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Nine protesting fast-food workers arrested in Boston

A Boston police officer warned fast-food workers sitting in an intersection that they would be arrested if they did not move.

Brian Snyder/REUTERS

A Boston police officer warned fast-food workers sitting in an intersection that they would be arrested if they did not move.

Nine fast-food workers protesting for higher wages were arrested in Boston today after blocking traffic, part of an organized demonstration that also included workers in other cities such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York.

Organizers of the protest said that about 100 protesters were arrested nationwide in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Little Rock, Las Vegas, and Boston.

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The movement, which is backed financially by the Service Employees International Union and others, has gained national attention at a time when the wage gap between the poor and the rich has become a hot political issue. Many fast-food workers do not make much more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which adds up to about $15,000 a year for 40 hours a week.

Organizers had said they would engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to draw more attention to their cause.

By late this morning, protesters in some cities were standing in front of fast-food restaurants, chanting for higher pay and holding signs in English and Spanish.

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Two dozen protesters were handcuffed in Detroit after they wouldn’t move out of a street near a McDonald’s restaurant. In Chicago, a couple of buses unloaded a group in front of a McDonald's. They chanted, ‘‘Stand up. Fight back’’ while about 100 people crowded on the sidewalk.

Union organizers said they expected thousands to show up to today’s protests around the country.

The movement, which is backed financially by the Service Employees International Union and others, has gained national attention at a time when the wage gap between the poor and the rich has become a hot political issue. Many fast-food workers do not make much more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which adds up to about $15,000 a year for 40 hours a week.

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