Day 2 of OSD On the Road to Occupy Congress – Thrown Off the Greyhound

by on January 15, 2012 · 46 comments

in Organizing, San Diego

Occupy San Diego activists stuck in the Amarillo, Texas, Greyhound bus terminal, on Day 2. From L to R: Claudia, Vivian, Mike, Will, Brett, Leslie, Laura Diamond, Michael, Michael, Johnny, Kevin, Eugene, and Alan.

It appears our brothers and sisters from Occupy San Diego who are on their way to Washington DC to “Occupy Congress” were rudely thrown off the Greyhound bus by an unsympathetic bus driver. This was in Amarillo, Texas in the middle of the night, Saturday, Jan 14th.

Here is a report from Michael All-In Ponsler:

“Don Ainsworthy, Greyhound’s most psychotic driver really screwed up tonight. This man was completely rude to all passengers waiting to board and when he saw our Occupy logos he made several negative comments.

Once we were on the bus this guy began shouting at people to sit down and shut up. This did not go over well with any of the passengers, but I made it clear that we will not be treated so disrespectfully.

He then came back and told me to get off the bus. I refused.

The driver exited the bus, locked us in the bus for over an hour while he called the police.

Police officers boarded the bus and agreed that the driver was being inappropriate. Surprisingly, the police attempted to negotiate on our behalf.

The driver refused to allow us to stay on board and demanded that all the occupiers be removed. Of course, the police officers were required to support his “authority”.

We are stuck in Amarillo, TX until hopefully the next bus at 5:50 am.

If you care about people being discriminated against based on anything including political opinion call Greyhound corporate (not the Amarillo station) and let them know Don Ainsworthy must be removed from his position with Greyhound.

The local Greyhound desk staff and baggage handlers confirmed that this man is complained against repeatedly. The police also said they are here to remove passengers far too often and almost always due to this particular driver’s attitude.”

After local news arrived, the manager of Papa John’s pizza supplied them with pizza for dinner, and some supporters have offered to try to get airline tickets for the rest of the journey.

UPDATE: San Diego Occupiers stranded last night in Amarillo were back on the road to D.C. at 5:40 a.m. this morning on another Greyhound bus. At this point, lease call 800-442-8480 on MONDAY, to complain to Greyhound about the treatment of the Occupiers.

They got on the local news:

 

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ernie McCray January 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

Scary.

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avatar Deborah Storm January 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

this is totally rediculous….this driver needs to be fired! discrimination in 2012? are you kidding me? BOYCOTT GREYHOUND if they don’t fire this guy. OCCUPY GREYHOUND

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avatar Fadi January 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Discrimination? Political views isn’t protected by the Federal Civil Rights Act, they have the right to refuse version.

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avatar TRD January 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

It is illegal to discriminate based on race, gender, sexual or political orientation.
The bus driver probably discriminated against you because of your collective smell.
A bus is a confined environment. The other passengers will suffocate and die. I think the driver made the right call.

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avatar Ann January 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

TRD–They look clean to me! And they had likely been on the road for over 24 hours. Two of our daughters are currently on a Greyhound coming to Omaha from San Diego. Approximately half the mileage that these occupiers will be traveling. Even at that, it is an exhausting 46 hour trip. They were in Amarillo this morning, a few hours later than this group. I would be right up there with the loudest in protesting if they had gotten removed from the bus in Amarillo because of political views that the driver didn’t like. The police have indicated that this is a “problem driver”, (i.e. they have been called to this station to remove passengers all too often, and he is usually the offending bus driver). He needs to have an immediate and complete attitude change, or else he should not be in a position to interact with the general public. Give him a job in baggage behind closed doors.

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avatar THE99DECLARATIONdotORG January 15, 2012 at 11:27 am

hey there occupiers we will CYA in DC

Hi Friends, I’m working with The 99% Declaration, a non-partisan grassroots effort to to get the money out of politics and restore representation for the 99% of Americans currently left out. We are seeking supporters, voters, and delegates to our July 4th convention in Philadelphia. Check us out and get involved! http://www.the99declaration.org …. OH WE NEED ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE.. EVEN DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS TO MAKE US APPEAR INCLUSIVE … oh yea a few republicans too so if your voting for Mitt then we are your gang ?;-)

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avatar Dave January 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm

^ Spam

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avatar Trishia Jacobs January 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

I am very interested in this story and am eager to learn more facts. I found a twitter account in the name of the bus driver but ….??? someone said it was created “3 hours ago”?? Most buses run on a tight schedule. How was this bus driver able to hold things up for over an hour? How were folks ‘locked’ inside? I’m not calling the Occupier a liar. I have a background in journalism and just that reading the story, these are questions that immediately come to my mind.
I am happy to know the Occupiers are en route after all. I hope Jan. 17 turns out to be a pivotal day in American history:) IF I had the time and money, I would be joining the Occupiers. I did visit the Occupy Mosier (where I live) — the occupy event too small to fail:)

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avatar Porkov January 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

Interesting, that this “occupy” group wants to get someone fired. The bus driver must be one of the 1%.

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avatar Dave January 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

If he was in the 1% he wouldn’t be driving buses for Greyhound.

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avatar Pablo January 16, 2012 at 3:47 am

I like how Don doesn’t want to see people discriminated against for any reason, including political opinion, but wants to discriminate against successful people.

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avatar dana diema January 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

This sounds like poor treatment of anyone. This driver needs a rest.

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avatar Andy M (Auntie Em) January 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

… at least Ms Parks was allowed on a bus (bless her for refusing to sit in the back). A Greyhound employee refused paying customers a bus ride based on their political views. Greyhound corporate executives need to be made aware of that fact.

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avatar just sayin... January 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Lots of missing information. I am sure if there was truth in this the media in the area would have been notified and it would be all over the ” main stream” media buy now ….

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avatar Jim January 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Notice the word, “CHANGE” looming above you on the change machine. How profound and poetic is that! Hang in there!

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avatar john January 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

From the looks of the above picture of OSD “occupying” the bus station in Amarillo, we can safely assume these people similarly boarded that bus with all the sentiments and atmosphere one expects at a circus. The bus driver probably found them disruptive and asked them to quiet down, which they naturally reacted to with more raucous behavior in the name of free speech infringement- ignoring such protections are irrelevant on a private bus line and the driver has a lot of responsibility just operating a machine of that size on a public highway.
You’d think some people would learn this stuff in their K-12 years. Just because you think you’re being cute, doesn’t mean the rest of the world will think so.
The comment that the driver had to tell them to sit down and shut up tells us all we need to know. I do respect their political message and the efforts they are making toward necessary changes in this country, however I don’t respect their vilification of this employee who was merely trying to do his job in the face of their outrageously poor judgement of decorum.

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avatar Ann January 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Please re-read the article. You are making a lot of assumptions without basis in fact.

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avatar john January 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm

What is an assumption based on no facts is that they were removed from the bus solely because of their political views.

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avatar john January 16, 2012 at 12:07 am

From the newer story:

“At the Las Cruses Greyhound station the group was met by Jeff and Stella Miller from Occupy Las Cruces who brought loafs of freshly baked hot bread and coffee for the travelers. After everyone got their fill and had an opportunity to stretch, the group quickly organized a small rally with protest signs and chants outside the bus station.”

Now why would the driver have a problem with 13 chanting activists continuing a rally on his bus? This is what I’m getting at, there is a time and a place for their activism. They are making a party of this little field trip, well that sounds like fun and all but being forced to ride with or drive around 13 loud, chanting protesters on a cramped bus for hours is not everyone’s idea of a pleasant time.
Despite what another person stated, their political views are the last thing in the world I have a problem with, what I might have a problem with if I was on that bus with them is their lack of consideration for the right of others to take public transportation from one place to another in reasonable peace and quiet. Most people like to sleep on such long trips!
Who here really believes they were behaving like normal passengers and the driver singled them out for being leftists? Are we forgetting the whole point of “activism”? It involves drawing attention to yourself, even if (and usually involving) being disruptive to someone else just going about their daily business. News flash, not every appreciates that, and it really doesn’t matter WHAT your cause is, right or left.

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avatar Ann January 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I have not read anywhere that they were chanting and protesting while traveling on the road. And this bus driver is a problem bus driver that the Amarillo police say is the one who usually kicks people off of the bus, and all too often. Also, at the end he said that if anyone else supports them that they can get off of the bus, too. I wonder what I would have done, as I support them but with my arthritis would have a hard time sleeping in a bus station seat. And this, by the way, is because he disagreed with the politics! Why would you think not when he actually told the rest of the bus riders that if they support occupiers, they should get off of the bus also. Kinda ruins the argument that these guys were being unruly on the bus,.

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avatar Mark January 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

From your comment it would appear that you were on the bus. But we know that isn’t true. Therefore, all that can be derived from your comment is that you are a RWNJ who would find fault with the Occupy Movement regardless of what happened. You have no basis for your comments yet you write as if you do. Tell me what was going through Neil Armstrong’s mind when he first stepped on the moon? What was Richard Nixon thinking when he erased those 17 minutes of tape? How did Bush feel about lying to the public about Iraq’s WMDs? All of these questions should be a piece of cake for you.

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avatar john January 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm

LOL, ad hominem in lieu of a credible rebuttal to clearly expressed talking points, what a surprise!
Nobody here commenting was on that bus, and it does not take Sherlock Holmes to conclude from their own admission they were being told to “sit down and shut up” along with the picture above (showing them holding up protest signs in Amarillo Texas when their event is 1200 miles away!) that there was reason to believe the driver found them disruptive.
Those were the basis of my comments, move along if you cannot maturely discuss the issues.

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avatar Ann January 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Insulting people who disagree with you is not the sign of an objective person. Or one who “maturely” discusses the issues. These are people who disagree with you and have valid points.

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avatar john January 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Unless you clicked on the wrong reply button and that was meant for Mark, your criticism holds no water at all- can you provide an example of me insulting anyone’s person on this page?
Toward your other reply, (condensing this for brevity) the comment you replied to contained a direct quotation taken from the followup to this story, with the author claiming they staged a rally (including chanting) outside the Las Cruces Greyhound station. What do you mean by “on the road”? Are we going to play disingenuous and wonder if they shut the antics off and on as they exited and boarded each bus? Would it even matter, since the bus driver could see the rally going on?
Disingenuous would best describe it because we’re to believe the bus driver kicked them off because of their politics. If you or I get on a bus, how does anyone even know what our politics are in the first place- unless we’re making a spectacle of ourselves and insisting people listen to us about them? If it’s 13 individuals, isn’t that a bit much to assume people will welcome in the cramped confines of a Greyhound bus for a very long and tedious ride?

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avatar barbaramartin January 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

This is all speculation about what may or may not have happened. After 9-11 the driver/operator of any public transport has total discretion over who can ride. Being an activist and having spent much time in DC and riding between DC and NYC , I can say with certainty that if the driver does not like your politics you will know it one way or the other. A group of 5 of us was told to shut up by a driver so he could hear his radio. The driver was listening to Rush Limbaugh. Don’t be so quick to judge. The story will come out soon enough

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avatar BonnieDaMantis January 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm

A video of #Amarillo13 has been released… http://youtu.be/2MARlk8voY4

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avatar Louisa Golden January 16, 2012 at 6:39 am

Fascinating and persuasive. Looks to me like those protesters were pretty subdued and were thrown off the bus for political views. Thanks for the link and thanks to the OP for the article.

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avatar john January 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

hmm, the same user has a video posted entitled:

“Anonymous Message: Real Revolution is Here. The former US Government shall be destroyed.”

Now there’s a movement with wide appeal! How do you think that’s gonna play in Peoria?

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avatar Terrie Best January 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I predict the Occupation gets stronger, Greyhound issues a statement and a 2,000 dollar donation is garnered for the Amarillo 13 crew, all from bus driver Ainsworthy’s childish shenanigans. Oh wait, that already happened.

Judging from the mean people who sudden showed up here, we are winning.

xoxo

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avatar just sayin...jim grant January 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I guess my comments from a few hours ago will not be posted…..bummer …BUT : I agree with several others the stories has lots of holes .

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avatar Shawn Ambrose January 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Did you know that Greyhound charges an $18 fee for 3rd party transactions. Check out the Change.org petition that over 8300 have signed at:

http://www.change.org/petitions/greyhound-eliminate-the-18-gift-ticket-fee

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avatar Steve Gottlieb January 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

OK, so the bus driver is wrong. However we, as occupy, should support all workers! The driver is angry since at the age of 103 he still has to work at a shitty place like greyhound. Don’t be upset at the driver but rather be upset that greyhound treats their workers like shit and this causes the drivers to be angry.
Think about it, if the driver was earning $49,000 per day do you really think that the driver would have an attitude towards his/her passengers? I am an occupy member and I do support all occupiers but this time they’re wrong. The rule is simple-Support ALL workers!!!

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avatar barbaramartin January 16, 2012 at 4:58 am

John was not on the bus and could not know what happened on the bus. My earlier comment described a TRIP that I took and described the drivers politics on that trip. Again, I am waiting to hear what happened to escalate the anger of the driver, not making sh*t up in my head. I am quite sure Greyhound will be making a statement at somepoint. BTW, Greyhound has done nothing but apologize, provide food and even sent an express bus to carry them faster so they got there only 6 hours late.

