City Council Members Mark Levine, Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso were arrested Tuesday morning along with Assemblyman Francisco Moya during a protest advocating for a national $15 minimum wage.
The group, along with several other protesters, were arrested for sitting in the street and refusing to comply with officers’ instructions to move.
Several hundred individuals participated in the event, which was part of the National Day of Action for the Fight for $15. In addition, high profile city officials including Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer gave speeches.
In April, New York state agreed to a $15 minimum wage that will be introduced gradually each year. In New York City, it will reach $15 in three years.
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) November 29, 2016
“Our fight is not done,” Stringer said during the protest. “Half the country, half the people that are working in America, they don’t make $15.”
At 5 a.m., one hour before the 6 a.m. protest, The Nation published an essay by CM Lander entitled “Why I’m Getting Arrested During Today’s National Day of Disruption.” In it, Lander credited a group of striking fast food workers four years ago with inspiring him Tuesday.
Getting arrested today is part of a long tradition of civil disobedience, and it takes a little courage. But it is nothing compared to risking your job,” Lander wrote.
Lander also said that the protests in New York are in part about resisting President-elect Donald Trump, writing “when Donald Trump fails to bring back manufacturing jobs and restore a version of the 1950s to his voters, the Fight for $15 has something else to offer.”