By Sarah Swearer, 9to5 Lutheran Volunteer
I’ve never been to the South. I’m new to the city of Atlanta. I’ve never participated in a rally.
I had no idea what to expect at the 8/29 rally in solidarity with fast food strikers at the Five Points MARTA station. I loved the chanting– my favorite was “Hold the Burgers, Hold the Fries, Make our wages Supersize!” – as well as speeches from the workers who were on strike. It’s amazing to hear from people who are directly affected by low wages in the fast food industry speak with such conviction and heart. The majority of the fast food workers who spoke were women which, for me, further highlighted how the #Fightfor15 is about feminism and justice.
As if all that wasn’t inspiring enough, Rep. John Lewis seemingly appeared out of nowhere as he casually walked into the crowd and began addressing us. The quote from his speech that will stay with me for years, as a reminder of why we organize is, “What you have to do is stick together and never ever give up. They said back in the 60s that we couldn’t win. That we couldn’t get the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act but we did it! Sometimes you have to use your marching feet. Sometimes you have to make a little noise.”
Knowing fast food workers were on strike that day, not just in Atlanta, but in more than 50 states across the U.S. made me feel like I was a part of a bigger movement; a movement that is truly about making life more livable for millions of people in the United States. As a new intern for 9to5 Atlanta, I’m excited about the work ahead and couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring way to kick off my year of fighting for justice for working women.