LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The Occupy Wall Street movement took on a new target in Colorado on Monday after dozens of the demonstrators showed up at a retail distribution center in Loveland.
The demonstrators say Walmart is the face of a lot of what they are protesting — corporate influence over American politics. About 40 to 50 demonstrators showed up to the Walmart distribution center. They lined the roads in front of the center with signs.
The protesters say Walmart is yet another example of corporate greed and it’s a company that has such political influence that they are able to achieve where other individuals in the country are held back.
Several protesters talked to CBS4 about what they say is the government subsidizing Walmart.
“Walmart is subsidized by taxpayers … not only through helping their employees get by, but whenever they come into a community they try to get the city council or whoever to give the tax subsidies, whatever it takes,” a protester said. “Walmart is one of those corporations that loves to privatize profits and socialize expenses.”
“Walmart is the face of what Occupy is against right now,” another protester said.
The Loveland Police Department had a large presence at the demonstration. They said the demonstration was mostly peaceful until about noon when a large group of protesters moved across the roadway in front of one of the Walmart trucks.
“Loveland police arrested approximately 13 people for violations ranging from obstructing a public roadway and hindering transportation to trespassing and resisting arrest,” police said in a statement. “The majority of those arrested were cited and released at the scene. A small number of persons who were combative with officers were booked into the Larimer County Detention Center.”
Police later said only two demonstrators were taken to jail.
“They were combative with the officers on scene, so they were transported to the jail,” a Loveland officer said.
Some protesters showed up with the intention to get arrested. They say it’s symbolically important.
“We remained non-violent and the police violently attacked us … and when the cops brutalize us, it makes a statement,” a protester said.
Police said no officers were injured and only one arrestee complained of a minor injury. That person was treated at the scene.
A Walmart spokesperson told CBS4 Walmart helps people who are struggling financially with their low prices. Also pointed out was the number of jobs Walmart provides in Colorado as well as charitable contributions the company makes.
The demonstration ended around 5 p.m.