What really happened when the San Diego Occupiers got kicked off the Greyhound bus in Amarillo, Texas.

by on January 15, 2012 · 110 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Organizing, Popular, San Diego

Occupy San Diego Road to Congress – Update Day 2

 From Las Crusas to the Amarillo 13

 By Eugene Davidovich/Special to the OB Rag /  January 15, 2011

With no breaks from the road all night, and after traveling hundreds of miles through California and Arizona, the group of activists from Opccupy San Diego finally got a chance to stretch their legs in Las Cruces, New Mexico in the early hours of Saturday, January 14th.

When the bus pulled into the Las Cruses station at 7:30am, everyone’s hopes for a working restroom were shattered as the sign on the door read, “Restroom Not Operational.”

To add to the difficulties, weather outdoors was a crisp 30 degrees Fahrenheit, a sharp change form the relatively blazing 70 degrees most protesters are used to in San Diego.

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.

That morning the protesters were able to bring the Occupy San Diego message all the way to New Mexico, make new friends, and stand in strong solidarity with Occupy Las Cruces all in less then one hour during a bus layover.

8:10am came around quickly and the group was rushed on to the next bus. While boarding, J. Garcia the new bus driver asked the group, “Are you all with those Occupy people? How did you pay for your trip?” One of the protesters explained that the group raised money from the community to pay for the trip. The bus driver responded sarcastically, “Did Obama pay for it?, Get on the bus!”

The trip was rather uneventful for the rest of the day, until the group arrived in Amarillo, Texas at 5:45pm. At first, the Amarillo layover was uneventful and relaxing, until everyone got in line to board the bus. In line, the protesters were greeted by the ever so ‘friendly’ Don Ainsworth, a taller grumpy man in his late seventies that introduced himself by shouting “Everyone get in a single file line, right now, or we are not boarding”.

After boarding the bus, and while all the passengers were still standing in the aisle loading luggage into the overhead bins, Don walked onto the bus and shouted at everyone, “Shut up, and sit down!”

In shock and disbelief everyone scrambled to take their seats. At the same time, one of the protesters noticed several bags belonging to the group being loaded off the bus. The protester asked the driver why the bags were being removed.

The driver snapped at the protester, “I said, sit down and shut up”.

After the second “sit down and shut up”, several passengers began to voice their concern about the hostility and disrespect coming from the driver. One of those voicing a concern about the luggage was Michael Ponsler. He asked the driver why he was being so rude and disrespectful.

The driver spun around, and shouted, “Who said that?!”

It was me, Michael calmly responded.

“You, off my bus!”, the driver shouted.

Michael explained to the driver that he was part of a group traveling together, that he had done nothing wrong, and was simply inquiring about the bags and customer service. This seemed to outrage the driver even more and he began to shout, “all of you Occupy people, off my bus!”

Several folks from the group tried to explain to the driver again that they were all traveling together, did not want to be split up, and did not want to be prevented from getting to Washington D.C. The driver did not respond, simply walked off the bus and locked the door leaving all the passengers trapped inside for over an hour.

From the windows of the bus everyone could see the driver walk up to the Greyhound ticket counter pick up the phone and have a thirty minute conversation. After the phone call and another thirty minutes or so of standing around and watching the football game on television, two police cars pulled up to the station, and three uniformed officers walked inside to speak with the driver.

After a brief conversation with the driver the officers walked onto the bus and asked him to point out who he wanted removed. The driver began to walk around and ask different passengers whether they were with Occupy. The police stopped the driver and told him that instead of asking people if they are with Occupy, he should instead point out who specifically he wanted off the bus. The driver replied, “all fourteen of them, I want them all off the bus.”

The driver failed to realize that there were only thirteen people with the Occupy group on the bus and that he was mixing in to the group another passenger that voiced her concerns about the unfair treatment she witnessed.

