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National NOW Times >> Fall 2012  >> Article

Action Spotlight: Mobilizing Against Wal-Mart, Rush Limbaugh, Operation Save America and Hyatt Hotels

NOW participates in Wal-Mart action

Action Vice President Erin Matson and Membership Vice President Allendra Letsome, along with NOW staff and interns, joined allies for a protest of Wal-Mart business practices in D.C. this spring.

Here's a taste of NOW's recent action campaigns:

NOW was one of the first organizations to mobilize against Wal-Mart's discriminatory job practices and is currently a proud coalition partner in the Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign. The campaign, led by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Jobs with Justice, challenges Wal-Mart to become an employer that treats its employees with respect and pays them fair wages. The coalition consists of Wal-Mart associates, local NOW chapters, UFCW chapters and other local community groups.

From Seattle to Boston, NOW chapters are working to make it clear that the retail giant's expansion plans will only be welcome once it cleans up its act. NOW chapters have done everything from leafleting local stores to demonstrating outside shareholder meetings. Throughout the upcoming holiday season, the national action team will provide chapters with a number of creative actions to put local Wal-Marts on notice.

For more than 20 years, radio host Rush Limbaugh has been spreading hate speech on the airwaves. This March, Limbaugh's national advertisers finally abandoned him because of his vicious comments about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who advocated for birth control coverage. NOW launched the Enough Rush campaign later that month to convince local advertisers to spend their money elsewhere and encourage local stations to drop his show altogether. On May 18, NOW chapters held Enough Rush actions across the country, from Phoenix to New York City.

In late July, reproductive rights activists stood strong against anti-abortion terrorist group Operation Save America, which had set out to harass the women's clinics of Charlotte, N.C., for a solid week. Charlotte NOW has been defending the Family Reproductive Health clinic for nine years and has done an amazing job getting community support and training defenders and observers.

Operation Save America did all it could to convey a threatening presence. With "wanted"-style posters, they went door-to-door in one doctor's neighborhood, showed up outside his home, and even went to the hospital where the doctor is a provider. National NOW sent reinforcements in July and again in September during the week of the Democratic Convention.

As if all that weren't enough, NOW also joined the global boycott of Hyatt hotels this summer and became a vital partner in the Hyatt Hurts Campaign led by Unite Here.

Is your chapter interested in getting involved in any of these campaigns? Contact Field Organizer Anita Lederer at fieldorg@now.org or by calling 202-628-8669, ext.134.

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