'Fight for 15' movement stages multiple protests, promises more - KMOV.com

'Fight for 15' movement stages multiple protests, promises more

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Protesters with the 'Fight for 15 Movemenr' protest outside a McDonalds in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Credit: KMOV Protesters with the 'Fight for 15 Movemenr' protest outside a McDonalds in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- At the downtown St. Louis McDonald's, about 100 protesters blocked the drive through for about a half hour Tuesday, causing managers to close the dining area.

The protest was part of the “Fight for 15” movement, a group of workers campaigning to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Some, like Bettie Douglas, say she and her special needs son can't survive on $7.90 per hour.

Police say demonstrations also took place at another McDonald's on Natural Bridge and at Lambert Airport.

About 100 protesters were at each demonstration. There were no arrests.

But "Fight for 15" was promising to escalate the fight for a minimum wage increase at its demonstration on Hampton, and planned on blocking the road.

“Even a planned action like this, and they've contacted us and said ‘We want to be arrested,’ takes resources from the neighborhood,” said Police Chief Sam Dotson. “We know that right now police department is understaffed. I want to stay focused on crime in our neighborhoods.”

Dotson says while it's his job to protect the demonstrators' First Amendment rights, it's also his job to keep the streets clear and those blocking roadways will be arrested.

He calls the demonstration a distraction for police.

“Especially, in a city that has already passed legislation to increase minimum wage. Although it's in court and being challenged, to bring this fight to St. Louis it's a little bit like preaching to the choir,” he said.

He says those arrested can be charged with impeding the flow of traffic, failure to obey the reasonable order of a police officer or resisting arrest depending on their actions.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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