Susan Sarandon was arrested Monday at the New York State Capitol in Albany while protesting for raising the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers.
The 76-year-old actress was one of eight activists who were arrested by state police for disorderly conduct, the New York State Police Department told the Post. They were processed, issued appearance tickets, then released.
Sarandon is the president of the organization One Fair Wage, which argues that the minimum wage increase not including tipped service workers negatively impacts women and single moms of color the most.
The coalition includes “all workers for whom tips are considered wage replacement,” including restaurant workers, nail salon technicians, hairdressers, massage therapists and more, according to the website.
Legislators passed the 2023-2024 $229 billion spending plan last week, preparing to increase the minimum hourly wage to $17.
The New York State Police told the Post that the members protesting were sitting and blocking walking traffic and were asked multiple times to move to a safer location. The eight individuals refused to move and requested to be arrested.
“On May 8, 2023, at about 1:00 p.m., individuals who identified as members of a group called ‘One Fair Wage’ were collected in the North Concourse Legislative Lobby. They began sitting and obstructing walking traffic through the area,” reads a statement from New York State Police.
“They were instructed multiple times to move to a safer location, but eight of the group’s members refused and requested to be arrested. Those eight individuals were arrested, each for one count of Disorderly Conduct which is a violation-level offense. All have been processed and released with appearance tickets returnable to the Albany City Court on a later date. The names will not be released due to the level of offense,” the statement concludes.
Spectrum News 1 Albany reporter Kate Lisa posted a video of the demonstration on Twitter which showed the activists, including Sarandon and former New York lieutenant governor candidate Ana Maria Archila, trying to spread a large pink banner across the concourse.
“Police left activists alone for several minutes. Several were confused why they weren’t getting arrested,” Lisa shared on Twitter.
Sarandon spoke at the rally prior to her arrest to show her support for the workers.
“They are very, very important and need to be treated with dignity, not only for the back-breaking labor that they do, but what they have to do to communicate and understand and be patient and all the things that are linked to a successful business,” she said.