Quick Hit Ellyn Fortino Wednesday October 26th, 2016, 1:59pm

Chicago Protesters Press Walmart To Stop Selling Trump Merchandise

Protesters held an "anti-Trump, anti-Walmart" rally in Chicago Wednesday, calling on America's largest retailer to stop selling Donald Trump merchandise and denounce the Republican presidential candidate's "racist, xenophobic and misogynistic campaign."

About 20 members of Making Change at Walmart and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 881 were at the rally, which was also attended by Cook County Clerk David Orr and Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th).

Demonstrators toted signs that read "Trump's values are Walmart's values" and "Trump: 'Wages in this country are too low.'" They chanted "Walmart, Walmart listen up! Tell Trump to shut up!" 

"Walmart refuses to stand up against Donald Trump and say that his values don't reflect Walmart's values," said Making Change at Walmart's general organizer Kathleen Woodruff with UFCW. "Wells Fargo, Apple, ESPN, a ton of other companies have stood up against the bigotry and the sexism and the racism, but yet Walmart stays silent. And you know what? Silence is acceptance."

The Chicago protest, held outside the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2551 W. Cermak Road, was part of a nationwide week of actions urging Walmart to stop selling Trump products, including t-shirts and the "Make America Great Again" hat. The retailer also carries products promoting Democrat Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

Pawar said Walmart should be "ashamed of themselves" for carrying Trump merchandise and failing to denounce the divisive Republican presidential nominee.

"I went to college in a small town, and I watched Walmart move in, loot the small business district, close the stores, drive down wages -- all in the name of cheap prices," Pawar said. "And after doing so, today they're carrying products that bear Donald Trump's campaign slogan, his books and other items. It's a slap in the face of the people who made this country great. It's a slap in the face of the people who work at Walmart, and it's certainly a slap in the face of all communities of color."

Making Change at Walmart is a campaign spearheaded by the UFCW, which has endorsed Clinton -- a former Walmart board member -- for president.

"Our union," Woodruff said, "has endorsed Hillary on the big scale. But this event is more about really making people see how similar Walmart is to Trump, and that (you'd) think that they wouldn't want that, that they would denounce it ... and they haven't."

At the end of the rally, protesters dropped off a letter with their demands to Walmart's store management. 

Walmart has not returned a request seeking comment in response to the protest.


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