Police arrest 54 people in protest at LA Walmart

A protester chants her slogans as she is taken into custody after participating in a protest outside the new Chinatown Walmart store on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Los Angeles. Los Angeles police have arrested more than 50 people in the protest of more than 200 people. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

November 8, 2013 7:59:21 AM PST
Los Angeles police have arrested more than 50 people in a protest of more than 200 people at a newly opened Walmart store in Chinatown.

Police say the Thursday night protest was peaceful but when many of the protesters sat in a circle that blocked the street and they refused to disperse, an unlawful assembly was declared.

Police say 54 people were arrested.

Organizers say those arrested included Walmart employees.

The store that opened in September has spurred protests since the planning stages, mostly from labor groups criticizing the company's employment practices.

Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg says the Walmart employees participating amounts to virtually none of the company's 13,000 employees in LA County. He says those employees know that the company gives them opportunities for career growth and economic security.