Dozens Busted in 'Fight for $15' Fast-Food Protests

Demonstrators nationwide demand $15 an hour
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2014 10:00 AM CDT
Dozens Busted in 'Fight for $15' Fast-Food Protests
Police handcuff protesters blocking traffic on Mack Avenue in Detroit as part of a national protest to push fast-food chains to pay their employees at least $15 an hour, shown on Sept. 4, 2014.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Dozens of protesters have been arrested in at least two cities so far today during nationwide protests seeking $15 an hour for fast-food workers, reports the AP. At least three people in McDonald's work clothes in New York's Times Square and about two dozen demonstrators at a Detroit Mickey D's were handcuffed and taken away because they were blocking traffic, cops say. Protesters in about 150 cities are participating in the Fight for $15 campaign, according to union organizers who planned the event. The current minimum hourly wage in Michigan is $8.15; in New York, it's $8, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures.

About 100 protesters—some wearing T-shirts that simply said "$15," as per Mashable—convened in the parking lot of a Detroit McDonald's, spilling out onto a nearby street, where police reportedly asked them to leave, reports the Detroit News. When they wouldn't, the cuffs came out. "They were in a traffic lane … and preventing people from getting by,” one local sergeant says. “There was no force used by our officers and no resistance from the protesters.” Although the National Restaurant Association says unions are just trying to "boost their dwindling membership," protesters say their beef is strictly with not being able to afford to live. A Detroit mom tells the News that she's "asking for a living wage, not a minimum wage—I have to put gas in my car. I don’t want to have to decide if I’m going to pay [the energy bill] or my rent." (More Detroit police stories.)

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