The MBTA is talking about raising fares to $3.25. Yet, they purchased this monstrous paddy wagon. The reason I know is that it rolled by the protest of the indefinite detention language in the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). Did they plan to collect the protesters? You don’t have to take my word that this big black collection unit was a roll out today. A number of people I know were at this demonstration while this beast lumbered slowly by.
What I would like to know, though, and hope one of you out there can tell me is:
1. What did this monstrous, black Darth-vader themed paddy wagon cost?
2. Where did the funds come from?
3. Whose idea was it to purchase this monster collection unit for civil disobedience (none allowed in Boston?)
4. And, most of all, who made a profit on this beast?
Does it go on and on like in Star Wars?
I walked past this thing midday, and saw a gaggle of black-uniformed storm troopers exiting the 1 Bowdoin St (where the Kerry and Brown offices are) building and boarding the bus. I really did wonder if they were off to bust heads.
Why would TRANSIT police need something like that? What do they do besides handle drunk-and-disorderlies and illegally parked cars?
Is that $3.25 proposed for one-way subway fares? If so that comes close to doubling the current $1.70 rate!
That is what a huge black bus, with black windows, full of burly people in black uniforms is intended to do. Intimidate. How dare you exercise your right to assemble in front of a public building, and declare your opposition to the government? Don’t you know we can consider what you are doing “terrorism” and herd you off in our Big Black Bus of Doom?
Rob Gardner’s comment was just right – it really is an inspired photo (I snagged it from the internet) and like that scene in Star Wars where the killer space ship slowly fills the screen with its immenseness, and imperial might, a huge paddy wagon like this is intended to inspire fear.
Great democracy we have going on around us, isn’t it?
And the nonviolent protesters got a YEAR probation – that is more than I have seen repeat drug dealers get, frankly. Well for me, it stiffens my spine, and I certainly won’t stop marching, and writing, and speaking out.
Did they really buy a “new” paddywagon, or retrofit a surplus bus? (And should I take umbrage at the term paddywagon? There’s debate as to whether or not it’s a racist term….)
According to a 2007Globe article, it’s a retired transit bus.
So it’s not a prisoner-transport vehicle. If it were, it probably wouldn’t have AC.
The MBTA Vehicle Inventory Page
In the above 2007 story, Lieutenant Stephen Salisbury says:
That was in 2007. Fast-forward to 2011, when the same MBTA announces that:
So much for the “economic lifeblood”. The MBTA spent $100,000 for the bus alone. I wonder how much the MBTA has spent on guns, shields, sticks, ammunition, indoctrination/training, and everything else associated with this horrific program.
I fear we are witnessing the deconstruction of more than three hundred years of American liberty and freedom.
It looks like a repainted bus to me too. I’m guessing they spent maybe a couple grand on the thing, tops.
per keith. I guess they can’t do anything for cheap around here… Haven’t they heard for spray paint?
The government in Soylent Green knew how to do crowd control….
My bet is that the Feds sent it in a grant. They’re pretty good at that. They’ve helped out the Mexican drug lords during a recent weapons shortage. It all comes under the “Fools and your tax dollars are soon parted” program. Surely it was a no-bid contract with one of the standard crony capitalists. Rumor has it that some of the ashes of Henry David Thoreau were dumped in the steel that made the bus.
Surely Kim Jong Il feels it’s a “must-have”. Is the bus for the We-The-People beaters or the We-The-People? I should think they’d use railcars for We-The-People or is that too 1940’s?
We should be grateful that MBTA security staff can be diverted from murders, rapes, robberies to the important task of crushing American freedoms.
“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” –Barack Obama
The Republicans would be howling about the need to drop bombs immediately. But since it’s our own people, they’re quiet.
Just makes it easier to indefinitely “detain” (which implies that you’re planning on letting them go…so not the right word for it) people who don’t play by the rules.
At the rate we’re going, China will be more democratic than the United States when I have grandchildren.
If so, if I were there I’d see it as a curiosity if I noticed it at all. Seriously, are you all intimidated that easily?
(as long as they pay their subway fares.)
So that bar is low.
I bet this is one of those things paid for by the federal government through one domestic security program or another, the same way Richland County, SC got a tank, or Tampa’s armored personnel carrier, or the this thing in Galax, VA. I would also say you can see this in the SWAT uniforms and armor that is used too often by police across the country. Relative to those other examples, a bus is quite tame, even if shiny and black.
It is certainly not a positive development that our police look like they are on patrol in Fallujah, in 2006.
Or better yet, drive it into the ocean. We can put the insurance money toward T repairs.
Peter Porcupine says
…that it was paid for with ARRA money, aka Stimulus bucks.
The $10,000 bet line – awesome. Never thought I’d see the day, but here it is. Welcome, PP! 😀
Peter Porcupine says
…this isn’t the bus you take *to* the civil disturbance?
If you’re on the MBTA Riot Squad– excuse me – Civil Disturbance Unit.