Joel Mowbray

Inside a South Florida Wal-Mart last Thursday, union-sponsored protesters handed out empty, gift-wrapped boxes to children and made them cry, according to multiple witnesses—and it appears that the arrests of two of the protesters may have been part of a grand strategy designed by Big Labor-backed WakeUpWalMart.com.

Yet despite internal WakeUpWalMart.com communication indicating that the union-funded front instructed its protesters to test police patience—obtained exclusively by this columnist—the organization is now playing the race card since the two protesters arrested (out of 15 total) are both black.

Late in the afternoon last Thursday, two people dressed as elves and, in the words of an employee, someone who “kind of looked like Santa,” walked into the North Lauderdale Wal-Mart armed with empty, gift-wrapped boxes and WakeUpWalMart.com fliers.  According to several Wal-Mart employees and the sheriff’s office, the presents were given to a number of children, and at least one, a 4-year-old boy, opened the gift inside the store. 

Discovering that the box was empty, the little boy started crying.

WakeUpWalMart.com, for its part, stands by the claims of its protesters that no boxes were given to children, but no one denies that empty, gift-wrapped boxes were brought inside the store.  The symbolism, it seems, is fairly obvious: Wal-Mart’s promises on health care are, well, empty.  Except to a kid.  To a small child, such a stunt is just mean.

Not only do Wal-Mart employees interviewed for this column seem credible, but internal WakeUpWalMart.com communication obtained exclusively by this columnist indicate that both giving “gifts” to children and tempting arrest might have been intentional.

In an internal WakeUpWalMart.com PowerPoint presentation that lays out a 10-part timeline for attacking the retailer from late October through the end of the year, the ninth step—which is supposed to take place between December 14-19—calls for activists to place “Santa Claus in front of WMT stores with children asking for health care and signs.”  Beneath that, though, it reads: “they can’t arrest Santa—and if they do, make sure the press is there.”

Interviewed for this column, WakeUpWalMart.com spokesman Paul Blank said it was not meant as a call for instigation, but rather “tongue-in-cheek” advice for how to make it as hard as possible for the retailer to crack down on protests.


Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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