Watertown Residents Protest Proposed Wal-Mart

"Sustainable Watertown" unveils their new billboard which reads "Imagine... no big box." (WBUR/Lynn Jolicoeur)

Sustainable Watertown unveils their new billboard which reads "Imagine... no big box." (WBUR/Lynn Jolicoeur)

WATERTOWN, Mass. — A few dozen protestors from Sustainable Watertown gathered at the site of a proposed Wal-Mart on Arsenal Street in Watertown on Saturday to unveil a new billboard.

“So the message is no more big boxes,” said Barbara Ruskin, a Watertown resident and Sustainable Watertown member. “Maintain the character of Watertown and start thinking about what would enhance the town instead of detract from it.”

Ruskin says Sustainable Watertown doesn’t only oppose Wal-Mart.

“It’s any big-box store,” Ruskin said. “In fact, we wouldn’t even want a big-box apartment building even though we like residents, because this particular location is between three wonderful, historic neighborhoods.”

“Our vision is to have small businesses, local businesses, businesses that want to give back to the community and not in superficial ways, but really in sort of connected ways,” said Michael Fein, a Sustainable Watertown supporter.

Walmart has a lease for the property on Arsenal Street and is working with a Boston developer, but so far hasn’t presented any plans.

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  • Marc Lamphier

    Buy local works great if you are the only one doing it. I would hope that Watertowns’ economy is not simply built around low-end retail shops but also includes some manufacturing and services that get sold in other communities, and that those communities do not practice buy local. If Watertown’s economy is indeed built around low-end retail shops, then it is free choice if you want to subsidize these businesses by paying more out of your own pocket for items that you could buy cheaper at Walmart. But also consider that the money you might save by buying something cheaper at Walmart is also money that stays in the community.

    • amy

      Walmart’s prices are based on one thing: underpaid labor. In their stores, and in the factories that make the stuff they sell. I think that what’s good for the global economy is fair, even generous, wages. Walmart is the enemy of that philosophy. 

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/SirWinstoneChurchill Winston Blake

        Walmart has almost everything “made in China” stamped on it.

        Think about the Obama administration prostrating themselves to the Chinese for campaign cash.

    • Tom

      Marc, The only thing that “stays in the community” is the wages of the local employees. You know as well as I that the expenses (other than wages and utilities) are money spent elswhere and the profits certainly go elsewhere.
        The “big box” stores have (always) put out of business the smaller local retailer who usually lives nearby and spends his money locally.
        Too many people don’t see the larger consequences of buying soley on price. So many of our consumer goods now come from China and are sold cheaply and folks who only look at price are sending our money overseas. How many of Walmart’s products come from China?
        In spite of their efforts to look like the all-American company, they are not!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/SirWinstoneChurchill Winston Blake


    Will Massachusetts listen or let their usual parade of Democrat loonies keep selling the country out from under us?

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