Young Socialists and SEIU Lead NYC’s Growing Fast-Food Protests
Alternative-labor leaders are using fast-food workers to “revitalize the Left in the U.S.”



Across six continents Thursday, a union-financed labor front-group called Fast Food Forward held protests for a higher minimum wage. The group organized a number of demonstrations in Manhattan, and National Review Online was there to investigate.

Young leaders wearing Communist-party buttons and Socialist Alternative T-shirts led an event in Manhattan’s Herald Square, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to form unions without retaliation.

At the intersection of 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue, the relatively meager crowd of 200 or fewer, by my count, did their best to make up for their lack of numbers with the noise. A raucous drum line was accompanied by protesters belting out “They Don’t Care About Us” by Michael Jackson.

A resident of the nearby Herald Towers apartments heard the cacaphony and was curious about the crowd across the street. He asked your reporter what was going on, and I explained it was about raising the city’s minimum wage. With a smirk on his face, he explained he sells automated-cash-register systems and that he’s “all for the minimum-wage increase.”

This is Leon Pinsky, an employee of Socialist Alternative, an American socialist political party:

He’s also a volunteer for Fast Food Forward, an organization financed by the Service Employees International Union, a far-left labor organization that increasingly supports a range of “alt labor” groups.When we asked if that meant he was one of the leaders of the protests, he responded that it had been organized by fast-food employees.

But it clearly appeared that the event was orchestrated by a small team of leaders, with Fast Food Forward directing the fast-food employees present. The workers appeared to be trained in media talking points to speak with journalists.