MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The fight for higher wages has hit the University of Miami ahead of the Republican debate for president.READ MORE: South Florida Family Encourages Booster Shots After Vaccinated Relative Dies Of COVID-19
Hundreds of Floridians broke through police lines Thursday evening as they marched through the school campus and to the front gate of the BankUnited Center, calling on candidates to support the millions of workers around the country who make less than $15 an hour.
Chanting “We work, we sweat, put $15 in our checks,” the group is part of the Fight for $15.
— Paulina Leonovich (@Polly_evro) March 10, 2016
The crowd forced police to shut down Ponce de Leon Avenue in front of the debate venue with signs that begged candidates to “Come get my vote.”
'Unacceptable,' South Florida Haitian Leaders Outraged Over What Happened In Del Rio, Texas
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) March 11, 2016
Many of the protesters are low wage fast-food workers demanding a raise from the $8.05 minimum, and the right to unionize.
They weren’t the only group out for the event, however.
“We want universal, affordable health care across the board,” said Leanne Flake, a protester. “I represent the 64 million people who live in poverty here in the United States.”
Black Lives Matter members showed up, as well immigration reformers, dreamers and the LGBT community. Even some Bernie Sanders supporters stopped by.
“Not one of them has said that they support free public college education for all the young people graduating from high school,” said Victor Nieto, who stood holding a “Labor for Bernie” sign.
While hundreds watched the debate inside the venue, hundreds more stood outside. All hoped their message would resonate with the debaters on stage.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 53,000 In Florida
“I’m hoping that if they look out and see the crowd, they’ll say, ‘Oh wow, I want their vote.’ So if they want our vote, they’re gonna have to help us out,” said Felicia Anderson.