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Indybay Feature

Community Acts Denouncing MUNI Saturations Raids

Monday, June 14, 2010
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Beatriz Herrera (POWER) & Frank Lara (ANSWER)
(646) 400-3537 & (415) 821-6545
Location Details:
16th and Mission BART

At 6:00pm on Monday, June 10 at 16th and Mission BART, the MORE Public Transit Coalition made up of low wage workers, families of color, youth, elderly, disabled passengers and drivers will hold an action denouncing the re-implementation of MUNI’s Proof of Payment “saturations.” The MTA suspended this extreme form of Proof of Payment due to community pressure on May 13. The saturations were a terrifying experience for community members, who sometimes had to go through a line of over 20 MUNI and SFPD agents at a bus stop just to get on a bus. SFPD and MUNI agents would then demand ID, going through people’s personal belongings and creating a hostile environment for riders while slowing down bus service for drivers.

Justifying the moratorium of the “saturations,” Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO, himself stated, “Muni fare inspection is in place in order to promote fare compliance and for no other reason.” In spite of this logic, the MTA has decided to re-implement the saturations beginning July 13th. POWER member Teresa Molina says in Spanish, “I saw some agents mistreating a rider just the other day on 9 bus. They beat him up terribly. Didn’t they say this enforcement had ended?” Community groups know that 60 days of training is not enough time to shift the thinking of power hungry MUNI TFIs and SFPD, and doubt whether there can be any type of fare and justifiable “saturation."

Facing an already hostile climate both locally and nationally due to the economic crisis and immigrant scapegoating, low-income immigrant communities, youth elderly and disabled understand MUNI saturations as just another form of repression. On Wednesday, June 9th San Francisco was forced to adopt the new Federal Secure Communities Program (S-Comm), where anyone arrested and fingerprinted can be turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Although the Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution against S-Comm, there are still questions about whether San Francisco can legally opt out of this Federal program. S-Comm and MUNI Saturations with SFPD involvement increases the changes of immigrant deportation by increasing unnecessary contact with local authorities. Losing a transfer is not a crime; San Francisco residents should not fear deportation for trying to ride a bus.

The MORE Public Transit Coalition is demanding an end to these types of saturations that create checkpoints and raids on buses, and criminalize working families, youth and elderly people. The MORE Public Transit Coalition will be claiming their victory and fighting against the re-implementation of the MUNI saturations as well as presenting the SFPD at the local Mission Precinct with a citation and demanding to see their identification. This is not Arizona, this is San Francisco, and the MORE Public Transit Coalition demands an end to MUNI saturations, raids and checkpoints!
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 12:37PM
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