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DC Transit Union Says No to Whites Only Trains

ATU Local 689 has stopped a plan to provide private subways to white supremacists at this weekend's Unite the Right Rally

Brian Young's picture
Aug 06, 2018

On the one-year anniversary of the death of Heather Heyer and the riots that happened at a White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville Virginia, one of the leaders is planning a new march, this time in Washington D.C. While these racists hoped to take trains into the march that only carried white supremacists, the Metro’s largest union has refused to go along with the preferential treatment for the protestors.

When the rally was announced for August 12th on the National Mall in Washington D.C. the DC Metro system boss decided along with D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham and Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld decided that to prevent violence they would provide separate trains, just for the white supremacists to attend the rally. The Metro officials claimed that this was to prevent violence.

Almost immediately the Metro’s largest union Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 released a statement letting the public know about the plan and expressing outrage that their mostly minority members would be forced to provide private rail service to a bunch of racists and neo-Nazis. “Local 689 is proud to provide transit to everyone for the many events we have in D.C. including the March [for] Life, the Women’s March, and Black Lives Matter,” ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter said. “We draw the line at giving special accommodations to hate groups and hate speech.”

In the statement, Jeter noted that more than 80% of the union's membership is people of color, the very same people that many of the attendees accuse of attacking their “way of life.” Local 689 also brought up the fact that Metro recently sued so that they would not have to post controversial advertisements. If Metro didn’t want to post white supremacist propaganda, why should the employees be forced to work on their private rail cars?

Ultimately with their employees refusing to work on these trains, Metro caved and announced over the weekend that they were dropping their plan to provide private rail service to the rally. Instead, the racists who are attending will have to take integrated trains, although DC Police are still considering providing a police escort from Foggy Bottom Metro station to the National Mall to prevent the violence that was seen during last year’s hate rally.

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