Buy Nothing Day — or get pepper-sprayed at Walmart

Adbusters’ 2007 Buy Nothing Day ad that all the networks refused to air.

The Los Angeles Times reports: Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.”

Lopez described a chaotic scene in the San Fernando Valley store among shoppers looking for video games soon after the sale began.

“I heard screaming and I heard yelling,” said Lopez, 18. “Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.”

Lopez said customers were already in the store when a whistle signaled the start of the Black Friday sale at 10 p.m., sending shoppers hurtling in search of deeply discounted items.

Lopez said that by the time he arrived at the video games, the display had been torn down. Employees attempted to hold back the scrum of shoppers and pick up merchandise even as customers trampled the video games and DVDs strewn on the floor.

“It was absolutely crazy,” he said.

Another customer said screams erupted after about 100 people waiting in line to snag Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games got into a shoving match.

Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles, which was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.

“People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray,” the Sylmar resident said. “I guess what triggered it was people started pulling the plastic off the pallets and then shoving and bombarding the display of games. It started with people pushing and screaming because they were getting shoved onto the boxes.”

The pepper spray wafted through the air, Seminario said, and she breathed some in and started coughing. Her face also started itching.

“I did not want to get involved. I was too scared. I just stayed in the toy aisle,” she said.

By the time she and her husband, 27-year-old Cesar Seminario, got to the cash register 20 minutes later with a Wii gaming console and some Barbie dolls, the air was still smelling of pepper spray, she said.

Wal-Mart employees were taking statements near the front of the store from about eight customers who had been pepper-sprayed, Seminario said. “After we paid, we saw five that were in really bad shape,” she said. “They had been sprayed in the face, it looked like, and they had swelling of the face, really extreme swelling of face, redness, coughing.”

Nakeasha Contreras, 20, of North Hollywood, said she arrived at midnight and hadn’t heard what happened. Even if she had, she said, she wouldn’t have minded: “I don’t care. I’m still getting my TV. I’ve never seen Wal-Mart so crazy, but I guess it could have been worse.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Buy Nothing Day — or get pepper-sprayed at Walmart

  1. Christopher Hoare

    The objective of neoliberal capitalism must surely be to transfer all the world’s most valuable resources into landfills. Even fifty years ago, capitalist enterprises tried to produce value……items that really benefitted society, and lasted long enough to serve as capital investments. As soon as the MBAs produced by the education scams noticed they could sell more products if those they made failed early, they began building in planned obsolescence. Citizens…real people, would have noticed and boycotted the swing to rubbish, but consumers have no such integrity nor smarts. Today they are even worse, they buy products that will be obsolescent as soon as the latest fad item appears and landfill them so as not to appear behind the fashion.

    Free yourself from the fraud. Never buy anything new. Never throw away anything that you can patch up and keep using. Never, ever buy ‘brands’; you are only paying extra for their stupid advertising. Check out the liquidation centers first…the more people who get out of the ‘buy’ rat race, the more of these cheap vendors there will be. Do not be a consumer…reject the name and everything that clings like slime to that world view.

    Say to yourself every day; “I am a Citizen, not a consumer”.

  2. Alex Bell

    And this is what you Americans have a manifest destiny to impose on the rest of the world whether we want it or not?

    I’d be ashamed to be an American citizen. Shame on you.

    Regards, Alex

Comments are closed.