Arrested KC minimum wage protesters speak out after spending night in jail

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Police arrested 110 people at 63rd and Troost Tuesday night during a protest to raise the minimum wage.

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Hundreds of fast food workers locked arms with faith leaders and other supporters, marching down the street and chanting for change.

Rick Behrens is the pastor at Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Kansas and was arrested alongside workers very similar to those in his congregation. "Some of our folks aren't getting a living wage here in the church," Behrens said.

Stand Up KC organized the protest. Behrens added, "We were trained in what to do and good civil disobedience and everything went pretty much as we planned."

Melissa Douds works at a local Burger King and told 41 Action News even their arrest didn't damper their spirit. "In our cell, the group of ladies that I was with, we still kept chanting even though we were in jail," she shared.

When asked if the protest was worth spending the night in jail Behrens said, "Oh definitely, yea. Anytime you get a chance to raise your voice for justice it's always worth it."

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Donna Simon, pastor at St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church, emphasized, "This has to be done and it has to be done now. We have to be the ones to knit this nation back together."

KCPD cited most of the people were arrested for failing to clear the intersection. Court dates are set for early January.

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Dia Wall can be reached at dia.wall@kshb.com.

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