Shymara Jones, a fast-food worker arrested recently at a protest calling for a $15 minimum wage, leaves the Criminal Justice Center with her son after her hearing on Monday. Credit: Charles Mostoller
Two weeks after a group of 11 protesters demanding a $15/hour wage at fast-food restaurants were arrested, they came into court Monday to accept their punishment: a mandatory "Philosophy of Disobedience" class.
"I would do it again," Shymara Jones, 21, a Popeyes employee, said of being arrested for protesting in the middle of the street outside a McDonald's at Broad and Arch streets on Sept. 4. "I feel like I didn't do a bad thing."
She said the only real consequence of the punishment would be potentially needing to take off work.
Jamere Saunders, 25, an employee at the Broad and Allegheny McDonalds currently on suspension for reasons not related to the protest, also said he was proud of the protest.
"It made you feel more empowered, just to sit there and fight for something you know is right," Saunders said.
The protesters were part of the Philadelphia Fight for $15 and 15 Now groups, and participated in a nationally coordinated day of strikes outside McDonald's across the U.S. They were protesting for a higher wage and the right to unionize.