Cleanup Carl headed to Birmingham, AL on Labor Day to rally with RaiseUpFor15 and demand a livable wage and voting rights for all workers!
The day’s actions were actually part of a coordinated day of Fight for 15 rallies around the country. In Birmingham, activists also demanded their right to vote for a city wage increase. The NAACP and other civil rights advocates are currently suing the majority white state government for overturning a wage increase that invalidated the majority black city of Birmingham’s City Council vote to increase the rate for workers in the city.
Cleanup Carl was honored to be able to help: “I’m here to help call attention to the mess made by the restaurant industry and racist politicians who take their money!” said Carl. “It’s a toxic mess that can only be cleaned up by passing a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers and restoring real voting rights to the residents of Birmingham! I carried a sign that said, ‘Alabama needs $15’!”
It all kicked off with a massive rally in the parking lot of the Five Points West Shopping Center, a retail block with multiple fast food restaurants along the main road, starting with a rally outside the McDonalds (things were just heating up)…
….and proceeded through the the drive-through and into the Burger King, Popeye’s, and Little Caesar’s joints nearby. We literally took over the restaurants, chanting as we went along:
“Put some respect on my check!”
“When workers are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!”
“THIS is what democracy looks like!”
As amazing RaiseUpfor15 lead organizer Mark Myles said, “Workers united will never be defeated.”
Chris Tallent, representing the Cleanup Crew, took a minute to speak too:
It was a great day for direct action for democracy. While we have to keep fighting for structural democracy reforms so all voices can be heard, we also have to remember that democracy is an emergency issues that demands direct action and change NOW. That’s why MAYDAY and Cleanup Carl are so proud to be able to partner with Fight for 15 in their fight for a livable wage.
Ending the corrosive role of big money in politics, restoring voting rights for all, and drawing fair districts are critical to our democracy. These challenges are long-term core democracy issues. In the meantime, workers need a livable wage NOW, and the role for direct democracy to take back our rights is just as important as addressing long-term core democracy issues.
“I’ll be keeping an eye on things in Birmingham,” said Cleanup Carl, “I’ll continue to expose the toxic big money connections between restaurants and politicians until they do their job and represent the people of the city and the state!”