UPDATE (Sept. 11, 2014) — Culminating a day that saw fast food workers rising through an hours-long march across WA-$15 (formerly I-90), eight were arrested by Bellevue police Wednesday evening over poverty wages. Committed to do “whatever it takes” to defend and expand the principle that everyone deserves to be able to support themselves, afford the basics and contribute to the economy, these eight were arrested for engaging in civil disobedience by refusing to leave the street in front of Wendy’s in downtown Bellevue. Workers engaging in peaceful civil disobedience included fast-food and other food service workers from Seattle, Bothell, Olympia, and more. Read more at WorkingWA.org.
(Sept. 10, 2014) — Workers are rising today. More than 100 workers and community supporters rising up from across the Puget Sound region will be rallying and marching across I-90 — which is being renamed WA-$15 for the occasion. And workers from across the state are ready to do whatever it takes, including acts of peaceful civil disobedience, to defend and expand their $15 an hour victory in the face of an aggressive campaign by big business groups desperate to turn back the clock on history.
Here are the key times and locations for today’s actions. (More details to be announced at the 11 a.m. kickoff, including events continuing through 5 to 6 p.m.) You can follow the progress of the march — and more — at workingwa.org.
11 a.m.: Announcement and kick off — McDonald’s (First Hill): 1122 Madison St. in Seattle. Fifteen workers and community supporters will announce their plans to take bold action to defend Seattle’s $15 law and symbolically kick off their campaign to expand their movement to strike poverty across the state.
Noon: Rally in view of Lake Washington, WA-$15 (formerly I-90), Bellevue, and beyond — East Portal Viewpoint Park: 1400 Lake Washington Blvd. S. in Seattle. (The most convenient vehicle access to the trail is at S. Irving St. & 35th Ave. S.) Supporters will rally with marchers at East Portal Viewpoint Park, in view of Lake Washington and WA-$15.
12:45 p.m.: Marchers head out across Lake Washington — More than 100 workers and supporters begin the march over WA-$15 (formerly known as I-90), across Mercer Island and into Bellevue.
2:45 p.m.: Rally to Strike Poverty: Eastside Rising — Enatai Park: 3519 108th Ave. SE in Bellevue. Marchers arrive at Bellevue’s Enatai Park for a brief rally before heading to the strikelines.
BACKGROUND — Before the first raises under Seattle’s minimum wage law have even taken effect, it’s already under attack by corporate interests. The International Franchise Association, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group for global franchise systems, has filed a legal case to try and take our $15 away — because they think it isn’t fair to McDonald’s! And initiative profiteer Tim Eyman is currently trying to raise more than $1 million for a ballot campaign to try to repeal our law.
These corporations can see that the tide is turning, and they’re trying desperately to turn it back.
That’s exactly why fast food workers with Working Washington have committed to do whatever it takes to protect our victory in Seattle, and expand the strike poverty movement to workers across the state and across the country.
Today, it begins.
Working Washington unites low-wage workers to fight for a fair economy where everyone can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. We launched the fast-food strikes that sparked the fight for $15 in Seattle; we helped lead the successful campaign to pass $15 in SeaTac; and we work in coalition with unions, faith groups, and grassroots organizations to hold corporations and politicians accountable to community needs.