Occupy Boston Protests MBTA Fare Hike
Group holds People's Assembly inside State House.
The sound of “No” echoed through the halls of the State House Wednesday as more than 100 protestors affiliated with Occupy Boston gathered at the base of the Grand Staircase to protest the MBTA’s budget plan.
The group, which began its rally outside on Beacon Street, declared public transportation a civil right and said that protests at recent MBTA hearings had gone unheard.
“[So,] we are creating our own hearing, and we’re having it inside the State House,” said Katie Gradowski.
She and Noah McKenna led the rally from the front steps, joined by a giant-sized puppet of “Charlie” bearing a “99%” button.
McKenna noted that the day’s Boston rally was part of a national day of action, and he and Gradowski declared that the MBTA was balancing its budget on the backs of students, the poor and the elderly.
The pair asked riders and public transit workers to band together, and led protestors in a chant of “no hikes, not cuts, no ifs ands or buts.”
But some at the rally connected the MBTA budget to tangential issues.
Abe Spritzer, a member of Occupy Boston and People for Democratic Revolution, said that the MBTA debt should not be paid—and people should reject all other bank debt as well.
“The working class, the 99 percent, has already paid for everything on this Earth by producing it,” Spritzer said.
Ethan Harrison, who spoke inside at the bottom of the staircase as members of the rally worked their way through security, noted said that the state claimed it didn’t have money for the MBTA, but it did have money to put people in prison with a three-strikes policy.
Harrison said that the group did not plan to visit elected officials’ offices, Wednesday. Instead, he said, they planned to stay on the staircase.
At the time of this article’s writing, the group remained there.
The group plans to hold a "Rally for the T" from 5 to 8 p.m. on the State House steps and will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. at 8 p.m.