portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

a21 bush protests

Tri-Met Descrimination

Today, approimately 25 protesters, and several innocent bystanders, were victims of gross descrimination by trimet employees.
At approximately 2:50, a group of about 25 protesters boarded the 75 to Milwaukie TC, a few blocks down from Columbia Park, as police kept accusing us of gathering again (while we were waiting for the bus) and threatening us to desperse, or be victims to chemical agents and impact weapons (gotta love how PC they are about it). A few blocks later, another gentleman dressed head to toe in camo boarded the bus, as he exited a few stops later, the bus driver said to him "go rally some more." Feeling assaulted, especially since he is not part of the group, he snapped back at her and a yelling match followed. He left the bus, and the bus continued on its rout. The busdriver then made an announcement that if we we would be kicked off her bus if we didn't shape up (at this point, no one had said anything, and up untill this point, the general sentiment was on her side in her arguement against the man). Then at the next stop (about 3:11 PM), after no one had said anything, she stops and kicks a total of 28 of us off of the bus (several were just people trying to get home from work). We waited there in the blistering 90 degree weather for another bus to come, only to be chewed out by the bus driver before we even got on the bus, saying she didn't want anyone cussing at her, or spitting on her, or yelling, or causing mischeif on the bus. It was reported another woman was kicked off the bus later (she got on the same bus we were on a few stops after), because she refused to be a witness to the driver, saying instead that it was the drivers fault.

For the original crew of 28, if you read this, i wrote all this down as it was happening, and we were kicked off at 3:11 (as I said before) at stop 54147, on NE Durhum and NE Dekum, and the bus' number as 2556. Don't forget that we all need to report what happened here.

a few small changes (from my perspective)... 21.Aug.2003 19:16


There are just a few small details that I would like to make a little clearer (from my perspective). After the camo-dude got off the bus a few of us defended his situation by saying, "Ma'am, he wasn't a protester." At this point she began to accuse us of harrassing her and she threatened to 'lock up' the bus and force us off , and for a moment, took her hands off the wheel and hit the brakes in the middle of the street, veering slightly into the oncoming (though vacant) lane.There was one male who responded harshly to the driver by saying, roughly, "fine, let me off your fuckin' bus, bitch!" At this point, she pulled to the side of the road and forced us off the bus.

Small correction to the bus stop number: S4147 (not 54147).

Remember to call and complain!

ahh 21.Aug.2003 19:49

Ben Maras

right, something didn't sound right with that stop number, it was just my crappy handwriting, I probably would have caught it had I not had such a bad headache and been so out of it from being in the sun all day *looks back at notes*. I had forgotten those details, the only thing I didn't see was the guy yelling at her, but yeah, thanks for clearing that up.


some TriMet contact info 21.Aug.2003 20:27


Info for contacting TriMet customer service:


503-328-7433 (navigate the menu or press 0 if I'm not mistaken)

Other contact info is at:


One bad apple... 22.Aug.2003 01:54


Is it so hard to concieve that at least some protesters do the wrong thing and give bus drivers a hard time? Can you blame them to be wary about picking up crowds of kids and feeling uneasy knowing what some of them are known to do?

Most of us are out to do the right thing, but alot aren't so maybe instead of giving hard working bus drivers a bad time how about we put pressure on the people that wan't to break the rules?

Majority of Drivers ARE Great - In This Case:... 22.Aug.2003 02:41

Rian Snider RianSnider@yahoo.com

Very good point, and I agree with you all the way, bus drivers work very hard and the vast majority of them are quite nice and I say "thank you" as I step off as a small way of showing my gratitude and all. In this case however, the following things, I think, justify reporting this particular driver's behavior (remember of course that I was a part of the group and therefore am naturally biased in my take on what happened, but everyone is probably naturally biased one way or another anyway):

- No one in the group recognized the man that did SEEM harass the driver (I cannot comment on what exactly took place or who started what because I was not really paying attention at that point) from the protest and he got on much later, after all the others (I believe I heard someone say he got on at the Interstate stop). Of course, he "looked the part" of a protester, but I hardly think that is a reason to automatically assume he was.
- There MAY have been some other people (once again, no way to confirm if they were protesters) making comments to the bus driver about her attitude and all (once again, I was not observing close enough and so cannot determine what exactly they were doing or if they were being what would be considered 'rude') but even with that going on up near the front of the bus, it hardly justifies emptying the entire bus of people.
- Though stress is obviously going to affect a person's attitude, a better choice for the bus driver would have been to try to calm everyone down before just kicking everyone off the bus for no real justified reason.

Once again, bus drivers have a damn hard job and they obviously are going to feel stress, esp. with the traffic delays caused by the police around the protest area and/or the protesters, whichever story you want to adhere to, but despite all that this kind of thing needs to be reported just for Tri-Met's reference. I don't want the woman to be fired just for one blow up, we all make mistakes, but if it's on record and she does something else of this manner, then disciplinary action may ensue, depending, of course, on many factors. Remember that Tri-Met IS a business (even if you're anti-capitalist and such and such) and that if you are in a business where day to day human interaction occurs, a employee is expected to be as calm and professional as possible.

We've Had Problems With this Driver Before... 22.Aug.2003 23:17


My friend remembers this driver for other erratic behavior......when he was riding the 8 when this woman drove that route, a man got on the bus with bottles to return. She told him to put the bag on the front ledge - he did so, then tried to take them back with him to a seat farther back.

She stopped the bus at 15th and Alberta and called the police, who arrested him.

Then, she peeled out of the bus stop and drove north up 15th at about 40-45 mph, swerving and screaming over the PA: "I TOLD HIM TO PUT THOSE BOTTLES THERE!!!!!" repeatedly. My friend repeatedly dinged the stop cord, until finally she stopped at Ainsworth. He has refused to get on a bus with her driving ever since.