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Black Friday liveblog: Online deals or brick-and-mortar sales?

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How extensive these protests are – and how many workers are involved in the protests – are not immediately clear.

The larger and more visible protests are just beginning to get under way this morning.

OUR Walmart's website lists nine cities where Walmart rallies will take place. The first one took place Thursday evening in Miami. But the rest of the events get under way early this morning, starting at 5:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m EST) in Chicago. That will be quickly followed by a protest at 6 a.m. (7 a.m. EST) in Milwaukee; and then roll out in Washington, D.C. (7:30 a.m. EST); Dallas; Los Angeles; Sacramento, Calif.; San Francisco; and Seattle. 

Given its nearly 4,000 stores, these job actions are unlikely to stop – or even slow – Walmart's Black Friday push. The strikers appear to be aiming for visibility rather than confrontation.

"We also ask you to conduct all actions in support of the strikers peacefully, in a way to permit access to the stores and disrupt Walmart operations and worker productivity no more than necessary to express and demonstrate support for strikers and call on Walmart to change," OUR Walmart says on its website.

The workers group has the support of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union and is gaining support from the loosely organized Occupy Wall Street movement in some cities.

Walmart dismisses the movement as the creation of UFCW agitators.

“Many of our associates have urged us to do something about the UFCW's latest round of publicity stunts,” Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg told the Monitor's Gloria Goodale. “They don't think it's right that a few associates that are being coerced by the UFCW are being portrayed by the media as representative of what it's like to work at Walmart.”

The next few hours could begin to reveal just how narrow or broad the movement really is.

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