May 15, 2018-
Thirteen people protesting a “pre-emption” proposal, which prevents local governments from raising minimum wages, were arrested Monday at the State Office Building near the state capitol, kicking off a nationwide, six-week season of nonviolent direct action by the Poor People’s Campaign. The arrests were in Rep. Pat Garofalo’s office, an author of HF600, the pre-emption bill. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a version of the bill in 2017.
“Pre-emption means poverty. It will deny workers the right of having fair minimum wages across the industry,” said Eli Edleson-Stein, of ROC United, which represents restaurant workers, in a Star Tribune article about the event. “We want Governor Dayton to veto this bill.” The arrests and a rally afterward outside the State Office Building in support of the protesters, by more than 200 supporters of the Minnesota Poor People’s Campaign, was one of more than 30 such actions across the nation Monday. The campaign is demanding new initiatives to fight systemic poverty and racism, immediate attention to ecological devastation and measures to curb militarism and the war economy.