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Police arrest dozens during Kansas City protest to increase fast food workers’ minimum wage to $15

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dozens of protesters were handcuffed in one of KC’s largest acts of civil obedience. Metro fast food workers say they’re overworked and underpaid.

Kansas City police say they arrested at least 70 people who were participating in the protest. They stood in front of a Kansas City McDonald’s chanting for an increase in the minimum wage to $15.

While the back rows chanted, the front rows moved forward to take their spot in the middle of Troost Avenue, waiting for police to arrest them.

“The point is to get arrested, the point is to cause a peaceful disturbance to remind people who are oppressing wages that we are serious about this movement,” said Andrew McConnell with StandupKC.

With the protesters greatly outnumbering law enforcement, cops, deputies and state troopers held several zip ties each. As the next wagon arrived to take the protesters downtown, police would move in.

It’s the biggest act of civil disobedience in Standup KC’s history and part of a nationwide movement Tuesday night in 333 cities. It comes on the four-year anniversary of a group of 200 McDonald’s workers walking off the job in New York.

“Our fight has always been with the billion dollar corporations that have oppressed workers,” McConnell said.

But now they’ve been joined by supporters young and old, and there were various local rabbis and priests willing to go to jail to fight for what they think is right.

FOX 4’s Dave D’Marko asked how all these minimum wage workers can afford to post bond, and was told they have a lot of allies who volunteered to bail them out.

Opponents of the minimum wage increase say it would hurt businesses - and still others say fast food jobs were never meant to be permanent jobs, instead a way for young people to get their first employment.