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Truck Hits 'Fight for 15' Protesters in Flint

Witnesses said the truck hit the tail end of the march. (YouTube screen grab)

Multiple people in Flint, Mich., were hurt Tuesday after a truck hit people protesting for workers’ rights. Thousands gathered in Flint and Detroit to argue for the right to strike and for a $15 hourly minimum wage for all workers, particularly those in the fast-food industry. Police said the incident appeared to be the result of an accident.

Protesters began walking down Flint’s Dort Highway around 7 a.m., chanting, “We work, we sweat, put $15 on our checks” and “No justice, no peace.” Some carried signs that said, “November 6th VOTE” and wore T-shirts advocating for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

The burgundy Chevrolet truck drove into the tail end of the crowd only minutes after the march began. In video from one of the protesters, you can hear a car honk, followed by the sound of people screaming, followed by a tire screech.

The driver was “pretty shaken up,” said Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson, who also said that the crash looked accidental. “The driver was not drunk, so far from what our test tells us,” he said.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Duane Zook said nine people were hurt in the incident. Seven were sent to Hurley Medical Center, and none had life-threatening injuries, according to a report from the hospital. Police say the truck driver is not in custody.

Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, who attended the protest, expressed her sympathy:

“We are losing patience with an economy that continues to leave us out,” said Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry.

Similar protests, organized by the SEIU’s Fight for 15 movement, are planned for Wednesday in Milwaukee and Thursday in Chicago. Activists will also focus on canvassing in Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

“Protesters had a police escort and were participating in a lawful, peaceful protest,”said the Fight for 15 movement. “We thank the first responders, and our thoughts are with the injured protesters as they recover. We are doing everything we can to ensure their well-being.”

“This election we are standing together to hold elected leaders accountable for our right to unite in unions for higher pay, affordable health care and a better future for our families,” Henry said.

Naomi LaChance
Naomi LaChance has written for local newspapers such as the Berkshire Eagle and the Poughkeepsie Journal as well as national outlets including NPR, the Intercept, TYT Network and the Huffington Post. Her…
Naomi LaChance

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