Since its conception by anti-consumerist Canadians Kalle Lasn and Micah White on September 17, 2011, Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protested against the widening income gap between the rich and the poor, as well as many other economic injustices in America.
Wal-Mart is the perfect example of what the Occupy Movement is against: High CEO-to-worker pay ratio; Michael Duke, Wal-Mart’s CEO makes an estimated $5.6 million dollars a year in total cash compensation, while the company’s sales associates average $18,000 per year. Occupy participants have protested labor conditions at Wal-Mart before.
An influential symbol of capitalism in America, Wal-Mart pulls no punches where it sees profits; Wal-Mart marketplace, a vendor page of the corporation’s site that allows third-party vendors to sell their items, has a special product on sale.
A vendor called The Poster Corps is selling a large panoramic poster print for $52.25 on the Wal-Mart marketplace. The poster shows a shanty town set up by the many protesting peoples of the Occupy Wall Street movement at Zuccotti Park, Lower Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City. There’s also another poster of an Occupy member holding up the American flag.
Though the print is published by art wholesaler Liebermans, the photograph was taken by Tom Sheckels of Moorestown, New Jersey. Sheckles told The Village Voice on Tuesday that he had “no idea” that his picture was being sold on the Wal-Mart website, and that he “didn’t have any control” of where it would end up being.
Sheckles, a retired environmental engineer, licensed his Occupy Wall Street photo to a company called Panoramic Images.
“They feed pictures off to many different agencies, stock agencies like Getty and All Posters,” Sheckels says. “Apparently, this is just one of the pictures that, in the mix of pictures, ended up at Wal-Mart.
The sole comment on the item’s page mentions that the panorama poster is “Rated excellent for the incredible irony.”
The Huffington Post received a statement from Wal-Mart spokesperson Ravi Jariwala, who said, “We are a retailer and we provide a broad assortment of products and we have a diverse customer base.”
The posters are currently out of stock.