#FightFor$15 Overwhelms Republican Debate In Miami

All photos from Fight for $15.

Fight for 15 at Miami Republican debate 2.jpg

An enormous group of underpaid Floridians busted through police lines in Miami Thursday evening on their way to GOP debate, where they’re calling on the candidates to stand with the nearly four million Floridians who make less than $15. Chanting “we work, we sweat, put $15 in our checks,” the group stormed through the University of Miami campus and up to the front gate of the BankUnited Center–as stunned Republican debate goers looked on.

The crowd of hundreds forced police to shut down Ponce de Leon Avenue, the main street in front of the debate venue. Here’s a video of one of the marchers telling the crowd why she’s there tonight:

Earlier today, fast-food workers across Miami walked off the job, calling for $15 and union rights. Striker Westley Williams, a 40-year-old McDonald’s worker who is marching outside the debate, told the Miami Herald:

“We’re changing the politics of the country because we are a powerful voting bloc that cannot be ignored. Candidates for president, if you stand for $15 and union rights, the nearly four million of us in Florida will stand with you. Come get our vote.”

 Fight for 15 at Miami Republican debate 3

  • Wacanta

    Looks like there’s 4 million votes for Bernie!

  • DHFabian

    Unfortunately, Americans today only seem capable of dealing with one issue at a time, in an era when the consequences of years of neglect/upward wealth redistribution are taking a heavy toll. We have a low wage problem, but a poverty crisis. As far as I can tell, Sen. Sanders’ plan for addressing US poverty is one that is known as “trickle down economics.” We already tried it for a few decades, and it still doesn’t work.

    Raising the min. wage is good, and necessary. But while we have a low wage problem, we also have a poverty crisis that continues pulling people down into hopeless poverty, with no way out. The US shipped out a massive share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 people who urgently need one. You can’t buy a loaf of bread with promises of eventual jobs. You can’t get a job once you no longer have a home address, phone, bus fare. We have a surplus population — more people than are currently needed by employers.

    Ask Sen. Sanders: What should we do with those who can’t work (health, etc.), and those for whom there are no jobs available? When he tries to evade the question with talk about job creation, ask him: “Good, but until those jobs come along…?” I don’t believe any Democrat has the courage to answer this.

  • DHFabian

    Not necessarily. Believe it or not, a good many of us who are doing OK are keenly aware of those who aren’t — and of our need to begin legitimately addressing our poverty crisis.

  • Wacanta

    What does that even mean, and how is that a reply to my comment? Bernie, not hillary, is calling for a $15.00/minimum, and is also totally supportive of unions, as opposed to hillary who is not, so as Mr Williams said, “…if you stand for $15.00 and union rights, the nearly 4 million of us in Florida will stand with you. Come get our vote.” How does my comment make me NOT keenly aware of those who are not doing well, and I AM addressing our poverty crisis, not only by supporting Bernie, but voting for true progressives when given the choice over neoliberals like clinton.

  • DHFabian

    You probably don’t get it. America has a low wage problem, but a poverty crisis. We watched as everything from a couple of nudgings-up of the minimum wage to gay marriage have served to block discussion about the poverty crisis that continues growing deeper and wider, increasing the instability of the overall economy. As I noted, we simply don’t have jobs for all, and there is no safety net today. Our past could teach us about the consequences of creating an entire chunk of the population that no longer has anything left to lose, anything to hope for, and has no consequences to fear.

  • Wacanta

    No, YOU don’t get it; a $15.00/hour minimum would help to lift workers out of poverty, and combined with better assistance from government (SNAP, EIC, WIC, etc), all things that clinton will NOT do, will also help.