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Groups want restraining order to stop work on Chinatown Walmart (updated)

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The ongoing fight over the Chinatown Walmart continued Wednesday as two groups announced plans to go to court and get a restraining order that would stop construction on the new store.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 770 will be in court Friday morning to ask a judge to halt construction on the Walmart going in at Cesar Chavez and Grand Avenue. The two groups have already filed a lawsuit to stop the project, but organizers now want construction to stop until their Nov. 13 court date or until city officials hear their administration's appeal to block the project.

There was no immediate comment from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. A spokesman for Walmart said the company remains focused on opening a neighborhood store in Chinatown.

“One has to question not only how much more tax payer time and money these obstructionists will waste to satisfy their own special interest, but also who else will suffer in their wake,” Walmart’s Steven V. Restivo said in a statement.

Attorney Gideon Kracov confirmed that his clients, the APALA and UFCW, are seeking the temporary restraining order, but did not have any additional comment. 

When news broke earlier this year that Walmart planned to open in a vacant building at the edge of Chinatown, Councilman Ed Reyes’ introduced an emergency ordinance to block big-box stores from opening in the neighborhood.

The proposal, however, came too late, as the company had already been issued permits by Building and Safety. The proposal was ultimately approved by the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, over the objections of Planning staff, and will be heard by the Los Angeles City Council.

The request for a temporary restraining order is scheduled to be heard by a judge Friday at 8:30 a.m. 

This post has been updated.

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