Jaclyn Kessel, one of the organizers of the demonstration, said Walmart employees “are afraid of getting fired” and she did not expect any to come.
In Los Angeles, nine protesters were arrested for blocking an intersection in front of a Walmart in Paramount, local media reported. About 400 people gathered for that protest, the LA Daily News said, citing police estimates.
In Secaucus, shoppers had to negotiate an increasingly thick crowd of protesters in the entrance, many of whom were dancing to the brass band, watched by a half dozen patient police officers.
Drivers in several passing cars tooted horns in support, but most paid no attention to the disturbance.
Karen Mendoza, 30, expressed sympathy with the protesters as she went into Walmart with her 55-year-old mother, saying that the kind of low-end jobs the store offers are part of an increasingly unforgiving economy.
“With the economy today it’s really, really hard to get a job anywhere,” she said. “My mother works at a factory, she’s been there for 27 years, and they’re getting rid of people all the time.”