San Francisco

Organizing Around Transit: At the Intersection of Environmental Justice and Class Struggle

by Tom Wetzel

For the older big cities in North America, public transit is critical to their daily functioning. Organizing among workers and riders on public transit has a strategic importance.

Buses, light rail cars and subway trains attract a diverse working class ridership. Workers in small factories, department stores, hospitals, and restaurants are thrown together on the bus. We encounter retirees going to a doctor's appointment, the unemployed, working class students going to classes at a community college, people of all colors and nationalities, immigrants and native-born. Organizing among transit riders allows the organizers to interact with a broad spectrum of the working class population.

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