Chinatown Showdown: L.A. Punk Scene Takes on Walmart

By Sam Brodey

If you hate Walmart and love punk rock, it looks like your dream event is coming to town. On June 29, the labor rights non-profit Unionosity is hosting a benefit concert and gathering to protest the retail giant’s plans to bring a Walmart "Neighborhood Grocer" to L.A.'s Chinatown. The controversial store would be located at Cesar Chavez and Grand, right at the gates of Chinatown, and has sparked "fears of how this will affect the historic community."

According to Unionosity, the company "obtained permits for the Chinatown store just one day before Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance banning chain stores from the neighborhood." However, as we reported in March, the ordinance didn’t actually do anything substantial to stop the store’s construction, and Walmart appears to be moving forward with their plans.

The event will feature DJs, speeches from activists, and performances from three local bands: experimental act LA Fog, electronic duo Tearist, and highly acclaimed art-punk band No Age. It’s all slated to go down from 7pm to 11:30pm at the Chinatown gallery Human Resources. Organizers suggest a $5 donation to benefit the effort to keep Walmart out of Chinatown and the L.A. area. The event will lead up to June 30's anti-Walmart rally, described as the "largest anti-Walmart demonstration ever," in L.A. State Historic Park .

If fighting the man’s your bag — or even if it’s not — this event promises to be an interesting slice of L.A. politics and culture.