No one was kicked off just yet, and two of the officers left the bus to speak with the driver once again, while one remained on board to speak with the protesters. The officer who remained inside, told everyone that they would be able to stay on the bus as long as they don’t communicate with the driver at all. Everyone agreed and were looking forward to getting back on the road. The officer even explained to the protesters that they have to deal with this driver, his disrespectful attitude, and attempts to get people arrested without cause all the time.

While one of the officers was talking with the passengers on the bus, the driver was seen waving his hands in disgust and his head in disapproval at the two officers speaking with him outside. A few minutes later, the driver and both officers returned and explained to everyone that anyone with Occupy would have to leave the bus.

Without argument and still in shock, all thirteen protesters even those not pointed out by the driver, quietly stood up and walked off the bus together. By the time the group was booted from the bus, it was already after 8pm and over an hour since the bus was originally supposed to depart Amarillo.

Still in disbelief about the events of the evening, several members of the group began to quickly put the word out on Facebook, Twitter, and every other social network that could be accessed about what was happening. Ustream was activated on Michael Basillas’ phone and the group was broadcasting live from the station to hundreds watching live at home and at other Occupations around the country.

Members from Occupy Wall Street, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, San Diego, Washington D.C. and many other cities sprung into action, re-tweeted what was happening on the ground, and helped wake up the nation to Greyhound’s apparent disdain for the Occupy movement. The group of protesters stranded at the bus station quickly became known online as the Amarillo13.

Hundreds of calls began to come into the Greyhound station in Amarillo as well as the company’s corporate line demanding fair treatment of protesters, a refund, and transportation to Washington D.C.

Even David Lynch, the CEO of Greyhound was contacted on his cell phone and office line to be advised of what happened to the peaceful protesters.

Around 9pm two local Amarillo news crews arrived at the bus station to talk to the stranded protesters just in time for the local 10 o’clock news.

For several hours the group was had no idea what would happen, whether the tickets would be reissued, whether they would be stuck in Amarillo, or whether they would make to Washington D.C. at all for the rally on January 17th.

Finally around 3am, the supervisor of the ticket counter came in to work and began to reissue tickets for the next available bus, which was departing at 6:50 in the morning.

While waiting for their fate to be determined, much love and support was coming in both online and in person. Occupiers watching the Amarillo13 live on the internet, ordered pizza for the group which was delivered directly to the bus station, and several occupiers from the Amarillo Occupation came to the bus station to stand in solidarity with the stranded protesters. Crystal, Ricker, Sam, and Rusty from Occupy Amarillo all came out to the bus station and brought the group hot coffee, lots of love, support, and encouragement.

The bus finally departed Amarillo at 5:45am on January 15th and reached Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at 10:45am where we were also met by a several occupiers from the local occupation in Oklahoma who brought the protesters food, coffee and more supplies for the road.

After leaving the station at Oklahoma, the protesters learned that Greyhound issued an official statement on twitter regarding the protesters stating, “Hi All, we are aware of the Occupy Congress situation. We have notified executive management. We appreciate your patience.” @GreyhoundBus

The group is now headed for Tennessee and in the process of negotiating a fair resolution to the disruption of the trip over the phone with Greyhound.

{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar mavigozler January 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

The driver violated federal law in discriminating on the basis of political opinion. He should have his business license yanked, both he and Greyhound should be sued for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, and states should threaten that Greyhound cannot operate in their jurisdiction if it discriminates against its passengers in violation of several federal civil rights acts. It’s time to push the right-wing extremists and bigots (and their enablers, like Greyhound) off the edge of the planet.

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avatar Greg Carlson January 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Yes, I certainly agree.

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avatar anon January 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

What federal law is that?

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avatar arturner January 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

anon, that would be article one, section eight of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce in the first place, coupled with the Fourteenth Amendment which requires the states to provide “equal protection under the law” to everybody.

You have heard of Rosa Parks, haven’t you?

