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In Paramount, Wal-Mart Black Friday protest swells to 100 people

In Paramount, Wal-Mart Black Friday protest swells to 100 people
Protesters stand outside the Paramount Wal-Mart on Black Friday to protest working conditions and wages.
(Christine Mai-Duc / Los Angeles Times)

More than 100 protesters gathered outside a Wal-Mart in Paramount on Friday morning, carrying U.S. flags, wearing “We are the 99%" T-shirts and toting signs that read, “I want to work full time.”

About a dozen Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies looked on as members of the crowd began to chant, “This is what democracy looks like!” Others yelled, “Si se puede.”

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The protests were part of a larger wave of demonstrations outside Wal-Mart stores across the country, led by the Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart, an group pushing for higher wages, better healthcare and more consistent hours at the retail chain. Organizers said 1,000 protests took place Friday.

PHOTOS: The Black Friday rush

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Wal-Mart said 26 protests occurred nationwide and involved fewer than 50 workers.

As Diane Valencia exited the Paramount store with a small bag full of sweaters and fleece pajamas, she listened as a protester handed her a flyer.

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“I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet, but I don’t think I’m gonna come here,” Valencia said. “These are human beings, they should be treated fair.”

Valencia, who has four children, said she expects to spend about about $1,000 on Christmas gifts. She said her budget is tight this year as prices for household goods and food continue to rise.

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ALSO:

Some Wal-Mart workers walk out in lead-up to Black Friday

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Unhappy Wal-Mart workers plan Black Friday rally in Paramount

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