Residents in Hemet, California have been wrestling with the world’s largest retailer. Here’s their report from the frontlines: “In July of 2003, we attended a planning commission meeting in Hemet. We were concerned about a parcel of land that was going to be developed commercially, which has residential homes on two sides. We specifically asked if a Wal-Mart would be built there. We were told they didn’t know what was going to be built there. The developer even said he didn’t have anybody as yet. Since December, when it was announced in the paper that a Wal-Mart was coming, we have gone door to door, getting signatures, going to every meeting the city has, and voicing our opposition and trying to raise money for the legal counsel that we have retained. Before city officials found out who we were and what we were up to, we would go down to city hall and obtain any public record that we thought would be beneficial to our fight. Eventually we were told we couldn’t have anything related to this building site, so we decided it was time to hire a lawyer. We knew by law they couldn’t stop us from viewing or obtaining public records. The building permits for the Wal-Mart have been issued. They give us the runaround so much, we still can’t get anything from them. Our city made an extremely terrible decision in allowing this behemoth to be built directly behind and adjacent to homes. Since we have started this uphill battle, we have gained so much knowledge about Wal-Mart and their business practices. We are appalled at what they have done and continue to do across this country.”
If you would like to help the citizens group in Hemet, California, you can email them at [email protected] The group needs finacial support to continue its battle against Wal-Mart.