Rashida Tlaib, a candidate U.S. representative, and former gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Saed were among 18 demonstrators arrested on Tuesday during a restaurant and service worker Fight for $15 strike in Detroit, WXYZ reports.
Approximately 1,000 people including fast-workers, union, and non-union workers gathered in front of a McDonald’s at 4235 Woodward Ave. in Midtown today to demand union rights from local employers, according to a release by organizers. Workers were calling for higher minimum wages..
During the demonstrations, participants shut down Detroit’s main thoroughfare Woodward Avenue and set up a table. Police then stepped in and order people out of the streets, according to the Detroit Free Press. Some participants including El-Sayed and Tlaib continued to sit at the table in the street. They were among 18 people who were eventually taken into custody by police (Fight for $15 stated in a release that 20 people were arrested). They’re expected to be released with misdemeanor tickets for disorderly conduct.
Candidates and officials along with striking #FightFor15 workers took arrest in Detroit as a part of civil disobedience fighting for fair wages and unions for fast-food workers. We need #UnionsForAll. pic.twitter.com/Zm5gUZ3WfS— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) October 2, 2018
The best text today was from my little brother Mac. It was simple: #FreeShida— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) October 2, 2018
A separate coordinated strike took place in Flint this morning, which was attended by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. That event was interrupted this morning when a truck careened into the crowd, hitting at least six people. The victims injuries were non-life threatening and the crash did not appear to be intentional, according to police.
(1/2) Statement from the Fight for $15:— Detroit 15 (@Detroit_15) October 2, 2018
Protestors who were demanding union rights at a strike in Flint, Mich., were struck by a vehicle Tuesday morning. Protestors had a police escort and were participating in a lawful, peaceful protest.
The strikes come ahead of planned fast-food worker walkouts in key battleground states on Wednesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 4.
Fight for $15 has been organizing for more than four years for a $15 hourly wage. Meanwhile, all minimum wage employees may see the minimum wage rise to $12 per hour in Michigan if the legislature doesn’t gut the proposal in a lame-duck session.