|DURHAM, North Carolina — For nearly a month and a half, protesting fast food workers have insisted that they were willing to do “whatever it takes” in order to earn union recognition and a higher wage. On Thursday, they demonstrated what that means.|
Hundreds of workers across the United States engaged in non-violent acts of civil disobedience, risking arrest to demonstrate their commitment to boosting wages and working conditions. In Durham, N.C., 23 workers occupied a series of increasingly busy street intersections, sitting on the pavement and block traffic for an hour or so before moving on to the next location. Other workers chanted and danced around those who were obstructing traffic, as a drum line of supporters pounded away on their snare and bass drums.
All told, thousands of fast food workers across 150 U.S. cities walked off the job on Thursday. Hundreds of those workers — nearly 500 of them, according to a public relations firm supporting the strikes — willfully committed civil disobedience as part of their protest, and were subsequently arrested by the police. A member of Congress who participated in one of the protests was also arrested.
In Durham, part of North Carolina’s prosperous and fast-growing Research Triangle, police arrested 26 protesters, including two campaign organizers and one attorney affiliated with the movement. Local police followed the city’s protest for upwards of three hours while making no...