Protesters handcuffed as they call for higher fast-food pay

Police officers prepare to arrest protesters blocking a street in front of a McDonald's restaurant in New York's Times Square, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Police handcuffed several protesters in New York and Detroit on Thursday as they blocked traffic in the latest attempt to escalate their efforts to get McDonald's, Burger King and other fast-food companies to pay their employees at least $15 an hour. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Police officers prepare to arrest protesters blocking a street in front of a McDonald's restaurant in New York's Times Square, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. Police handcuffed several protesters in New York and Detroit on Thursday as they blocked traffic in the latest attempt to escalate their efforts to get McDonald's, Burger King and other fast-food companies to pay their employees at least $15 an hour. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — Police in New York and Detroit this morning have handcuffed several protesters who were blocking traffic. It’s part of the latest protest aimed at getting McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food companies to pay their workers at least $15 an hour.

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.

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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