Wal-Mart Critics Travel To Denver

    A group speaking out against Wal-Mart gathered at a downtown bus depot this morning, along with politicians and other organizations. It was just one more stop in a tour that’s crossing the United States-a tour that’s targeting America’s largest retailer.

    Wake Up Wal-Mart, a group started by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), has been on the road 22 days now in an effort to educate citizens about the retailer’s practices, according to its website. Standing on a platform, next to a giant tour bus, multiple speakers rallied an audience of approximately 30 individuals.

    “We’re doing this because we’re building a movement to take our country back from big, powerful, corporations that want to take us in the wrong direction, and take America in the right direction, so that we can have affordable health care for everybody, economic security, and protect American jobs,” said Paul Blank, Wake Up Wal-Mart’s campaign director.

    “I am the president of the Colorado Senate, and I’m really happy to see all of you, because it’s important,” State Senate Majority Leader Joan Fitz-Gerald said. “The largest corporation in America doesn’t pay livable wages. We all turn around to each other and we say ‘somebody should do something.’ Well, we are somebody, we will do something.”

    Along with Fitz-Gerald, State Representative Judy Solano and Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak spoke to the audience.

    After driving to Denver, the caravan is heading south to Pueblo, and then on to New Mexico.

    Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.