As protests against the death of George Floyd and other victims of police violence raged across the country, bus drivers became unlikely heroes in the uprising by refusing to do the police’s work.
Workers for both the Minneapolis Metro Transit and New York City’s MTA, told police, “Nah, son” when asked to transport protesters to jail.
“We are willing to do what we can to ensure our labor is not used to help the Minneapolis Police Department shut down calls for justice,” Union Members for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd wrote in an online petition.
“For example, I am a bus driver with ATU 1005, and I urged people to call MetroTransit and the Governor the second I heard our buses and members were being organized to make mass arrests hours before the protests escalated,” Vice reports.
New York City’s MTA echoed this sentiment and a video posted on social media reportedly showing a bus filled with people arrested during the protest Friday night near the Barclays Center and the bus driver refusing to drive it.
“None of our bus ops should be used for that. We didn’t do it during Zucotti Park/Occupy Wall St. went to court against this,” JP Patafio, vice president of Transit Workers Union Local 100, which represents the city’s bus drivers, said, Vice reports.
“I told MTA our ops won’t be used to drive cops around,” he added. “It is in solidarity” with Minneapolis’ bus drivers.
Vice notes that “In 2011, the union sued to prevent the New York Police Department from commandeering buses and forcing city drivers to transport arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters for the cops.”
Not sure why police believe that bus drivers are going to work as their personal Ubers, but both Minneapolis and New York bus drivers have said “Not tuh-day.”