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

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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.

Updated 6:33 a.m.

Black Friday starts with a bang. From the Associated Press:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Black Friday began with a bang in New Jersey — literally.

The U.S. Geological Survey's website says a 2.1-magnitude earthquake was measured near Clementon, about 15 miles southeast of Philadelphia in Camden County.

The quake was felt at a little after midnight.

It was the second earthquake to hit New Jersey this month. On Nov. 5, a 2.0-magnitude quake struck the Ringwood area in Passaic County.

Updated 6:07 a.m.

All the big chains have opened – either on Thanksgiving evening or in the wee hours of Friday, chipping away at one of the last bastions of family oriented holidays.

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