10-day Occupation Declared at the State House – Press Advisory Added

 

 

 

 

Here is the National Day of Action for Public Transportation – a great video with a hard-hitting message.  TOMORROW  is the National Day of Action to support public transportation, called by Occupy Boston, and supported by 16 other cities and many unions.  In Massachusetts, this major action is scheduled at the State House tomorrow:

As many of you know, the MBTA Board has come out out with its final proposal to address this year’s budget crisis — a 23% fare hike across the board, plus targeted service cuts to bus lines across the region. In response to 31 public meetings and over 2000 public comments, we continue to be without a comprehensive proposal to fund transit in the state of Massachusetts, with the full expectation of having this fight again in a year’s time.

On Wednesday, April 4, Occupy Boston will join allies across the city, state, and country for a day of action around public transportation. The recent uproar over MBTA cuts and hikes one of many fights over public transportation happening across the country. Occupations from Portland to Pittsburgh have come on board, and the Amalgamated Transit Union, the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the US and Canada, has pledged its support for the April 4 National Day of Action for Public Transportation (http://occupymbta.org/2012/03/20/transit-union-endorses-april-4-national-day-of-action-for-public-transportation/)
Here is a quick schedule for the day — we hope you’ll join us!
1 p.m. – MassDOT Board Meeting (Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza): After 31 public hearings and hearing the testimony of thousands of MBTA riders, the MBTA board’s final proposal — a 23% fare hike, plus cuts to bus lines – is an unacceptable attempt to balance borrowed debt on the backs of seniors, students, and the unemployed. Join allies and organizations from across Boston in saying “No!” to the most recent round of cuts and hikes.  Outdoor rally.
3-5 p.m. – People’s Assembly at the State House — Following that meeting, join us at the State House for a people’s hearing on the future of public transit! Tell Deval Patrick and Speaker De Leo that we need a long-term funding solution for transit in Massachusetts. We’ll take our demands to the halls of the State House, where the legislature has steadfastly refused to intervene in coming up with a state-wide transit solution that benefits ALL of the 99 percent.  Grand Staircase, State House.
5-8 p.m. – Rally in Support of Public Transportation — An evening of teach-ins, speak-outs, music, food, and celebration on the State House steps. What’s next for the T? What happened to get us into this mess? Join us for an evening of public celebration to demand a comprehensive transit plan for the 99 percent!  Several locations, information at the plaza area by the handicapped entrance.
8-11:30 p.m. – Commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4th is the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s groundbreaking speech “Beyond Vietnam: Breaking the Silence” in which 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 continue to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube.” Exactly one year after this speech, as he built momentum for a general strike, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. We will end by observing this day and remembering a great visionary by continuing his fight for economic inequality and an end to war.

As FDR said in his great speech about freedom of fear, there is no freedom without economic freedom and this speech is still relevant today – a fight against tyranny including a fight against terrorism does not justify either the current attack on the Bill of Rights or the reality that 93% of the alleged recovery went to the top 1% and public transportation has been sucked dry (including by the Big Dig culture in this state foisting its debt on the MBTA)  Here is the FDR speech.

The Open Letter is here

As a result of the call to action from Occupy the MBTA, actions in support of public transportation and against the the underfunding and privatization of public transportation are occurring in cities all over the country on April 4, 2012.

In Boston, details about the planned rally and action against service cuts, and fare hikes is here 

  That link also has the resolution passed by the General Assembly of Occupy Boston, and transmitted to other Occupy General Assemblies.

Shockingly – 27% of Boston’s population in some districts ONLY have the MBTA and do not have vehicles or access to any vehicle.  See the following article, which contains a number of charts that REALLY bring home that the plans proposed, either of them, even “somewhat” scaled down would devastate some neighborhoods and cost more in lost business than could be gained by the cuts. 

So – check out this chart, come on down on April 4th to the State House – time for Massachusetts to “think Wisconsin”, as the organizers said! 

And, for information on the April 4, 2012 “People’s Hearing” and rally, here is the flyer I was handed myself on the MBTA:

So – bring your camera, your camcorder, your video camera – and come on down and make or record history.  Your children will thank you, and so will the environment (who needs 300,000 more vehicle trips in a short period of time anyway?)

