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Fight For $15 Workers Plan Massive Strike for Labor Rights, Against Racism

Fight for $15 is about to go on strike–and baby, is it gonna be awesome.

The organization announced on Monday, in a press release that literally gave me happy chills (and seriously how often can you say this about a press release), that on November 29 they will take nationwide action. Their demands are for a $15 minimum wage and against employer retaliation, deportations, police killings of black people, and the imminent gutting of Obamacare under a Trump regime.

The coalition consists of fast food workers, baggage handlers, home-care workers, child-care teachers, and graduate assistants. Hundreds of workers at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, McDonalds and other fast-food employees, and workers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will strike. Besides demanding a $15 minimum wage, workers demand the right to unionize, freedom from employer retaliation and intimidation, and freedom from racist police killings and deportation policies.

This follows previous actions from the organization, including an April 2015 strike which included actions across 200 cities.

Not only is this action super important because, duh, workers are important and leaders of social change, it also challenges the tendency in coverage of Trump’s election to dichotomize “workers” and “people of color.”

We’ve spent a lot of time since the election talking about white working class Trump voters. Now, this is important: I do think white liberal elites failed to get off our high horses, take our working-class Trump-voting friends and relatives seriously, and honestly convince them that a crony-capitalist orange-faced animated popsicle spewing racist sewage is not gonna bring workers’ revolution. BUT, but, but, but, a lot of the coverage has continued this very strange and old-school dichotomy between race and class, wherein the “American worker” is a white dude with a factory job, and anti-racist politics are the sole terrain of bougie people sitting in Manhattan sipping Merlot.

This is, in a word, absurdity. We know that the Americans most likely to live in poverty are indigenous, Latino, and black people (and women more than men). We know that people of color are more likely to work low-paying jobs that have historically lacked union protections. We know that undocumented laborers, who are overwhelmingly non-white, broadly lack any semblance of labor protections.

So let’s say this once and for all: If we’re talking about working class people, labor, and worker’s movements, and we’re not understanding race as fundamental to the functioning of American capitalism, and we’re not learning from the anti-racist, anti-capitalist struggles of black, Latino, and indigenous workers, then we’re missing the point.

Enter fight for $15: The strike platform is an impressive array of anti-capitalist, anti-racist demands, a rallying point in response to the imminent threat of a Trump administration yet the result of a campaign that was mobilizing under the Obama administration as well.

Folks, I’m real excited for this and I know you are, too. Sign up to learn more about the strike here, and see you on November 29!

Reina Gattuso is passionate about empowering conversations around queerness, sexual ethics, and social movements with equal parts rhapsody and sass. Her writing has appeared at Time, Bitch, attn:, and The Washington Post. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Indian cinema, theater, and visual art at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Reina Gattuso writes about her sex life for the good of human kind.

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