On April 15th the City of Philadelphia Erupted in Raucous, Righteous Noise!
Fight For 15 and 15Now activists spread throughout the city for a day-long series of actions in protest of the corporate policies that exploit the working class in order to fill the pockets of the 1%. We joined our sisters and brothers from across the country and around the world in fighting back against the continuing international capitalist assault on workers
From South to North, and East to West we marched, rallied, mic checked, and occupied for $15/hour and a union. The chants “15 Now!”, and “We Work! We Sweat! Put 15 On Our Check!” echoed throughout the city.
At Temple University students, faculty and food service workers struck, rallied and marched out to join the action. Temple 15Now invaded the University President Theobald’s Barbecue to deliver a letter demanding 15 and union for all Temple U. employees. Then they occupied and mic checked Morgan Hall to speak out against low wages, poverty, institutional racism and the university’s role in gentrifying the neighborhood. After being escorted out by the Temple Police, the Students and faculty got on a bus to the McDonalds at 40th and Walnut to join a rally of hundreds of students and workers on strike for $15 and a union. Workers shared their stories and students gave speeches in solidarity as McDonalds workers and police watched on. After shutting down the McDonalds, they marched together down Chestnut St to the 30th St. Bridge. Onlookers and workers joined the crowd and a drum line beat time while the marchers chanted “straight from the 215, we’re fighting for $15 and doing it live.”
15Now Philly hit the McDonald’s and Popeye’s at Broad and Carpenter, for a spirited mic check that communicated our mission, asked on-duty workers to join the cause and outlined the legal rights of fast-food workers to engage in unionizing activity without retaliation during their personal or on-duty break time. Then we took the street and marched, chanted and sang our way north on Broad Street, right through the heart of City Hall and on to the McD’s at Broad and Arch Street.
Multiple marches converged downtown and SEIU 32BJ, Fight For 15, and 15Now were joined by a diverse cross-section of local unions and community organizations. As the crowd swelled to over 1000 we marched through Center City stopping at several corporate headquarters for brief remarks then danced and chanted to a final rally at 30th Street Station to meet the march from West Philly. A successful day, but just another in a series of small steps along the way to our ultimate goal. 15 Now Philly stands committed to building on these successes, broadening our coalition and keeping the pressure on State and City elected officials to meet our demand for a $15 minimum wage now.