Nearly two dozen people were arrested in Ybor City Tuesday night during a demonstration aimed at raising the minimum wage.
- 23 protesters were arrested Tuesday
- The Ybor protesters were marching for an increase in minimum wage
- No one was reported injured
Workers said the current minimum wage isn't enough, and they'd like to see it raised to $15 an hour.
"I don't have enough money for a light and water bill," said protester Gail Rogers. "You know, everybody has trials and tribulations, and I have been at that stage, but now I need more money for my cost of living. I need $15 and a union."
They held a 'Fight for 15' rally at Centennial Park in Ybor City. Protesters began Centennial Park after 5 p.m., headed toward 7th Avenue, then marched down 22nd Street. According to police, the demonstrators turned west to 21st Street, and it was there that many sat down, blocking the road.
Tampa Police asked them several times to move for safety reasons.
Most of the demonstrators moved to the sidewalk, but police said 23 didn't. Those individuals were arrested.
"Whether you put us in jail or do something more grave to us, we want to let the president and people in power know that we're not going to accept this kind of injustice and racism," said Bishop Chuck Lee, who was one of the protesters who was arrested. "I think the only way we can effectively let them know is by taking to the streets."
No one resisted arrest and police said there was no violence.
Demonstrators who were arrested were released immediately with a notice to appear in court.
Rogers said she has no regrets about it.
"I'm not ashamed," said Rogers. "I will sleep just fine tonight and I'm going to go to work tomorrow and do my regular duties."