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.