Black Friday shoppers not detered by Occupy Seattle


by Associated Press and KING 5 News

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 25 at 6:55 PM

SEATTLE -- Occupy Seattle turned its attention to holiday shoppers this Black Friday, but shoppers weren't detered by them.
About 100 people from the group held a rally from noon to 5 p.m. at Westlake Park in Seattle's downtown retail core, leading right up to the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. When the ceremony began at 5:00 p.m., thousand of people filled the street around Westlake Center, despite any anticipation of unruliness or police presence.

"What do I say to them? Ba humbug," said one shopper.

Some Occupy members also took part in a 2 p.m. demonstration at the Wal-Mart in Renton.

"In my opinion it is to inform, maybe occupy a place to be able to have people at least notice the movement," said one Occupy Seattle participant, who didn't want to give his name.
Occupy Seattle says it's promoting homemade gifts and local businesses as an alternative to what it calls "rampant consumerism that plagues society, destroys the environment and supports the 1 percent."

One shopper said she decided to shop early and skip the tree lighting in order to avoid the protesters.

"I was worried, I really was. I was worried that they would be down here, a fight would break out. That would ruin my holiday tradition of shopping on this day," said Mille Quiroz, Black Friday shopper.
"It is for a good cause. I think they need to get their message clear, so if they have a clear message, why not be here?" said Michelle Ruiz, a Black Friday shopper.

"Everyone has their right to voice their opinion, but I think it puts a damper on the holiday spirit," said  shopper Lorie Gault. "This is suppose to be a happy day getting ready for the holidays, for Christmas."