Boston Fare Strike is planning some fare evasion starting at 6 p.m. today at Park Street. The goal is to protest the recent fare increases, natch.
Bring an instrument or a noise maker and be ready to celebrate Fare Free Friday!
With my noise maker cheering on the Transit Police handing out ticket after ticket to the fare-evaders.
I'm working outside of Massachusetts today but if I were doing my usual subway commute, I would be right there with you.
On a regular day, I've been known to snap at annoying passengers on the T. It's probably a good thing I'm not there today. I'd probably get into an fight with a hipster and end up getting a snake named Penelope thrown at me.
And then divert their instrument-and-noisemaker-filled car into a side tunnel between Park and Govt Center, where due to signal problems it will be stuck for four or five hours.
If only! Sadly, there are no such side tunnels, and that stretch of Tremont is too narrow to add more. If only we could, it would greatly help traffic. May I suggest the Brattle Loop between Haymarket and Government Center instead?
And this is different from the flashmobs the rob stores how?
Oh I see, instead of stealing from 'evil' corporations they are stealing from the public. Wait, isn't that worse?
How nice of them to ruin a Friday rush hour commute for thousands of people too. Real considerate!
This is one instance where I hope the MBTA Transit police come down hard on them.
Protesting is one thing, knowingly stealing is another. Not to mention pissing off commuters, the demographic that should be on your side.
What stupid fucking hipster thinks this is a good way to bring attention to the issue?
Go chain your stupid ass to the parking gate at the statehouse in this 95 deg heat. At least people will think it makes sense, for one reason or another.
Tazers on stun!
...because the use of force to inflict pain could be justified even when it is not is necessary.
This is why the majority of people in this city can't get behind occupy etc. Fare increases suck, but protest at the State House, they're the ones that caused them.
what do you call camping out in front of the state house for a week?
So what? Does that mean they now get to disrupt thousands of commuters who PAY their increased fares and aren't responsible for the inaction of the legislature?
The tactic fails because it does not make the protestor sympathetic ro the general public, nor clearly the wronged party, nor representing the wronged party in the eyes of the public. From a pragmatic point of view, it is a failure of a tactic.
How should these folks protest the fair hike?
people have, extensively. like camping out for ten days and lots of marches and showing up at many meetings. get your facts right.
Were you not paying attention when thousands of people flooded publice meetings? Were you on vacation at the many times activist went to the state house? Did you miss the 14 day occupation of the state house by not one, not two, but three separate groups?
I hate to break it to you all, but the T is a PUBLIC service. Funded by us, used by us, is able to run through our labor. MLK said himself that transportation is a civil rights issue. The fare hikes are going on the backs of the poor, elderly and disabled and there is no reason for that.
How many of you actually looked up the fare strike tactic? Any of you? I doubt it. If you did, you would see that this tactic has worked in Chicago, Oakland, San Fransico and LA to prevent and roll back fare hikes.
Oh wait, you all believe activists are hipsters and hippies who have nothing better to do. God forbid they are actually able to think critically about tactics and may know a thing or two about the issues they are organizing around.
Fucking idiots, no wonder this country is going to shit.
Also, just to let you know, I'm not an activist. I'm disabled so I can't get out much. I'm just a person who knows how to use google for fucks sake.
Ah, there is nothing like waiting for the T in stifling underground heat serenaded by obnoxious snowflakes with annoying noise makers. And oh so rad....hey, let us break the law to protest an already done deal.
It is great beach weather, kids, why don't you go soak your heads?
How many of these people paid the normal fare to come downtown to join the "protest" and get a "free" ride back home...
Sounds like people don't like the idea of a fare strike, but does anyone else have any suggestions for resisting the fare hike and service cuts?
Sometimes I wonder about people's knee-jerk reaction against activism/protest. It's as if they think nothing ever came from non-violent resistance (hello--the Civil Rights Movement?). Or maybe they'd rather just grumble and feel superior. Or maybe they're masochists and are happy paying more for less while banks and the 1% get richer.
