Police brutality and racialized violence have been at the forefront of many conversations in the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown.
But in the background, a picture not only of cultural and political marginalization has emerged, but one of economic strife as well. Just look at the sobering statistics about Ferguson where nearly half of adults are working, the median income—about 36,000 a year—has dropped 30 percent since 2000, and one and four residents live below the poverty line.
One of the groups that’s fighting for better economic conditions in the region is Show Me $15, a labor rights group that is advocating for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour and an unionized work force for low wage earners. Organizers say that the connection between social and economic conditions are clear and they are joining the frontlines to protest not only the treatment of African Americans by the police force, but for more stable and economically just communities. They say that the death of Brown and the protests that it has sparked is all part of a larger fight for better conditions for African Americans in Ferguson and it’s surrounding areas.
Here, in their own voices, three fast food workers tell why they’re standing in solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson.