Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Transportation Union Requests Right to Refuse NYPD Orders to Transport Arrested Protesters

Transportation Union Requests Right to Refuse NYPD Orders to Transport Arrested Protesters
By Carmel Lobello Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Transportation Workers Union, which has come out in support of Occupy Wall Street, says that New York City police forced three MTA busses to transport many of the 700 protestors arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday.

In an act of solidarity, Transportation Workers Union Local 100 went to court Monday to request that they not have to transport any more protestors.

MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin told NY Daily News, “The MTA has a long history of cooperating with the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies when they require vehicles to perform their duties.”

But union President John Samuelsen said in a statement Sunday night that requesting busses to transport Occupy Wall Street protestors was a violation of the contract between Local 100 and the MTA.

“TWU Local 100 supports the protesters on Wall Street and takes great offense that the mayor and NYPD have ordered operators to transport citizens who were exercising their constitutional right to protest – and shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place.”

He also said that ordering bus drivers to drive prisoners after they voted to support the protesters is “a blatant act of political retaliation.”

Solidarity is building between the Occupy Wall Street protesters and various unions. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 have pledged support and will join protestors on Wednesday afternoon for a march from City Hall to Zuccotti Park, where protesters have been since day one—Sept. 17.

Support from unions will provide not only numbers, but money, resources and organization to the movement. Come Wednesday, the mainstream media and naysayers elsewhere will likely start taking Occupy Wall Street more seriously.


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