Eight arrested in Bellevue for civil disobedience over poverty wages

“We Are Rising”: WA-$15 arrives in Bellevue with 8 arrests after long march

Transient

Culminating a day that saw fast food workers rising through an hours-long march across WA-$15 (formerly I-90), 8 were arrested by Bellevue police this evening over poverty wages.

Committed to do “whatever it takes” to defend and expand the principle that everyone deserves to be able to support themselves, afford the basics and contribute to the economy, these 8 were arrested for engaging in civil disobedience by refusing to leave the street in front of Wendy’s in downtown Bellevue.

Workers engaging in peaceful civil disobedience included fast food and other food service workers from Seattle, Bothell, Olympia, and more. And this evening’s rally through downtown Bellevue included healthcare workers, building services workers, home care providers, retail workers, and of course fast food workers. It is clear today that workers are rising up across the state, and the strike poverty movement is growing.

Famous for luxury retail and sprawling McMansions, the Eastside is also home to thousands of people who struggle to make ends meet

  • Bellevue has a median household income of more than $90,000, and the area surrounding Bellevue Square Mall (98004) is one of the richest zip codes in the state.
  • Thousands of poverty-wage workers in Bellevue struggle to support their families. About 20% of Bellevue students have family incomes low enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, including almost 70% of the students at schools in poor neighborhoods.
  • Income inequality is extreme: while it’s easy to find real estate listings for multi-million-dollar homes, in some neighborhoods nearly 1 in 6 households have incomes below the Federal poverty line — just $15,730 for a household of 2.

These are the courageous people who chose to risk arrest to show their determination do to what it takes to defend & expand $15/hour:

  • Asher Rosebrook, Jimmy John’s worker
  • Malcolm Cooper-Suggs, McDonald’s worker worker
  • Jason Harvey, Burger King worker
  • Cora Jane Porter, Qdoba worker (Bothell)
  • Austin Welsch, Olive Garden worker (Olympia)
  • Amirah Ziada, $15 supporter
  • Cliff Cawthon, $15 supporter
  • Mallori Thompson, $15 supporter

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Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington, sage@workingwa.org

Working Washington unites low-wage workers to fight for a fair economy where everyone can support themselves, afford the basics, and contribute to the economy. We launched the fast food strikes that sparked the fight for $15 in Seattle; we helped lead the successful campaign to pass $15 in SeaTac; and we work in coalition with unions, faith groups, and grassroots organizations to hold corporations & politicians accountable to community needs.