Despite these differences, the movements have been working together in various ways. In New York City, the campaigns have a t-shirt that says “Black Lives Matter”, “Fight for $15″, “Freedom Fighters”, and “Hand’s Up, Don’t Shoot”, and “I Can’t Breathe”. Activists wear these shirts at rallies and protests, and when testifying for a higher wage in front of the New York State Wage Board. In Chicago, Fight for 15 is working with Black Youth Project 100. According to sources, bringing BLM into the Fight for 15 has helped move the latter to the left, pushing the labor movement to take racial justice as central. Alicia Garza noted, “In Ferguson I saw leaders from the Fight for $15 movement really on the front lines moving labor leaders by saying, ‘I’m not just a worker. I’m somebody who lives in this community, who is being targeted by the police all the time — and you have to see that about me.’” Douglas Hall, a member of the Fight for $15 National Organizing Committee, says, “What good is $15 an hour and a union if my daughter is murdered. That money would have been nothing. There’s a direct relation between these issues”. On the other hand, the alliance pushes BLM to integrate economic issues into their vision. In California, the Black Lives Matter Bay Area issued a statement declaring their partnership with the Fight for $15, noting the need to bring in economic justice issues: “The movement for Black lives is about more than criminalization and incarceration. Because the lives of Black people are not one dimensional, the fight for justice must also be multi-layered in its approach. As Black people, we are fighting for our basic humanity; the ability to watch our children grow up, to live in communities free of fear, and to have the resources that we need to survive.” This budding alliance is exciting for several reasons.
Stephanie Luce in #BlackLivesMatter and #Fightfor15 (Publicseminar)