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21 arrested in Wal-Mart protest in downtown L.A.

Los Angeles Police Department

Los Angeles police arrested 21 people who were part of rally and march downtown to call for better wages and improved working conditions at Wal-Mart stores.

The protest drew people who chanted and waved signs that read "Pay us Enough to Support our Families" and "Illegally Fired for Standing Up."

The 21 protesters were arrested on suspicion of failure to disperse near Broadway and Cesar Chavez Avenue, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Nuria Vanegas.

Police did not have an estimate on how many protesters took part in the event.

A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, Brooke Buchanan, told the Associated Press that the nationwide chain paid an average hourly wage of $12.83 and that 75% of the firm's management began as hourly workers. Some managers make more than $250,000 annually, she said.

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robert.lopez@latimes.com

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