15 photos from the Fight for 15 minimum wage strikes happening across the country

Source: AP
Source: AP

Hundreds of workers and activists took to streets across the United States to launch coordinated protests demanding a $15 minimum wage. Demonstrations were reported in a number of cities — among them, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Newark, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The protesters, organized under the Fight for $15 campaign and backed by the Service Employees International Union, staged a "day of disruption" involving fast-food workers, Uber drivers, airport employees and medical workers, Politico reported.

News agencies reported dozens of arrests in Cambridge, MassachusettsManhattan; and Los Angeles. In Chicago, police said they ticketed at least 50 demonstrators who were blocking downtown traffic.

"When we started demanding $15 ... people thought we were crazy, but we were just demanding the basic minimum to survive," Brooklyn-based Guyanese immigrant and KFC employee Alvin Major told Reuters. "Right now I can barely pay my bills."

The protests were intended to "underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers' rights or health care, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15," organizers told NBC Los Angeles.

Protesters in front of a McDonald's on Broadway Ave. in Manhattan
Source: 
Mark Lennihan/AP
Protesters in front of a McDonald's on Broadway Ave. in Manhattan
Source: 
Mark Lennihan/AP
Police detain a protester in front of a McDonald's on Broadway Ave. in Manhattan
Source: 
Mark Lennihan/AP
Protesters outside a McDonald's in Los Angeles, California
Source: 
David McNew/Getty Images
Protesters outside a McDonald's in Los Angeles, California
Source: 
Richard Vogel/AP
Protesters outside a McDonald's in Los Angeles, California
Source: 
Richard Vogel/AP
Protesters detained by Los Angeles Police Department officers in downtown L.A.
Source: 
Richard Vogel/AP
Los Angeles Police Department officers outside the Fight For 15 protest in downtown Los Angeles, California
Source: 
Richard Vogel/AP
Los Angeles Police Department officers during Fight For 15 protests in downtown L.A.
Source: 
Richard Vogel/AP
Protesters outside a McDonald's in the Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada
Source: 
John Locher/AP
Protesters outside a McDonald's in the Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada
Source: 
John Locher/AP
Service workers rally outside Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey
Source: 
Julio Cortez/AP
Service workers rally outside Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey
Source: 
Julio Cortez/AP
A service worker leads a rally at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.
Source: 
Julio Cortez/AP
Service workers rally outside Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey
Source: 
Julio Cortez/AP

Some companies have responded to the surge of protests in recent years with counter-propaganda, like a Times Square billboard erected in Sept. 2015 featuring a hipster asking, "What? I get $30,000 a year with no experience or skills?" Others, like McDonald's, have revealed plans to simply cut labor forces, with the chain rolling out new, automated self-service kiosks.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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