August 25, 2009

Back off Walmart

<-- Note the picture of RY Blog :)

Bloggers across North America are picking up the banner for free speech by doing their bit to spread the word about Walmart’s outrageous request for a court injunction against, the long-standing and award winning labour rights website created for Walmart “associates” and maintained by UFCW Canada.

In the past five years, blogs (which are basically web pages that serve as personal journals) have become a main source of information for an increasing number of internet users, and, as a result, are becoming more and more influential. Blogs are maintained by a wide variety of people, and in some cases have loyal readerships in the tens of thousands.

The idea of a corporation meddling with a non-corporate website is something that does not sit well with the growing number of people who blog and take freedom of speech and their digital rights very seriously.

Unfortunately for Walmart, bloggers generally have vast email networks and often serve the World Wide Web as opinion leaders.

With their help, the campaign is making a big splash in Web 2.0. The campaign’s SAVE the CIRCLE Facebook group has rapidly grown to several hundred members, has been viewed by nearly 3,000 people around the world. Bloggers have also used their influence to help send hundreds of protest letters to Walmart’s head offices in Mississauga, Ontario, and Bentonville, Arkansas.

“A very large and growing number of people representing a wide variety of concerns are really starting to realize the importance of this issue,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

“This injunction request by Walmart isn’t just about; it’s about a massive multinational corporation using its vast wealth to try to undermine a social justice organization’s ability to effectively communicate. This is a fight that we all have an interest in fighting – and winning.”

The Quebec Superior Court is expected to hear Walmart’s argument for an injunction against sometime in the fall.

In the meantime, UFCW Canada activists are encouraged to participate in the campaign for free speech by inviting friends to visit, where they can send a protest letter to Walmart, learn the facts, watch and listen to different media clips, and link to the SAVE the CIRCLE group on Facebook.

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