This post is part of The Nation’s biweekly student movement dispatch. As part of the StudentNation blog, each dispatch hosts first-person updates on youth organizing. For recent dispatches, check out March 16 and April 10. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with tips. Edited by James Cersonsky (@cersonsky).
1. “$15 and a Union! No Music!”
On April 15, I went on strike from my job at McDonald’s in St. Louis because I need more than $7.65 an hour, minimum wage, to take care of my family and pay for tuition as an incoming college freshman studying to be a healthcare provider. Adjunct professors, students, home care workers and childcare workers—here and across the country—came out in force to show how the Fight for $15 is growing. We protested at fast-food restaurants, chanting “$15 and a union! No music!”
2. “Come On Out, We Got Yo’ Back!”
Since 1999, the Progressive Student Alliance, a local of United Students Against Sweatshops at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, has been fighting with the campus union, United Campus Workers, for living wages and justice for women and people of color. On April 15, as part of a national student mobilization, we traveled from Knoxville to Ferguson with Show Me $15. When we made it to West Florissant Avenue, we joined 400 others, and a large group rushed into McDonald’s to support fast food workers, chanting “Come on out, we got yo’ back!” As we marched to Canfield Street, where Mike Brown was killed, we held 4 minutes of silence for the four hours that police let him lie in the street after being executed. This was a day of rage in which we rallied, took back the streets and showed that we are not intimidated by corporate resistance to raising poverty wages.
3. Jamming the Immigration Court