A small group of women interrupted Marissa Mayer’s crowded conference session at Dreamforce this afternoon in protest of worker conditions at Walmart.
Mayer was minutes into an on-stage conversation with Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff when protesters approached the stage from the back of the auditorium, chanting: “Walmart protest, revolution.”
The protest lasted under a minute, sparking confusion among the tens of thousands of people who had waited more than 30 minutes for Mayer to appear on stage.
Protesters were escorted out of the Moscone Centre; Benioff said he would dispatch Salesforce’s legal team with them but neither executive explained the interruption, choosing instead to move on to discuss Yahoo product design.
Benioff, who orchestrated a few guerrilla marketing stunts at competitors’ conferences during Salesforce’s early days, noted:
“We don’t want any more protests … but if you want to protest, No. 1, you can do it outside.
No. 2, it’s better to split up when you start. Then when those people get arrested, then a second group stands up. Then a third … I’m just saying.”
Protesters were heard arguing loudly with Salesforce staff outside of the conference hall shortly afterwards.
One Walmart store in Ohio is reportedly holding a charity drive for staff who are otherwise unable to afford enough food for Thanksgiving.