Call for a National Day of Action for Public Transportation
Public transportation is a right. It is also an integral part of our sustainable future. Rather than fighting price hikes and service cuts, we should be focusing on expanding service and innovating more sustainable and convenient systems for mass transit that are free for all. The economic downturn has been used as a reason to cut back service, raise fares, and layoff workers in Boston and elsewhere. We are told again and again that there is no money, but we have had enough of this lie!
The money for transportation is in the hands of the 1%, who control more wealth in this country than at any time since before the Great Depression. This money pays grotesquely bloated salaries and bonuses to criminal financial industry executives that produce nothing, even as hardworking people struggle to find food and shelter. Worst of all, it is used to fund criminal wars for resources, record numbers of murderous drone strikes, military aide to brutal anti-democratic dictatorships and private military contractors. The Pentagon budget dwarfs that of investment in education, the arts, medical research, environmental protection, food and drug safety regulation, and transport COMBINED. It is time that these resources are put to use in ways that will improve the lives of the 99%, not pad the pockets of the 1%.
April 4th is the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s groundbreaking speech “Beyond Vietnam: Breaking the Silence” in which he spoke of the connections between war and poverty. He explained his understanding that “America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube”, and that he had become “increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.” We share this view, and recognize that the fights against war and for public transportation are in fact fronts of the same struggle for a humane society, in which the needs of all come before the profits of the few. Exactly one year after this speech, as he built momentum for a general strike, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968.
Let us observe this day and remember a great visionary by continuing his fight for economic equality and an end to war.
The following proposal passed the General Assembly of Occupy Boston on March 3, 2012:
Call to Action
The General Assembly of Boston calls on occupations, general assemblies and people’s movements across the country and around the globe to mobilize on April 4th, 2012 to demand public transportation for the 99%. In Boston and in cities around the country, our hard-won and necessary transportation systems are under attack. Their viability is being threatened by savage cuts and fare hikes in a calculated push towards privatization by corrupt and unresponsive politicians and their corporate benefactors.
Public transportation is a right and must be accessible to all. Service cuts and fare hikes will have a devastating and disproportionate impact on low-income communities, communities of color, students, workers, seniors and the environment. We say NO TO PRIVATIZATION of our common resources and NO MORE EXCUSES! We will not accept any funding strategies that attempt to divide the 99% against each other or shift the burden onto the backs of the 99%: the poor and working classes. End the wars and tax the rich!
On April 4th, we will stand together to demand public transportation for the 99%. If our call is not answered and the necessary funds redirected, it will only add to the growing body of evidence that our government no longer represents us.