Washington, DC Transit Workers “Draw the Line” at Providing Special Trains for White Supremacists

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In the days leading up to the white supremacist, fascist “Unite the Right” rally, and mobilization of counter-protesters (including Refuse Fascism), the Washington, DC transit workers union exposed plans by the DC Metro system to provide special train cars for white nationalists and announced the union would “draw the line” at that.

“Sources have shared with ATU Local 689 that a hate group with Ku Klux Klan affiliation will be provided three private Metro rail cars and police escort to Foggy Bottom Metro Station for the ‘Unite the Right’ 2018 rally,” the union said in its statement.

ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter said that members of the union, the majority of whom are people of color, “draw the line” at providing special service for supporters of a group that espouses white nationalism.

“Local 689 is proud to provide transit to everyone for the many events we have in D.C. including the March of Life, the Women’s March and Black Lives Matters,” Jeter said. “We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech.”

Jeter also cited a recent legal case in which a court affirmed Metro’s decision to ban “controversial” advertisements from the bus and subway system. Jeter’s statement suggested that she believes Metro should use the same standard when determining whose specialized transit needs to accommodate.

“Considering that the courts granted Metro the ability to deny ads on buses and trains that are ‘issue-oriented,’ we find it hypocritical for [Wiedefeld] to make these unprecedented special accommodations for a hate group,” Jeter said.

“More than 80% of Local 689’s membership is people of color, the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed and violated. The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation,” the union’s statement said.


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