Chanting: “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! These poverty wages have got to go!” striking fast-food and other low-wage workers rallied around two midtown Kansas City fast-food restaurants early Tuesday.

Shortly before 6 a.m. dozens marched once around the McDonald’s restaurant near Linwood Boulevard and Main Street, cutting through the restaurant’s drive-thru.

The workers then lined up along Main Street, getting an occasional supportive honk from passing motorists. The group then marched down to the Burger King at Armour Boulevard and Main Street.

“This is a historic day for all fast-food workers and low-wage workers,” said Andrew McConnell of Kansas City, who works at the McDonald’s on Main. “This is the fourth anniversary of us going out on strike and demanding better wages and demanding benefits and union rights from our employers.”

Tuesday’s rally was as much a protest as it was a celebration, McConnell said, because workers have won victories across the country since the inception of the movement.

It was the first of four major actions scheduled for the day in Kansas City as part of the national Fight for $15 movement. Organizers said events were planned in about 340 U.S. cities.

Fast-food workers, baggage handlers, cashiers, drivers, child care and elder care workers, and higher education workers, backed by union organizers, were among participants in what was billed as a “day of civil disobedience.”

The protests gained heat in reaction to the recent presidential election. Organizers said many participants intended to risk arrest throughout the day to convey the message that “we aren’t going anywhere.”

Organizers said they wanted president-elect Donald Trump, the Republican-led legislatures in Washington, D.C., and state capitals, and state governors to know that “64 million Americans paid less than $15 an hour are not backing off their demand for $15 an hour and union rights.”

Political observers said such changes were problematic.

Larry Mishel, president of the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute, said the incoming Congress “appears set on passing draconian economic laws meant to benefit Wall Street and big business at the expense of working families.”

Mishel said working Americans need stronger unions and collective bargaining to achieve pay gains.

But the employer-oriented Employment Policies Institute said higher pay will result in job loss by the protesting workers. The organization says higher pay would raise consumer prices and reduce employment for the least-skilled workers.

“The real faces of a $15 minimum wage are the small business owners who’ve been forced to lay off staff or close their doors,” said the policies institute’s research director Michael Saltsman.

Also, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticized the Service Employees International Union for supporting the wage campaign. Glenn Spencer, vice president of the chamber’s “workforce freedom initiative,” charged that “SEIU itself fails to walk the walk on paying $15 an hour and honoring union organizing rights.”

Tuesday’s rallies were planned to commemorate the day four years ago that the Fight for $15 movement began in New York City when a group of fast-food workers walked off the job in protest of low wages.

Since then, several major employers such as Wal-mart Stores Inc. have raised some rates of compensation. Other workers have obtained raises through collective bargaining, inflation-adjustment clauses built into state minimum wage laws, or the voting booth. On Nov. 8, voters in four states and one city approved minimum wage increases to between $12 and $15 an hour.

The national minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour, where it has been since 2009. Some states, like Missouri, have passed higher minimums; Missouri’s rises to $7.70 an hour on Jan. 1, 2017, because of a cost-of-living clause.

The first major wage rally under the Fight for $15 umbrella in Kansas City took place in mid 2013, when about 500 people gathered in Gillham Park and marched up 39th Street to Broadway, calling for higher pay and the right to unionize. Several more major protests have been held since then, at least one of which included a sit-down near a McDonald’s that led to some participants’ arrests.

McDonald’s responded to the latest protests with a statement by its spokeswoman Terri Hickey: “We take seriously our role in helping strengthen communities as we and our franchisees separately employ hundreds of thousands of people, providing many with their very first job. In addition we offer McDonald’s employees the opportunity to develop the valuable skills necessary to build successful careers even beyond our restaurants.”

Hickey highlighted McDonald’s investment in Archways to Opportunity, which provides free high school completion courses and college tuition assistance.