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Bus Rider's Union

Metro Board and BRU on Collision Course?

6:25 AM PDT on June 22, 2010

6_22_10_bru.jpgPhoto: Corey Moore/KPCC

Looking over the agenda for the Metro Board meeting Thursday I see no
sign of any items
being included relating to the impending fare
increase and/or the holding of any public hearings to consider a delay
or rescinding of same.

I'm sure many of you are aware the Bus Riders Union has engaged in a
full court press
these past few months demanding such a hearing and
further that the fare increase not be implemented.

The May 27th Board meeting ground to a halt with a contingent of BRU supporters mounting a noisy demonstration.

Now with the increase due to take effect July 1st and no sign of any
support for their demands among from the members of the Metro Board (I
think it is fair to say their tactics have eroded whatever support the
BRU may have had at one point from a few sympathetic Board members
offended at the repeated BRU accusations of racism), one reads the BRU
leadership's outlining of next steps from their monthly meeting agenda
as an indication of if anything their intention to escalate their
tactics at this month's Board meeting. I don't see any
other way of reading "...what we need to do is have a deeper strategy
conversation about what we are willing to do from here on out. We must
continue to be in the faces of our key targets and build a broader
citywide force that lets them know that 'we have had it up to here' and
business as usual will not continue as long as justice is not served."

Board last month had two BRU protesters eventually arrested and the
rest of the BRU supporters decamped when the Board chair decided enough
was enough after the protest dragged on for hours, preventing the Board
from considering any agenda items.

I don't see a reversal of course by the Board capitulating to BRU
bullying is in the cards. So I think it is fair to anticipate things
might get a little ugly this month. And while hordes of BRU supporters being dragged from
the room screaming under arrest may make for a lively picture, it will
achieve zero to stop the fare increase.

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