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Midwest Unrest, "Chicago Transit Fare Strike"

Midwest Unrest writes:

"Chicago Transit Fare Strike"

Midwest Unrest

December 15, 2004: Fare Strike!

Riders Don't Pay! Workers Don't Collect!

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has slated January 2, 2005 as Doomsday. This is the day services are to be cut by 20%, 1250 jobs are to be terminated and paratransit fares will be increased by 100%. While CTA officials claim the only solution would be extra money from the state, we have been holding CTA president Frank Kruesi and his board responsible. It is the CTA who has known this crisis was coming and has made the decision to dump it on the backs of workers and riders. They are the ones who ignored it as they built their new $119 million Lake Street office. It is also Kruesi and his buddy mayor Daley who are still talking about spending almost 2 billion dollars on a new Circle line, just so rich folks can get from their neighborhoods to the airport a little bit quicker. If there is money for such luxury, there is no excuse for cutting our service, terminating our jobs and raising our fares!In response, Midwest Unrest has called for a fare strike starting December 15th. If no final decision to scrap these cuts, job terminations and fare increases has been announced by then, we are calling on all CTA riders to ride their routes like they do everyday but without paying. The CTA depends on us paying and collecting fares. This is where our power to pressure them lies. This tactic has been successful before, in San Francisco, Italy, France and elsewhere. In Chicago, there is widespread support for a fare strike among bus operators, many of whom have already received pink slips. They've said time and again, "It's not our job to collect the fares."

So starting December 15th, politely state that you are on fare strike when you board your buses and take your seat without paying. Until then start spreading the word. Talk to your bus operators and other riders. Download flyers from our website and pass them out. Together we can make this a success!

Here's how to get involved:

*****Don't pay or collect for transit starting December 15th. And keep riding and driving for free until all service cuts, job terminations and fare increases are reversed.

*****Tell everyone you know about the fare strike.

*****Poster your neighborhood, and pass out flyers while you're on the bus or the "L". You can print them out from our website. If you don't have access to a printer of photocopier, get in touch with us and we'll get you some flyers and posters.

*****If you have access to a photocopier (or happen to have money you could donate to make photocopies) that would be great. We are always looking for more photocopies.

*****Take initiative. If you have an idea about how to make the fare strike more successful, don't wait to tell us about it. Go out and do it yourself. But do tell us as well, we are always open to new ideas.

Phone: 773-2507060

Email: midwest_unrest@riseup.net

Website: http://www.midwestunrest.net/farestrike