My point is: at least these people are doing something. If you have a better idea, show up at a meeting and help convince people that there are better tactics.
it is way too hot to get into a heated exchange with you but first and foremost, these fare hikes (like it or not) are a done deal. Folks can jump up and down and make all the noise they want. It does not matter.
I have nothing against activism/protest. But blatantly breaking the law is something I will never condone because it will not win many folks over to you side. If fact, just the reverse will occur. And hello - and you are comparing this tired tirade to the Civil Rights Movement - are you completely serious?
Before these fare hikes went through, there was time enough to protest. Now it is time to take your noise makers and go home.
Civil Disobedience is fundamental to activism and protest. That means breaking the law to make a point and bring public attention to your cause, big or small.
If they could get the huge support they feel they have, how about a massive Walk to Work along one of the subway lines to Downtown Crossing. This would be about 5 miles one way, not unlike the weekend Walks to End (fill in the scourge) that we see all during the spring. If it was massive and noisy, they'd get the coverage they want, and it would be a lot more positive than sneaking through turnstiles.
Personally I think the fare hikes are reasonable and I won't be trying to convince anybody that this is a better idea. But you're welcome to try.
only 41 have signed up so far.
But bringing drums and puppets and incoherent chants to the point where passers-by won't know if they're protesting the MBTA, or the banks, or trying to free Mumia, or reinstate McKinleynomics, probably isn't the answer. And we all know that's exactly what will happen in a best-turnout scenario. The Civil Rights movement, this ain't.
I don't really have a problem with this. The T fares are out of hand, the management is poor, and the entire funding model is screwed up. Really the T ought to be provided for free, or at least for a materially nominal fare (eg a quarter) with the real money coming from the state's general fund and the federal government. I am, however, appalled at those who advocate the use of force against fare jumpers, particularly protesters; a T fare is never something worth hurting people over.
I don't find the fare strike to be all that useful an action and won't participate in it, but the reactionary responses from the "moral majority" here is far more off-putting for me. This may not be marching with Rev. King, but it's doing something, even if it's an ineffectual something. Indirectly it does help for politicians (the ones ultimately responsible for fixing this/allowing it to get to this sorry state) to know that there are a bunch of pissed off people out there -- and they're not all "precious snowflakes." A number of them are disabled, people on a fixed income, seniors and yes, some stinky hippies from Occupy. Good for them. Somebody gives a shit and is doing something. It won't result in the fares going back down tomorrow, but it will make a bunch of people uncomfortable, including, yes, riders who would just assume pay $1.50 more per ride if it meant getting home on time and in peace (meaning no bodily fluids, delays, hipster doofii, drunken sports fans, loud earbuds -- in short, not the T).
The people complaining so much about this sound like the lawn-protecting, throbbing prostate set. "And then they came for the pristine, kid-free lawns and healthy prostates, and there was no one left to speak out for me..."
and bring it to the MBTA headquarters (do we really need to thou).
Pissing off other commuters, antagonizing the MBTA police, and being a general douche is not smart PR or politics.
Again, if you want to practice civil disobedience, chain your ass to the state house parking lot gate. Do something that links the problems of MBTA funding and commuters, to that of the assholes on Beacon Hill that joyfully take their AC'd SUV's to work every day. They're the ones that are not taking their transportation obligation seriously, after all.
Last time I checked the MBTA is on OUR side about getting funding, and improving / expanding service. On what planet does it make sense to bring your message to them, and flat out steal from them?
Seriously Hispters, lay off the weed and do something that might actually be constructive.
Hispters + Constructive
DOES NOT COMPUTE!
The Transit Police have two choices draw a line in the sand and enforce the law or bury their heads in the sand and let the protestors in for free, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
This protest is kinda lame but it really stinks that no matter what the people said they just did what the wanted. Why couldn't they take some $$ from our super sized rainy day fund? I mean it freaking pouring, some of us are drowning. I am disabled, living on a fixed (low) income & i have at least 5 or 6 doctors appointments month. Guess what they did? Doubled the price it costs for me to get there. I have no idea what else i can give up to pay for this. I mean my diet is so bad the doctor sent me to the BMC food pantry cause the its not healthy to live on cup of noodles! BTW before i got sick i work 2 jobs my whole life & paid my own way but there has to be some kind of safety net when you really get sick.
should the legislature take notice of 10 people complaining and skipping fares?
