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Poor People’s Campaign activists arrested at State Capitol protest

May 15, 2018

The Star Tribune,

Gulam Jeelani,

May 14, 2018-

Over a hundred workers, activists and clergy members descended on the State Capitol on Monday as they joined a nationwide campaign calling attention to poverty, inequality, racism and ecological devastation. The protesters aligned with the Minnesota Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival focused their opposition to proposals at the Legislature that would pre-empt city governments from passing their own minimum wage or paid-leave ordinances. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed such a measure last year, but Republicans in St. Paul have continued to consider pre-emption proposals.

“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. “We want Governor Dayton to veto the bill.” The group staged a surprise protest outside the office of Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, a sponsor of the pre-emption bill. Holding banners and shouting slogans, they demanded a raise in the minimum wage from the existing $9.65 for large employers, to $15 an hour. Edleson-Stein said that 13 protesters were arrested.

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