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December 14, 2010
Brooklyn,NY

New York, NY - Protesters offered strong opposition and strong words against Wal-Mart building a store in New York City. But those opposed also got a run for their money from those in favor, as the Wal-Mart debate played out on the steps of city hall and the streets of Brooklyn.

This is the third time Wal-Mart has made a push to come to New York City. The discount megastore hopes the third time is the charm.

But City Councilman Charles Barron says Wal-Mart is not welcome.

Wal-Mart had plans that ultimately failed to bring stores to Queens and Staten Island. This time Wal-Mart has its eyes on Brooklyn. And not everyone is against that

Wal-Mart says it will bring jobs and boost the economy. But critics say just look at Wal-Mart's reputation and compare it to other retailers.

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It was not easy for Target and Costco to open their doors at an East Harlem location. They, too, met opposition.

Crain's New York politics editor Erik Engquist says Wal-Mart is not that different from Target.

"Target, like Wal-Mart, is a nonunion store," he says. "They don't pay better wages, but because the history of Wal-Mart and its open opposition to labor that's why it's a bigger target."

Whether or not Wal-Mart should build a store here will be the subject of a City Council hearing in January 2011, so this debate is far from over. 

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