Now that we’ve got to the point that, on Thursday night, a woman pepper-sprayed other shoppers to keep them away from the merchandise she wanted at a Los Angeles area Walmart, isn’t it time we took a deep breath, put down the credit card(s) and asked what does it say about the US that we’ve turned a national holiday of thankfulness into an all-out buying fest — into the “holy day of consumerism“?
Today is the 20th anniversary of†Buy Nothing Day, a day of self-imposed austerity after the annual national eat-in, on which we can “wean ourselves off of mega corporations, put our money back into the local independent economy, and live for a different kind of future.” Adbusters magazine, the “same crew that spawned Occupy Wall Street ,” created Buy Nothing Day. How about using this year’s Buy Nothing Day to #OCCUPYXMAS?
This yearís Black Friday will be the first campaign of the holiday season where we set the tone for a new type of holiday culminating with #OCCUPYXMAS. As the global protests of the 99% against corporate greed and casino capitalism continues, lets take the opportunity to hit the empire where it really hurtsÖthe wallet.
On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We donít camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline.
How about turning the tables on corporate America’s vision of Black Friday, of lines of chilly customers who, young children in tow (because they can’t afford a sitter and because they can’t really afford the $200 flat-screen TVs they think they have to buy),†are the 99% who aren’t shopping at the likes of Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue?
Black Friday got its name because the day has come to be seen as one on which merchants and stores could put themselves in the black thanks to holiday sales. But the day has really become Red Friday — as in Overcharge Your Credit Card Friday — for too many of us.
It’s time to change that.
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Graphic by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com