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Gratis OV in NY

Woensdagochtend in New York. Een samenwerking tussen occupy-activisten en basisleden van transportbonden van arbeiders werkzaam in het openbaar vervoer hebben meer dan 20 metro-ingangen opgengesteld, zodat gratis vervoer met de metro mogelijk werd. De actie was een georganiseerd antwoord op de slechte arbeidsomstandigheden en stijgende tarieven. Engelstalig verslag hieronder.

3 min leestijd
Twitter: #farestrike
This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy 
Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the 
Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union, 
opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry. As of 
10:30 AM, the majority remain open. No property was damaged. Teams have 
chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated 
response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing, 
assaults on transit workers’ working conditions and livelihoods — and 
the profiteering of the super-rich by way of a system they’ve rigged in 
their favor.
For the last several years, riders of public transit have been under 
attack. The cost of our Metrocards has been increasing, while train and 
bus service has been steadily reduced. Budget cuts have precipitated 
station closings and staff/safety reductions. Police routinely single 
out young black and Latino men for searches at the turnstile. Layoffs 
and attrition means cutting staff levels to the bare minimum, reducing 
services for seniors and disabled riders. At the same time, MTA workers 
have been laid off and have had their benefits drastically reduced. 
Contract negotiations are completely stalled.
Working people of all occupations, colors and backgrounds are 
expected to sacrifice to cover the budget cut by paying more for less 
service. But here’s the real cause of the problem: the rich are 
massively profiting from our transit system. Despite the fact that buses
 and subways are supposed to be a public service, the government and the
 MTA have turned the system backwards—into a virtual ATM for the 
super-rich. Instead of using our tax money to properly fund transit, 
Albany and City Hall have intentionally starved transit of public funds 
for over twenty years; the MTA must resort to bonds (loans from Wall 
Street) to pay for projects and costs. The MTA is legally required to 
funnel tax dollars and fares away from transportation costs and towards 
interest on these bonds, called "debt service." This means Wall Street 
bondholders receive a huge share of what we put into the system through 
the Metrocards we buy and the taxes we pay: more than $2 billion a year 
goes to debt service, and this number is expected to rise every year. If
 trends continue, by 2018 more than one out of every five dollars of MTA
 revenue will head to a banker’s pockets.
This much is clear: the MTA’s priorities are all out of whack. This 
fare strike is a means for workers and riders to fight for shared 
interests together — but this is just a first step. All of us — the 99% —
 have an interest in full-service public transportation system that 
treats its ridership and employees with dignity.
The MTA is a shared, public service — fund it with tax revenues.
Eliminate free money for bondholders at the expense of taxpayers.
End the assault on worker's livelihoods.