By: Rachel Lerman
On November 10, 2015, workers and supporters in cities all around the country joined together to support the Fight for $15- a national campaign fighting to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. In Detroit, a large rally took place downtown in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center with over 300 people in attendance. A group of DJJ members met at the rally to stand in solidarity with workers, organizers and other faith groups who were there.
As we arrived, the energy was very high and there was constant chanting and cheering. Though the campaign started as something primarily focused towards fast food workers, there were groups present from many different industries including childcare workers, home health care workers, auto parts workers and more. They were all joining together to call on Michigan lawmakers to acknowledge that workers in many industries- not only fast food workers- are not being paid a sufficient wage to support a family. They were standing together to say that this needs to change.
There were speeches given by workers and faith leaders discussing the importance of joining together and fighting for a fair wage for all workers. There was also some protest theater, which included a puppet of Ronald McDonald being knocked down by a puppet of the Joe Louis fist holding fifteen dollars.
After being in the city for less than 3 months, this was my first time attending a large political gathering in Detroit. It was very energizing to be present there and see a large group of people coming together to call for and demand change in the city. I appreciated the opportunity to attend with DJJ as we stood in solidarity and celebration with workers, labor and faith groups who are all a part of and important to the fight for justice and fair treatment of all workers in Detroit.