In a cold late fall drizzle, dozens of fast-food workers gathered at a downtown plaza for a protest this week where they tied their call for increasing their state’s minimum wage to their anger over the police shooting death of Michael Brown.
To Carlos Robinson, one of the protest organizers, connecting the causes made perfect sense.
“When you look at what happened in Ferguson and what’s happening to minimum wage workers, you are talking about two groups of people who are fighting for their very basic rights,” said Robinson, 23, a new father who is struggling to make ends meet at his $7.50 per hour job at a Burger King.
Organizers at the center of the nearly 4-month-old movement that erupted here following the shooting death of Brown — whose protests primarily focused on police brutality and racial profiling of African-Americans — are seeing their cause transform into a touchstone for activists pushing for changes covering a broad set of issues affecting America.
Protesters hit the streets last week for sometimes violent demonstrations after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury would not indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Brown, who was black and unarmed. And they took to the streets again this week after prosecutors in New York City announced that a grand jury there found no reasonable cause to indict a white police officer for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a 43-year African-American man who was illegally selling untaxed cigarettes.
Source: USA Today | Aamer Madhani and Yamiche Alcindor