Abdul El-Sayed arraigned for disorderly conduct at Fight for $15 rally in Detroit


Abdul El-Sayed after being taken into custody for disorderly conduct at pro-labor protest:  "When you see injustice you stand up against injustice." - VIOLET IKONOMOVA
  • Violet Ikonomova
  • Abdul El-Sayed after being taken into custody for disorderly conduct at pro-labor protest: "When you see injustice you stand up against injustice."

Former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed was arraigned on Thursday for charges stemming from participating in a peaceful protest in Detroit for workers rights, including a $15 minimum wage.

El-Sayed, along with sixteen protesters, were arraigned Thursday morning at Detroit's 36th District Court after participating in the Oct. 2 protest. After pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, all were sentenced with a $200 fine, 20 hours of community service, and three months probation.

El-Sayed addressed the sentence in an emailed statement:

“In the face of injustice, dissent is dignity. Just this week, the state legislature moved to roll back the state’s minimum wage.

For the brave women and men with whom I stood protesting for a basic living wage, the $200 fine we have each been charged will cost each of them nearly two days work — if they earned $15 an hour. At $9.25, that’s 21 hours of work.

We have a responsibility to keep working for a more just, more equitable, more sustainable Michigan." 

El-Sayed also invited others to join him in his community service in solidarity by signing up at abdulelsayed.com/communityservice.

El-Sayed and the other protesters were arrested for participating in a sit-in outside of the McDonald's on Woodward Avenue in Midtown, where about 400 people gathered to demand to be allowed to unionize and other rights. Police say El-Sayed was arrested for sitting at a table set up on the street and refusing to move.

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