Susan Sarandon arrested at minimum wage protest in New York

Oscar-winning actress was among eight arrested at State Capital in Albany while demanding service workers receive $17 per hour

Bevan Hurley
Friday 12 May 2023 16:49 BST
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Susan Sarandon arrested at fair wages protest in New York

Susan Sarandon was arrested at a protest demanding fair wages for restaurant workers at the New York state Capitol Albany.

The 76-year-old Oscar winner was one of eight people arrested this week for disorderly conduct by State Police during a protest for the One Fair Wage organisation, which she is president of.

Footage posted to social media of the incident showed protesters blocking security and pushing up against state troopers at the Capital’s legislative lobby at 1pm.

Sarandon was led away in handcuffs a few minutes later, along with New York lieutenant governor candidate Ana Maria Archila.

In a statement, New York State Police said the eight individuals were arrested after “sitting and obstructing walking traffic” and ignoring instructions to move.

They were charged with one count of disorderly conduct and issued with tickets to appear at Albany City Court at an unspecified date before being released, police said.

According to its website, One Fair Wage is campaigning to force the service industry to pay workers the full minimum wage with “fair, non-discriminatory tips on top”.

The coalition, which says it represents 300,000 workers and 2,000 businesses, is calling for an end to “wage replacement” through tipping.

State leaders have proposed raising the minimum wage from $15 to $17 an hour in New York City, but One Fair Wage argues that the rise would not include many hospitality workers.

Susan Sarandon was arrested while protesting in Albany on Monday.
Susan Sarandon was arrested while protesting in Albany on Monday. (Getty Images for IMDb)

The Thelma & Louise actress has a long history of political activism.

She became a prominent voice in the anti-war movement during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during his term in office.

In 2018, Sarandon was arrested during a Women’s March protest in Washington DC in opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

Last week, she joined striking members of the Writer’s Guild of America on picket lines in New York.

Sarandon was praised on social media after her arrest.

“Mad respect,” actress Rosie Perez wrote on Twitter next to a photo of Sarandon being arrested.

Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson tweeted: “I love her.”

Prominent attorney Steven Donziger wrote that it was “sickening that we must battle for a living wage in the wealthiest nation on earth.”

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