A Maryland judge barred Walmart protesters on Tuesday from company property in advance of widespread demonstrations planned for Black Friday.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Harris also ordered activists to post a $10,000 bond, which they would forfeit if they violate the injunction before the trespassing case brought by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in September goes to trial.

“This is yet another move from Walmart to try to bend the law to its liking. Walmart has made it a practice to pursue over-the-top legal maneuvers to try to avoid hearing the real concerns of workers and community members,” said Derrick Plummer, spokesman for the organizer, Making Change at Walmart, in a statement.

 Harris’ order also restricts activity that disrupts access to the stores, even if it does not occur on Walmart property.

-By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun

Remember the good ol’ days when companies would hire goons to physically bust up union protests? Sadly the corporations can’t do that in public anymore, what with all the cameras, plus I think the goons demanded Blackwater-level money. But some companies still want to bust up protests and organizing attempts so now they hire lawyers to restrict their protests and PR goons to beat up the organizers in the media.

My buddy Lee Fang of The Nation just put out a story, Former Walmart Exec Leads Shadowy Smear Campaign Against Black Friday Activists where he links to a video sponsored by the Worker Center Watch (WCW),  a new website dedicated to attacking labor-affiliated activist groups like OUR Walmart, Restaurant Opportunities Center, and Fast Food Forward. WCW won’t tell people who their sponsors are, but The Nation found out the site name was registered by the former head lobbyist for Walmart. Color me surprised.

In one video sponsored by the group, activists demanding a living wage and better working conditions for workers are portrayed as lazy “professional protesters” who “haven’t bothered to get jobs themselves.”

It turns out that Parquet Public Affairs, a Florida-based government relations and crisis management firm for retailers and fast food companies, registered the Worker Center Watch website.

The firm is led by Joseph Kefauver, formerly the President of Public Affairs for Walmart and government relations director for Darden Restaurants.  Throughout the year, Parquet executives have toured the country, giving lectures to business groups on how to combat the rise of what has been called “alt-labor.” At a presentation in October for the National Retail Federation, a trade group for companies like Nordstrom and Nike, Kefauver’s presentation listed wage theft, minimum wage, and mandated paid time off as the types of legislative demands influenced by the worker center protesters.

The presentation offered questions for the group, including: “How Aggressive Can We Be?” and “How do We Challenge the Social Justice Narrative?”

- Lee Fang, The Nation

Start watching for the character assassination of Black Friday protesters. I predict with a 94.3% confidence rate that the media will lap up Walmart’s smears when they cover Black Friday protests. I’ll return next week to see how accurate I was.

BTW, I LOVE those presentation titles! I reminds me of the people who are fighting the war on Hippie Jesus.  Speaking of which, did you see the latest from Pope Francis? He put out a document where he criticized the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”. 

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills…” 

As Digby notes, this is a switch from puritan Jesus or John Galt Jesus:

I want to know who the hell put this Christ in Christmas?  The new pope talking about Hippie Jesus’ message will no doubt lead people to attack the church’s wealth, their pedophile priests and their views on women’s bodies. But, like Digby, I’m excited to see it. It’s a reminder that the people pushing the concept of profit above all have to destroy the true messages of Jesus in order to meet their profit needs. That’s why they want to figure out “How do We Challenge a Social Justice Narrative.”

A social justice narrative doesn’t lead to growing profits for a select group. It leads to a more equitable situation for all.  And they just can’t have that.

Flash back -2 A.D.

Fade in a wedding out side of Jerusalem. It’s four weeks before the pagan Festival of Lights.

A  drunk wedding guest approaches Jesus.

“Hey Jesus, think of how much money you can make from turning this free water into expensive wine! If we combined this water wine with your loaves and fishes trick and my marketing savvy we could make a fortune! We’ll open up a restaurant. We’ll call it, er um,  ”The Needle’s Eye”  and we’ll put it in that empty building over on 3rd. You know, the big brown one you get to when pass through Cameltown.  I’m serious! With free wine and free food our only costs would be labor. But if we get people to work for you for free, say we call them disciples instead of waiters, it would be pure profit. That’s it! Jesus H. Christ, the Pure Prophet! Oh My God, I’m a genius. I’ve got to get this idea to Matthew, Mark and Luke so we can get some coverage on this. I just hope they get the story straight. The gospels are so easily manipulated. Gotta run, partner. Give my best to Mary.”

Happy Holidays everyone!

Live Long and Prosper,

Spocko