India Quit Retail Day

ACORN Ideas and Issues International Protests WalMart

New Orleans     As faithful readers know, August 9th was Quit Retail Day in India marking the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the anti-colonial movement in the country. This time the ACORN-supported India FDI Watch Campaign made the call throughout the coalition. 1500 people rallied in Mumbai. Good actions in Delhi (with photos in the New York Times including one with a headband saying FDI India Watch!). I could write a lot about it, or I could lay it out for you to read at your leisure, and all of this follows, as we raised the attention to this problem all around the world. It hardly matters what they say, Wal-Mart and its ilk KNOW they have a huge problem in India — and we are a major part of it!

Centre mulls retail regulator, Indian Express, August 9th, 2007
New Delhi, August 9: The government is exploring the possibility of setting up a new national authority to regulate the $328-billion retail sector. The regulator will monitor retail trade and act upon complaints of illegal practices in areas ranging from procurement to land acquisition, marketing and servicing. According to government officials, the proposal is at an initial stage and needs to be discussed with various ministries before being taken up by the Cabinet. The officials admit it is in response to strong political opposition to organised retail in general and FDI in particular.

Indians Protest Wal-Mart’s Wholesale Entry, New York Times, August 9th
Shouting "Go home, Wal-Mart," owners of nearby produce stalls joined union leaders to burn in effigy 10 international supermarkets, represented as a 10-headed pink-and-yellow demon.The protest coincided with similar demonstrations elsewhere in the country, an effort to mount a nationwide show of opposition to the arrival of companies like Wal-Mart…Dharmendra Kumar, of India FDI Watch, which organized the demonstrations against foreign direct investment in retailing, said large-scale retailing ran counter to Indian traditions.

Global retail checks out Wal-Mart’s path in wary India, NDTV Profit, August 9th
MUMBAI (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s final entry into India after a long delay may fuel intense opposition to foreign retailers, forcing the government to move even more cautiously and slowing the ambitions of other incomers.
Protests against Wal-Mart and even newly-opened stores by India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. are a lightning rod for Indians fearful of modern corporate retail and its impact on family-run stores, as well as for politicians with an eye on national elections in 2009.

India should learn from Korea, China on retail policy’, Mint, August 9th
In an exclusive interview with Mint, Wade Rathke, founder and chief organizer of ACORN, lays bare his plans to ensure that the voices of Indian traders and farmers get heard in global media.

Shopkeeper protest to sweep India, BBC News, August 8th
Thousands of Indian small shopkeepers are expected to protest against the arrival of international retailers in India on Thursday, just days after Wal-Mart announced its plans to expand in the country. Most of India’s retail sector consists of traditional corner shops, who fear losing their livelihoods if big players enter India.

Indian Unions, Shops To Protest Wal-Mart, Other Mega Stores, CNNMoney, August 9th
NEW DELHI (AP)–A broad alliance of small shop owners, trade unions and left- wing activists planned rallies across India Thursday to protest moves by Wal- Mart (WMT) and other foreign mega stores to enter the Indian market. The protesters’ slogan, "Quit Retail," is a play on Mohandas Gandhi’s famous " Quit India" slogan, which rallied the country to independence from Britain 60 years ago this month. Rallies were planned for New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities.

NY Times Pic