‘Fight for 15’ protesters march in Berkeley, Oakland

The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley. Photo: Kevin Zhen
The Fight for 15 march proceeding through Berkeley on the evening of Wednesday April 15, 2015. Photo: Kevin Zhen

Update, 6:27 p.m. The intersection is now open, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

Update, 6 p.m. As per the Berkeley Police Department, “The intersection of University and Shattuck is closed due to a demonstration. It is unknown when the intersection will reopen.”

Original post, 5:01 p.m. As supporters of increasing the minimum wage to $15 marched through Berkeley late Wednesday afternoon, authorities warned of traffic and delays in the area, and helicopters hovered overhead to capture the action.

“Due to a protest march along Bancroft Way, Shattuck Avenue, University Avenue, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way/Milvia Street, there will be delays and possible detours in the downtown Berkeley area tonight, April 15,” according to an email alert sent by AC Transit at 4:46 p.m.


The view from Shattuck Ave between Center and Addison, as the living wage march blocks traffic. Photo: Ethan Cheng
The view from Shattuck Avenue between Center and Addison, as the living wage march blocks traffic. Photos: Ethan Cheng

The Berkeley Police Department followed several minutes later with a Nixle alert just after 4:50 p.m.: “Currently, a large demonstration march is occurring in the City of Berkeley. The group is marching west on Bancroft Way from Telegraph Avenue. They will be marching in the Downtown area of Berkeley, with a planned ending destination of Shattuck Avenue and University Avenue.”

Police said the march was causing traffic delays in the area: “Please consider alternate routes when traveling in the downtown area.”

Berkeleyside’s Kate Williams was on the scene, and many people wondered on Twitter about helicopters hovering overhead.

Speakers from Restaurant Opportunity Centers United, the California Faculty Association, Black Lives Matter, and union representatives from UC Berkeley spoke to the crowds gathered at Sproul Plaza at 3 p.m.

Devonte Jackson, from Black Lives Matter, insisted that activists from his movement and the Fight for 15 movement should be united. “We’re here to connect the dots” between all forms of state sanctioned violence, he said. “Income inequality is also state sanctioned violence.”

Maricruz Manzanarez, of the UC system’s AFSCME Local 3299, which represents workers at 10 University of California campuses and five medical centers, also spoke about bringing together different movements. To the fast food workers in the crowd, she said, “You are not alone. We are all willing to help fight for what is right.”

Read past coverage of the minimum wage issue.

The #Fightfor15 march outside McDonald's in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Kate Williams
The #Fightfor15 march outside McDonald’s in downtown Berkeley shortly before 6 p.m. Photo: Kate Williams
Marchers, including on bike, far right, Councilman Kriss Worthington. Photo: Ted Friedman
Protesters march in Berkeley, including, pushing bike far right, Councilman Kriss Worthington. Photo: Ted Friedman
The Fight for 15 rally on Sproul at 3 p.m. Photo: Libby Lee-Egan
The Fight for 15 rally on Cal’s Sproul Plaza at 3 p.m. Photo: Libby Lee-Egan
Photo: Kate Williams
The rally on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza at 3 p.m. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley. Photo: Kevin Zhen
The schedule for Wednesday’s Fight for 15 events in Berkeley. Photo: Kevin Zhen
The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley on Sproul Plaza at 3 p.m. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally on Sproul in Berkeley. Here: Devonte Jackson from Black Lives Matter. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally on Sproul in Berkeley. Here, a representative from Restaurant Opportunities Center United. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally in Berkeley. Photo: Kate Williams
The Fight for 15 rally on Sproul in Berkeley included an effigy of Ronald McDonald. Photo: Kate Williams
UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich at a McDonald's in Oakland on the morning of April 15, 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich, center, taking part in a Fight for 15 protest at a McDonald’s in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood on the morning of April 15, 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
Fight for 15 marchers. Photo: Ted Friedman
Fight for 15 marchers. Photo: Ted Friedman
Protesters with a banner at the head of the march. Photo: Ted Friedman
Protesters with a banner outside the McDonald’s at 4514 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. Photo: Ted Friedman
Protesters hold up signs in the McDonald's in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood. Photo: Ted Friedman
Protesters hold up signs in the McDonald’s in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. Photo: Ted Friedman

Berkeleyside updated this story as the situation developed.

Related:
‘Fight for 15′ rallies planned for East Bay on April 15 (04.14.15)

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