods of time. Hmmmm.

Wal-Mart stores sitemap w/ investor information 22.Nov.2004 11:41

The Stock Breaker