 

The candlelight tribute to Martin Luther King was exceptionally moving, and brought into focus why public transporation is a civil right, and the differential treatment in the MBTA “Plan” of marginalized communities, not just people of color but the disabled.

 

PRESS ADVISORY -
Contact: media@occupyboston.org410.960.0647
For Immediate Release
Occupy Boston Declares Occupation on the Steps of the State House Protesting Fare Hikes and Service Cuts
Boston, MA [4/4/2012] This
evening, Occupy the MBTA, a working group of Occupy Boston, launched
Camp Charlie, a ten day occupation of the State House steps to protest
fare-hikes and service cutbacks on the MBTA. Having survived the depths
of the recession, the 99% now faces additional taxes in the form of
escalating T fares and the loss of essential transport routes. This is a
further transfer of public wealth to the banks. These are the same
institutions that were bailed out by the American taxpayer after being
rendered insolvent by their own, criminal recklessness. The only debt in
need of servicing is their debt to us. In a country that lavishes four
billion dollars in subsidies on the oil companies, the relentless
assault on public transport could not make less sense – ethically,
environmentally, or otherwise. Camp Charlie will be a place for public
debate, conversation, and outreach – a living testament to the refusal
of the people to be further abused by a clutch of corporate interests,
multinational banking cartels and consolidated oil interests.
###
Occupy Boston encampment was started on September 30, 2011
in Dewey Square and until December 10, 2011. Occupy Boston has been directly
inspired by our brothers and sisters at Occupy Wall St. in New York, and we
stand in solidarity with them. Occupy Boston invites the 99% to speak out for
economic and political systems that work for all people, not just a few. Occupy
Boston is just one of more than 125 separate US Occupy movement sites and
Occupy Together is the unofficial hub. While these different occupations share
many goals and attitudes, they each operate independently, and there is no
national organization that can speak for all occupations. For more information
about Occupy Boston visit http://www.occupyboston.org/

 

 



Discuss

6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. The Student T Riders Union is holding an all night vigil on the State House Steps tonight - the National Day of Action has begun

    I saw their candle light vigil tonight on my way home from a meeting. Very large posters of both Martin Luther King (tomorrow is the assasination anniversary) and Gov. Deval Patrick with a plea to get his attention.

  2. Talk is cheap. Please show up.

    Here’s a real call to action–the kind of direct action that proved so meaningful in Wisconsin. Please make this a front page story, and please show up. This is a hell of a lot more meaningful to just about everyone than the is fate of Tim Cahill or Ms Coakley’s crusade against “corruption.”
    The fact that the legislature has been silent is reprehensible.

    • michaelhoran, please take a deeeep breath and ..

      honor the decades of”real calls of action” and gritty public education work by your fellow progressives to promote election reform, campaign finance reform, ethics reform, campaign finance reform, sentencing reform, judicial reform and on and on.

      Many of us will be there today honoring your hard work and that of our colleagues in Mass Senior Action, ACE, TRiders Union, Disability
      Consortium and hundreds of local grassroots membership organizations that have been working together for years on transportation issues.

      Please do not take this as a scolding, I mean it most kindly.
      r

  3. History Repeats Itself

    Today’s state-level MBTA crisis is a microcosm of 2008 financial crisis.

    In both cases, politicians from both parties agreed on short-sighted policies that were based on bogus projections in the late-1990s.

    On the national level, the thought was “we can deregulate Wall Street, turn it into a virtual casino, and everything will be just fine.”

    On the state level, the thought was “we can dump billions of dollars in Big Dig obligations onto our public transit system and rely on naive revenue projects, and it will be just fine.”

    Ten or 12 years later, and it all comes crashing down. Does anyone think the legislature will actually resolve this issue anytime soon?

  4. Heading to the State House now

    all of life unfolds one day at a time

    I am pleased the constant drumbeat from myself and others about the tax expenditure budget is kicking up in volume

    The debt from the Big Dig needs its own line item and its own repayment plan, just the like mortgage on the Commonwealth’s future it has always been – and needs to be taken off the BACK of the MBTA

    But, yes, Michael is right – this is a day to SHOW UP as no one can change one day of the past, and the future will stand on the shoulders of today.

  5. Some are spending the night on the State House steps

    Balancimg society’s books by hurtimg the disabled and students and those with little IS just wrong and that is what the MBTA plan would do. How can we justify film credits and double the cost of the Ride?@
    I

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