We stand in strong solidarity with our sisters & brothers at ATU Local 689 in Washington, DC, who have refused to provide special transportation for KKK-affiliated hate groups rallying in Washington this weekend.
Far-right organizations are preparing to come together in DC on August 11th and 12th, for a rally entitled “Unite the Right 2,” based on the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, NC, where activist Heather Heyer was murdered and DeAndre Harris was beaten by white supremacists. WMATA, the DC area’s transit authority, had initially considered providing these hate groups with their own private Metro rail cars and police escort to and from the rally.
The members of Local 689 have refused to provide special accommodations for those who are preparing to promote hatred in the DC area. As President Jackie Jeter said on August 4th, “We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech.”
Our community has already seen first-hand what happens when racist terror groups organize. In May 2017, local white supremacist Jeremy Christian committed a racist hate crime by attacking two young Muslim women on MAX, and then viciously stabbing the three heroes who stood up to him, killing Ricky Best & Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and wounding Micah Fletcher.
What you may not know is that, just one month before the murders on MAX, TriMet provided special transportation for members of these hate groups as they rallied on NE 82nd Avenue in April 2017. One of the people who took them up on that free ride: Jeremy Christian, before his hate crime was seared into our community’s memory.
As the old saying goes: you cannot be neutral on a moving train. The hate peddled by the groups who are preparing to rally this weekend in Washington, DC is disgusting, racist, violent, and goes against the basic principles of our labor movement. Our sisters & brothers at Local 689 have bravely stood up to say that they will not be complicit in allowing these racist groups to organize. We proudly stand with them.
Vice President-Assistant Business Representative