Thursday, September 29th the hearing for Wal-Mart's appeal of the original decision to decline Wal-Mart's permit for locating a store on Se 182nd Ave & Powell will take place at the Gresham City Hall's Civic Center Chambers. The City Hall is located on Eastman Parkway (223rd) & Division (just north of Max station). The public is 'allowed' to give oral testimony or send submissions in writing.
Some friends and I wrote a statement of our opinion on the matter:
In our opinion, Wal-Mart and other big-box chains like it, represent everything that is wrong in society. Wal-Mart destroys the local economy. Their stranglehold on supply runs local businesses into bankruptcy. It then places this economical power into the hands of a few privileged individuals at the top of the corporate chain of command. This wealth that Wal-Mart posesses is not passed into the hands of the employees now working at Wal-Mart. In fact, Wal-Mart has a reputation of sub-standard wages and an extremely high turnover rate.
Unsurprisingly, other big-box chains view Wal-Mart not as an adversary, but as an ideal model - the future of business. They are adopting the same practice of low-wage, high turn-over jobs. Unfortunately for the people, all that stands in their way are a handful of corruptable politicians and a system that caters to big business. That leaves the People to oppose Wal-Mart and it's influence on society. Yet, we have no voice, no control and little influence in our own communities. The most we do now is this - giving speeches to a handful of corruptable politicians. Perhaps this time they will listen and perhaps not. Either way today's decision is not ours to make; even though it's our community that will be affected.
The people truly are the only blockade to Wal-Mart's plans. Grassroots opposition, like we have today, is the world's most powerful weapon. It is in fact, our only weapon. If the politicians choose not to listen to our demands, then what will we do? Will we shrug our shoulders and say 'we tried?' Or, will we show them the true power of the People? The power of people standing in unity, refusing to yield one inch of our communties, to not take 'no' for an answer.
We, the undersigned, offer this warning: We will _not_ take no for an answer. We will make any and every attempt to blockade & stop Wal-Mart and the unbalanced and unchecked power over the community that Big Business represents. If this means lying down in front of bulldozers and blocking doors, so be it.
Today we ask the People, not the Judges, to stand with us against the spreading corruption of Big Business, politicians, and a system that oppresses the very people that form the foundations of our society.
*We wanted to post it to Indymedia in the attempt to get you to sponsor it and to try and generate some momentum. We were intending to make this a speech and it'd be great to have a long list of names to add. If your interested you can use the above e-mail address to sponsor it or speak your mind. The Gresham City hall is right next to the Max train, probably a lot of people taking Max, a demonstration may attract participants or atleast people interested.