Los Angeles police officers made 40 arrests Tuesday as fast-food, home-care, child-care and other workers began taking part in a series of protests, which could cause some traffic disruptions, as part of a national wave of demonstrations in support of a $15-per-hour wage and worker’s rights.
Organizers, including the Service Employees International Union, said the demonstrations are being held in response to the recent election of politicians “who threaten to move the country to the right.” The protests “will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fightfor $15,” according to organizers.
The first protest began about 6 a.m. at Seventh and Alameda streets in downtown Los Angeles. Another rally is scheduled for noon at Airport and Century boulevards just east of Los Angeles International Airport.
About an hour into the first rally, protesters blocked the intersection of Seventh and Alameda streets and police arrested 40 of them, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. T.V. news footage indicated the arrests were a low-force affair.
According to protest organizers, the airport-area action was planned to send a message to airlines “that it’s time they take responsibility for those whose dedication and hard work help to generate $36 billion in profits for the aviation industry.”
LAX officials advised people planning to travel to the airport to give themselves extra time. Flight operations were not expected to be affected by the protests, but anticipated demonstrations in the Central Terminal Area may have cause some intermittent delays or lane closures on the lower/arrivals level.
Airport officials also urged motorists to avoid the area of 98th Street between Sepulveda and Airport boulevards between 9 and 11 a.m. because demonstrators were to arrive on buses in the area. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Airport Boulevard was closed between Century and 98th Street.