Here's where hipsters and hippies fail; They don't build constituencies and movements anymore.
The rah rah back patting of being in a small group and being disobedient is enough to fire their neurons and give them a rush of serotonin, so they can walk around smug and say "well, at least WE did something".
But that's not how politics works. It's not how you force change.
Instead of showing up somewhere, why not go knocking on doors, talking with people and getting signatures. Get people signed up and form a group that the legislature NEEDS to take notice of; to their reelection efforts peril. Get that big list, and get as many people as possible to bring it to beacon hill. Put pressure on politicians, and write/call the media.
Politics ain't beanball, and these children are playing tea party.
First of all, I like how you continually drag up the tired stereotypes of "hipsters" and "hippies" being the only ones taking these actions. I highly doubt you have ever seen one of these actions taking place because if you had you would know that it's quite a diverse group of people who take part. But go ahead and keep demonizing these imaginary constructs you like to cling to.
Secondly, these actions are taking place because the MBTA refused to listen when the people came out and tried to make their voices heard through legitimate public forums. There were many many public hearings on this issue, and many people who were very vocal in opposition of fare hikes and service cuts. The MBTA didn't listen. They went ahead and did it anyways.
Laws are made by men, and men are not infallible. We have a duty to question laws, and occasionally to break them when they are blatantly unfair. Even the state house has admitted that the fare hikes are a "band-aid" at best to the T's current debt problems. There are plenty of ways to tackle that debt without forcing the people of Boston to pay more than they already do. Look into Forward Funding (2000), and the transfer of Big DIg debt onto the MBTA to see where the debt comes from, and why we should not be held responsible for paying it back.
I agree 100% with you on all that.
What I don't agree with is a bunch of misfits doing something counterproductive because they want to play the hero.
What if each of the 15 people picked a representative without a sure win in Nov and collected 1000 signatures of people in the rep's district to get going on this MBTA problem?
I'd argue it's a much better idea then being a douche in front of commuters looking to get to work.
As for the MBTA having to raise rates, well sure. Ridership isn't covering their debt payments, they can't axe their employee and retirement obligations, and the legislature refuses to do it's damn job. That's not the MBTA's fault, and they raised rates lower than what they would have liked to shore up the finances.
The ONLY solution is to put pressure on beacon hill. In a perfect world the MBTA would be lowering rates and adding service because ridership is skyrocketing in the bad economy. It's not like they want to raise rates, which might impact ridership.
Just a point or two of information:
Far from seeking to disrupt or annoy the commute of fellow T-rider, the Boston Fare Strikers last Friday went out of their way to open the gates for these riders, offering their fellow working people a free ride home from work.
In doing so, the Strikers offer people a glipse of how the system might be run differently. A fully funded T system could be a fare free system. Why should people have to pay to get to work or school in the first place?
Also, the Strikers handed out about 1000 leaflets to interested passerby. The Boston Fare Strike Coalition works to expose and oppose balancing the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it...And also opposes a state of affairs where the super-rich and the banks get even richer off the financial crisis that they helped create.
Oh, and yeah, many involved in Friday's action had attended numerous MBTA hearings and meetings, as well as protests and occupations at the Statehouse. To little or no avail. Thus the turn to direct action.
Although the T does not subsist on fares alone, obviously, they are still an important source of revenue.
The T can not be fully funded without cutting other important services. Less road funding is usually brought up in this kind of discussion, but even that would not bring the T out of the hole. It is in major debt and getting rid of fares would just make it worse.
It is true that there are 100% free transit systems, but how many of them serve as many people as the T?
Because we just can't stop talkin bout it!
100% of the fare revenue goes to paying the T's debt. It is the most heavily leveraged transit system in the country. Which means every swipe of your Charlie card is transferring money through the MBTA to a bank that holds the debt that was dumped on the T.
Typically if people don't pay for something, they don't value it, so I would normally be wary of a totally fare-free transit system. But, given how much we are paying and how little people seem to value it -- we've let it fall into a disgraceful state of repair...I don't think we could value it any less than currently...