More Than 100 Protesters Arrested at McDonald's Headquarters

More than 100 protesters were arrested Wednesday as they gathered outside McDonald's headquarters in suburban Chicago on Wednesday to call for higher pay for workers.

Hundreds demonstrated in Oak Brook, Illinois, ahead of the fast-food chain's annual shareholders meeting Thursday, where the fast-food chain is also expected to be pushed to address marketing to children and executives' pay.

Police said 138 arrests were made for criminal trespass to property and that those arrested had been processed and released.

Footage from the scene showed police in riot gear ordering protesters to move, as protesters chanted "we shall not be moved" and at one point staged a sit-in.

Protest organizers say they changed the location of their protest early Wednesday after learning that McDonald's had cleared out the building where they had planned to demonstrate.

McDonald's says it encouraged employees to work from home to assist police in addressing the actions and related traffic.

While other chains such as Burger King and Taco Bell engage in similar practices, McDonald's Corp. is often the target of critics because of its size and high profile.

Despite reports that McDonald's headquarters had been evacuated, a company spokesperson said their headquarters were open Wednesday afternoon.

The fast-food protests in particular have put pressure on McDonald's since they began in New York City more than a year ago. The push is intended to bring attention to the working conditions of fast-food workers and is being backed by the Service Employees International Union, which has more than 2 million members.

The protests have struck a chord at a time when the gap between the rich and poor has widened. President Barack Obama has also been trying to raise the federal minimum wage, now $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 an hour. It has not seen an increase since 2009.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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