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Fast-food workers protest for $15 an hour wages throughout U.S.: 436 arrested

Fast-food workers took to the streets again, and this time the protests were throughout the United States on Thursday. This was the latest in a series of protests by minimum wage or low-wage workers who are discontent with their paychecks. According to the Sun-Times on Thursday, the fast-food employees are pushing for a salary of $15 an hour. The protest rallies, referred to as the “Fight for $15 Campaign,” resulted in some 436 fast-food workers being arrested throughout the nation.

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Fifty persons were handcuffed and taken into custody in two separate events in or near Chicago. One of the events was in Chicago’s South Side Chatham neighborhood. The other event was held in Cicero, a neighboring city just west of Chicago’s South Side. The Chicago protesters saw 19 of them being detained. In Cicero, protesters were charged with disrupting traffic which is a misdemeanor, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Reportedly, the organizers of the Fight for $15 Campaign planned the protests to include acts of civil disobedience. On Chicago’s South Side, hundreds of protesters were organized in close proximity of the McDonald’s at 87th Street in Chatham. They sat on the street’s pavement and refused to move when police officers asked them to disperse. When they denied the police officers’ requests, they were handcuffed and put in the back of police vehicles. Those protesters were taken to the police station at 79th Street and Halsted on the city’s South Side.

In Cicero, the protestors blocked Cicero Avenue near 28th Street. Thirty-one persons were handcuffed there with zip ties within an hour of the noon-time protest. Bernard Harrison, the Cicero Police Department’s superintendent, said that the persons would be fingerprinted and charged with a misdemeanor – similar to the actions taken in Chicago. Throughout the nation, it was reported that 42 persons were arrested in Detroit, 19 workers were arrested in New York City, 11 in Little Rock and 10 in Las Vegas. Though there were no reports of arrests in other cities, there were protests near McDonald’s restaurants in Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Flint, Hartford, Miami, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Rockford, Illinois.