Update: NYC – Wed. Sept. 27 – Protest @ MTA board meeting 9 AM

The Subways Belong to the People

Riders Call for Community Control of the MTA

Stop Wall St.’s Looting of Public Transportation!

Protest @ the MTA Board Meeting

September 27
9 AM

2 Broadway
in lower Manhattan
Take the 4, 5 to the Bowling Green stop or the R, W to the South Ferry/ Whitehall St. station

  • MTA, Open the Books!
  • 100% Accessibility for Wheelchair Users
  • End Broken Windows Policing in the Subway

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Summer has ended – but for subway riders, it might as well still be the summer of hell. Massive subway breakdowns still occur every week like clockwork.

This Wednesday, September 27 at 9 AM, the next MTA board meeting will be the site of a protest demanding that public transportation serve the people. The demonstration has brought together members of disabilities rights groups, anti-gentrification activists and members of the NYC Black Lives Matter movement.

The new MTA head‘s “plan” to fix the subway has only yielded reduction in service, such as the elimination of seats – in addition to plans that further criminalize riders, like the use of the NYPD to issue more summons for littering.

“The constant subway delays and breakdowns get the headlines,” said Mary Kaessinger, an activist with Disability Pride and a wheelchair user. “Of course, they are the public symptoms of a system that is not serving the public, especially the 10% of the population who are disabled.”

Protesters will call for an end to Broken Windows Policing in the subway – a policy that was responsible for the racist harassment and incarceration of 25,000 people in 2015, 90% of them people of color – as well as a reduction of the fare; opening the MTA books; and 100% accessibility for riders with specific transportation needs.

“Even if there were no delays, more than 75% of New York subway stations would still lack elevators, lifts or other ways to make the subway available to people who can’t navigate stairs,” Kaessinger said. “Even in a station with working elevators, sometimes the gap between the platform and the train is too wide, making getting on a subway car extremely hazardous for wheelchair users like myself.”

Activists will also call out the role of Wall Street in looting hundreds of millions of dollars from public transportation on the form of debt service. “MTA’s debt is $35 billion,” said Teresa Gutierrez of Workers World Party. “Much of that is interest payments, money that Wall Street gets for literally doing nothing.”

“The MTA board has proven itself capable only of serving bankers and real estate moguls. We need a form of community control, a People’s MTA Board. It is workers — the 35,000 members of TWU Local 100 — who do the hard, dirty and sometimes dangerous job of operating the subway and public transportation in general,” Gutierrez said. “And it is workers who take it to work, or to look for work, or to the doctor’s. This necessary public service should be made to work for the benefit of the workers who run it and ride it.”

ENDORSERS INCLUDE: BAN (Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network) • Equality for Flatbush • Laundry Workers Center • May 1 Coalition • PIST (Parents to Improve School Transportation) • People’s Power Assemblies • Shut It Down NYC • South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship And Training (SAFEST) • Workers World Party • Baltimore Bus & Transit Riders Union

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