In Articles, Bus Riders Union, Channing Martinez, Fight For The Souls OF The Cities, The Labor Community Strategy Center, VIRTUAL EVENT

On June 24th 2021 Metro Will Consider Moving $15Million Dollars More To Law Enforcement

The Sneaky Metro Board is at it again. We just received information this afternoon that Metro is voting on more money to law enforcement, just one day after the LAUSD voted move almost $60 Million to support Black Student Achievement. While LAUSD move to repair systemic harm to Black people, Metro moves to increase genocide against Black passengers.

After having voted to extend their multi agency policing contract for an additional 6 months-$36 Million dollars; the board will again consider more money for law enforcement.

In 2016 the Metro board voted to award RMI International Inc. a private security company $105 Million dollar contract to “provide infrastructure protection services”.  Currently their contract is on schedule to end October 1st, 2021. The board is considering extending the contract to March 31, 2022.

In 2017 The BRU, concerned about the mass arrests and citations of Black passengers proceeded to collect more than 350 detailed surveys from Black passengers on the buses and trains. On at least two occasions two RMI agents proceeded to harass and provoke Barbara Lott-Holland, Associate Director and Channing Martinez, Director of Organizing on the Compton Station during their conversations with riders telling their stories of police abuse and citations they received for not being able to afford the fare. When Barbara challenged the agent’s claim of “soliciting” on the station, they proceeded to call the sheriffs as they’d threatened multiple times. While we could not hear their conversations, we could tell immediately by the agent’s body language that he was told that he was out of policy. The officer nonetheless continued to push Channing and Barbara off the station. When channing attempted to record the event, the second agent attempted to slam channing’s phone to the ground and physically push him to the ground.

These same officers confronted our cohort of Taking Action Summer Interns the previous year having successfully called the sheriffs who threatened to arrest all 20 students if they did not leave the station immediately.

As Assata Shakur beautifully said, “It is our duty to fight for freedom”. The Bus Riders Union and the Fight for the Soul of the Cities has fought with the Metro for 20+ years around out right to organize on the buses and trains and in 1996 Federal Judge Hatter named the Bus Riders Union as class representation for the Metro’s 500,000 daily riders. WE DEMAND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST, DEMONSTRATE AND ORGANIZE!

Join us tomorrow at the Metro board to call on Supervisor’s Holly Mitchell, and Hilda Solis, Mayor Garcetti, Councilman Mike Bonin, Jackie Dupont-Walker and the full board to immediately cancel the RMI contract without option of renewal.

We’re speaking on Item 28 “infrastructure protection services” 

Live Public Comment Instructions:

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The Board Meeting begins at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on June 24, 2021;

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