A man's haranguing of a young Muslim woman that started on the Green Line platform at Prudential Saturday ended on a trolley when several people stood up and put themselves between them, according to one of the participants in the incident.
David Yamada, a professor at Suffolk University Law School - who focuses on workplace bullying - reports he was waiting for a trolley at Prudential early Saturday evening when he noticed a guy "annoying and haranguing passengers with his supposed Christian beliefs. It was merely obnoxious until he started to harass a young woman wearing a hijab."
The trolley came in, everybody got on and "he continued to make fun of her hijab and spouting off about Christianity to anyone who would listen (or not)."
And then, Yamada and at least three other people "intervened to move him away from her and told him to back off, for which she was very grateful." The trolley driver briefly stopped the train to join them and make sure the woman was OK. "There was no discussion about what to do; it was genuinely spontaneous."
Yamada adds: "I thought he might punch me when he saw me taking photos, but he was too much in his own head and rambled off at the next stop.
"There is power in numbers, including frankly the security of knowing that you're not the only one jumping in to help. I did get in one snarky comment of my own. As he left the train he said something about Jesus coming for all of us, and I said something like oh yes, pal, he's coming for you for sure!"
A similar incident on a Portland trolley in May ended with two men dead after, police say, the man doing the screaming pulled out a knife and stabbed them.
Last month, the city of Boston put up posters at some bus stops on ways people could step in when they see Islamaphobes in action.