It's not all that surprising that tempers flared at the New York City council meeting yesterday over the potential construction of a Walmart in Manhattan. After all, the commercial giant--or that "union-busting, tax-evading, wage-correcting, job-destroying, civil-rights-abusing, food-stamps-denying multinational corporation," as council Speaker Christine Quinn affectionately calls it--has made a handful of enemies along the way to becoming the world's largest company, with a GDP that surpasses that of Indonesia and dwarfs all but the world's top 21 economies. According to New York magazine's Daily Intel, yesterday's hearing brought together two seemingly disparate groups as anti-Walmart activists squared off on one side of the street against Pam Geller's anti-downtown mosque sign-wavers on the other. Wal-Mart and their people were no shows.
Geller, a figurehead in much of the anti-Park 51 controversy that raged over the summer, had instructed the New York-based readers of her blog Atlas Shrugs to show up to the event. (Was that before or after her post about the Muslim Brotherhood's penetration of the Obama Administration?)
At least the anti-Walmart protesters had somebody else to scream at, Daily Intel notes. Geller's people took the meeting as yet another opportunity to condemn the proposed Muslim center while extolling the virtues of the corporate store at the same time. What would either side, arriving specifically to protest against someone, have done without each other? Especially given that the city council has no hard power to prevent either a Walmart or a mosque from being built in the first place.