Thousands of Americans are planning to walk off their jobs Monday as part of continued nationwide protests against police brutality and racism in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
The term #StrikeForBlackLives was one of the top U.S. trending items on Twitter early Monday as organizers such as the Rev. William Barber II, founder of the Poor People's Campaign, urged people to find their own protest events or host one themselves.
"The fight for racial justice and Black liberation has always been deeply connected to workers’ rights movements and we are here today to demand transformational change in our workplaces," tweeted the Movement for Black Lives.
The fight for racial justice and Black liberation has always been deeply connected to workers’ rights movements and we are here today to demand transformational change in our workplaces.— Movement 4 Black Lives (@Mvmnt4BlkLives) July 20, 2020
Join us as we #StrikeForBlackLives: https://t.co/MQdocwHdpf pic.twitter.com/PntaWLVYmk
“We are ... building a country where Black lives matter in every aspect of society — including in the workplace,” said Ash-Lee Henderson, a Movement for Black Lives organizer, told The Associated Press in an interview.
“The Strike for Black Lives is a moment of reckoning for corporations that have long ignored the concerns of their Black workforce and denied them better working conditions, living wages and health care,” she added.
Organizers are targeting several businesses specifically amid Monday's protest including McDonald's and Walmart, according to the AP, which have faced claims of racial discrimination. Monday's protests follow a federal lawsuit filed against McDonald's on Friday over an alleged “racially hostile work environment” at a corporate-run location in Lakeland, Fla.
“We stand with Black communities across the globe in our commitment to address unacceptable racial injustices and are disappointed that these allegations do not reflect the high standards we hold ourselves accountable to every day across all areas of our business,” McDonald's told the AP in response to the lawsuit, which it added it took "seriously."
Tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in cities across the country over the past two months following the death of Floyd. A white officer has been fired and charged with second-degree murder over his death, and three others face lesser charges.