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avatar john January 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Did I ever say I was on the bus? When was it established that this be a prerequisite for comment? I am merely assessing the situation with the limited facts that are before me, which by the way do not include the anecdotal account of your experience, which has little relevance to this situation.
I might add the further irony offered by the caption in a previous article:
http://obrag.org/?p=52575
Scroll down, see:
“More of the occupy GRAYHOUND (sic) crew”
Occupy Greyhound!
The driver is the captain of that ship they got on, is responsible for the bus and its passengers arriving safe and intact, and would not be expected to be amused at anything resembling a challenge to his authority.
and:
“It is unclear what’s in store for the group in D.C., but what is clear is that the trip itself will be an adventure and a great opportunity to educate the public about the occupation and the movement’s goals.”
All this just leads to a common sense judgement that it’s not their politics people have a problem with, but their insistence to bring their circus into people’s faces.
Why aren’t they saving this stuff for Washington DC? By their own admission above we can see their stated intent was activism throughout the whole trip.
Perhaps someone’s forgotten that successful politics involves convincing people to join your side of an issue- not being the biggest PITA possible and disrupting their lives just so you can get 15 seconds on TV.
As for Greyhound well anyone who thinks corporate damage control is in itself usable in determining facts about an event that required it, well I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, real cheap.

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avatar mr.rick January 16, 2012 at 5:37 am

If what barbaramartin related at the end of her last comment is accurate? It would appear to be a new found respect, or fear, has been won. The corporation wouldn’t make moves like these if it wasn’t either spooked or have a new angle on making money. Not just any local yokel employee could order up a spare bus.Maybe the occupy movement will mature into a well respected force on a level with some of the institutional grade organizations and forces we have to battle. And do, always support the workers and be sympathetic to the over worked and under paid,pissed off regular sap.

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avatar barbaramartin January 16, 2012 at 5:47 am

The group is live streaming and I think there is a link here road2congress They are also on twitter. The express bus met them in Nashville and they should be in DC by 2PM

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avatar Louisa Golden January 16, 2012 at 6:54 am

I shamefully admit I had a brief moment when the complaints that mainstream media was not confirming the account left me uncertain, unable to really believe this could happen. So I went looking and found this: http://www.newschannel10.com/story/16525818/occupy-protestors-kicked-off-bus-in-amarillo

Nice report, I thought.

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avatar Mike G. January 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

The 800 number in the article gives you the Springfield, Mo. office. Is this the number we should call? I am copying the national Customer Service number here:

Customer Assistance
214-849-8966
7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Central time zone, Monday through Friday

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avatar barbaramartin January 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

I think Greyhound realized their mistake and are trying to m ake it right. The Leather seated, wi fi equipped, express bus should be arriving in DC within the hour! Look for livestream

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avatar Tom White January 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm

This is completely unacceptable. I thought we were over this bus-driver-discrimination-thing back in the 1960’s. I guess not. Oh and by the way, I took the time to fill out a Greyhound customer service thing against this Don Ainsworthy guy. What a douche bag. If Greyhound doesn’t want 99% of people riding their busses….well, I doubt if they’ll have very much success in getting the One Percenters to do it!

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avatar Tom White January 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

In case you would like to write to Greyhound Customer Service:

http://www.greyhound.com/en/CustomerAssistanceRequest.aspx

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avatar Cory January 17, 2012 at 4:42 am

I LIVE in Amarillo and frequently travel for a second job to Lubbock, and this driver is a pain in the a**. People who use Greyhound have been trying to get rid of this guy for at least as long as I’ve had my second job for the last four years.

Kudos to Papa Johns!

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avatar Patty Jones January 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

According to Eugene, the author of this post, the bus driver who kicked them off the bus has been relieved of his duties at Grey hound.

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avatar Roark January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Time to start a new bus company. Greyhound has had too many incidents like this all across the globe. There was even a beheading of sorts in British Columbia, ON A GREYHOUND BUS!

Boycott Greyhound when you can. I know it’s more affordable than flying, but still. And boycott Starbucks when you can as well. And McDonald’s and Coke! Do some research and you will be horrified by these and so many other companies if you just do the research. No wonder the scumbags who have hijacked our world want to shut down the Internet.

Turn off your TELEVISION too! :-)

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avatar john January 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I wish the Rag had a “like” feature, I’d have hit it for this one.
You’d know why if you’d just done the research.

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