A National Day of Action in Defense of Public Transportation
"With fare hikes and cuts to service at TriMet looming on the horizon, Occupy Portland joins Occupy Boston's call for a national day of action on April ... 4th in defense of public transportation. 'Occupy TriMet' will be a local day of action in support of reliable, affordable transit throughout our region.
On April 4th, 1967, Martin Luther King stated profoundly that "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." The 1% has wasted trillions of dollars fighting oil wars that should have gone towards building and funding the greatest public transportation system in the world. We shouldn't have to be fighting each other for scraps to fund transit in the richest nation on the planet.
Amalgamated Transit Union International President Larry Hanley has endorsed A4, stating, "Public transportation is a human right and critical to our nation's economic recovery. The ATU pledges our support for the Occupy National Day of Action for Public Transportation. It is so appropriate that these actions take place on the anniversary of Dr. King's April 4th, 1967 speech 'Beyond Vietnam' because this crisis is about the toll and resources these wars have taken on working people and their families."
We recognize that public transportation is absolutely essential for the 99% to get from home to work, to school, to doctors appointments, but we also realize that public transit is about more than moving from point A to point B. The streets used to be places where people gathered to engage one another. Unfortunately, 100 years of building for automobiles has seen rural road design replacing urban street design. The result is neighborhoods where people are forced to drive a car, and with millions of Americas barely able to afford housing, paying thousands of dollars a year for a vehicle simply isn't an option.
Portland is a place worth caring about because of the positive ways that good planning and transit help define space. City centers should be places of social interaction, of festivities, of shopping, of performance, music, and art. We have made it easy to experience all those things and more in Portland by creating a strong network of public tranpsortation. Occupy TriMet plans to utilize many of those kind of activities on April 4th, to remind people that when you create modes of transit for people, the places in between become healthy, vibrant communities as well.
It is for all of these reasons that we will take action on A4, to engage and encourage the public to help solutions to take shape. We have a great variety of direct actions to deliver positive information, statistics, and proposed solutions that anyone can participate in. This is a day of empowerment for the people. Public transportation is the heartbeat of any major city. A4 will be a day to support our own livelihoods, and help it thrive. We invite everyone to come out and get involved.
'Occupy TriMet' demands public transit funding for all! Investments in rail must be matched by investment in buses to maintain a strong network. No more cuts to service. No more fare hikes. TriMet workers earning living wage with progressive benefits are no longer to be blamed. Degrading our public transit network will no longer be tolerated!"
Date: April 4 2012
Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square (SW side)
This event was approved by the Occupy Portland Spokes Council and will be presented at the General Assembly on 4/1/2012