Across the country, tens of thousands of janitors, building service workers, fast food workers, and nursing home workers, among others, took to the streets to demand that corporations and government take action to confront systemic racism in society, economy, and workplaces against Black and brown communities.
In New York City, organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), essential workers assembled across the street from the Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle in Manhattan to make their demands, which included four-foot-high placards that read “Our Lives are Essential,” and masks which read “121” — the number of days since New York began its shelter-in-place order amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There, numerous speakers demanded that business owners and executives “rewrite the rules and reimagine our economy and democracy so that Black communities can thrive,” while calling for the Senate and President Donald Trump to pass the HEROES Act, which provides personal protective equipment (PPE), essential pay, and extended unemployment benefits to those who have continued to work throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
With this, they hope to advance the conversation in hopes to “dismantle white supremacy, end police brutality and ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of every worker.”
Among those who spoke at the event were Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and New York State Nurses Association president Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez.
SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country with more than 175,000 members in 11 states and 85,000 in New York.
Continue below to see photos from the event: