About 100 fast food workers and Black Lives Matter protesters shut down the McDonald’s at Union Ave. and Florence in Midtown around lunchtime Monday, demanding a $15 minimum wage and justice for Black people who have been killed by police.

The drive-through at the restaurant and a lane of Union Ave. were blocked by the group that chanted and waved protest signs, but were cleared within 45 minutes after police showed up.

“Black lives matter! Black workers matter!” they chanted as the heat index climbed to 102. “We work, we sweat. Put $15 on our check!”

The protest was a part of a “Nationwide Day of Action” in about 25 cities, done with the support of Communication Workers of America. The protests were slated to run “eight minutes, 46 seconds to remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and other Black people killed by police and demand an end to the systemic racism that led to their murders and that also exists in our workplaces,” according to a CWA press release.

A live stream of the Memphis protest showed several speakers, including a KFC employee and political candidate Corey Strong, who took advantage of the demonstration to stump for office on the third day of early voting.

“If Black lives matter in Memphis, they have to matter in our economy,” said Strong, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the Democratic primary.

MLK50’s visuals director Andrea Morales was there. Here’s what she saw.

About 100 protestors, including many local union members, came through to support the message of livable wages.
The Rev. Regina Clarke speaks during the protest outside the McDonald’s on Union.
Management inside the McDonald’s talks with the Memphis Police Department

MLK50 is committed to covering the movement for Black lives and the communities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be aligned with were he still alive. Here are just some of the stories we’ve written.

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