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avatar jazzie January 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Really? If political opinion, he would have kicked all of them off, but instead he only kicked one off. The remaining 12 followed in “solidarity.”

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avatar Fred Amirault January 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Well, Greyhound is not going to be in business long enough to sue. Thje problem are drivers like Don Ainsworth who were given greater power after cases where drivers were hurt or killed by some passengers who were mentally disabled. What was not taught was how to do this without being confrontational. Greyhound needs to have people that ride the bus like paassengers unknown to the drivers so to stem the tide of these out of control drivers. I had one myself last year. If Greyhound wants to bounce back, they better be watching their most impportant employees, the drivers. Greyhound themselves do not care who rides their bus

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avatar Louisa Golden January 16, 2012 at 6:40 am

Good update. Thanks.

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avatar Terrie Best January 16, 2012 at 6:55 am

Thanks OB Rag for giving Eugene a voice to keep us all updated. Amarillo 13 we are with you all in spirit. You have know idea how you’ve inspired.

For pictures and by the hour upates, please follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Road2Congress. And https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoOccupy.

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avatar Terrie Best January 16, 2012 at 7:51 am
avatar imominous January 16, 2012 at 7:58 am

While Occupiers were stranded in Amarillo, what were Occupiers in Atlanta doing?
Saving a church from foreclosure!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/13/occupy-atlanta-foreclosed-church_n_1205470.html

Say that bus driver loses his job, and then fails to meet his mortgage payments. I bet the Occupiers would defend his house as well.

Make no mistake, that driver should be fired. After anonymous is done chewing on him.

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avatar Lois January 16, 2012 at 8:08 am

COINCIDENCE?

1. Occupiers thrown off the bus in Amarillo.

2. When occupiers arrive at Las Cruces, “restrooms not operational.”

3. Luxury hotel in Aspen closes for the days that occupiers are traveling.

What next?

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avatar Dirwulf January 16, 2012 at 8:10 am

I would spell check your article and look for the missing words, especially if you want to be taken seriously about this matter. “Buss?”

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avatar Patrick January 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

I’m sure that most of us can still take this seriously, even with some misspellings and such. Even professional editors make mistakes (and spell-check itself won’t catch “buss” as it’s a legitimate word).

I think MOST of us are mature enough to realise that no one is perfect. If you truly wish to nitpick, your grammar at the beginning of your sentence is incorrect. If YOU wish to be taken seriously about your comments maybe you should use perfect grammar whilst complaining.

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avatar jazzie January 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I agree with dirwulf. Journalists are in the “word” business. They need to spell-check more than the average citizen, along with making sure their facts are correct.

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avatar hank pfeffer January 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

Why is a tall grumpy man in his late seventies still working? Why is he driving a bus if he is psychologically unfit? Is he poor? Is he on meds? What is his record like? How many other unsafe bus drivers are there?

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avatar Goatskull January 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

What do any of the questions you’re asking have to do with this article?

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avatar A. Nonymous January 16, 2012 at 9:15 am

Please express your discontent to Grayhound. I have used their feedback form with dates and names of drivers, but not my real name and address, and indicated that without a public apology, I and my friends will no longer use Grayhound for my travels (which can be extensive). The form can be found at http://www.greyhound.com/en/CustomerAssistanceRequest.aspx

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avatar Presly Deen Hollingsworth January 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Nonymous, thank you for posting the info for me to let Greyhound know how disgusted I am that they allowed this to happen. I also posted this on their Facebook wall.

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avatar Stan January 16, 2012 at 9:36 am

Got the same threatening tx from an Amtrak conductor on the Coast Starlight on xmess eve in Martinez CA. And I’m not even an “Occupier” just an obvious member of the”99%”.

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avatar James Cox January 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hope this all comes to a good end. There is annother website http://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/grey_strand, where complaints can be logged and a history of complaints can be read. There is a long list of Greyhound complaints that are very similar, worth a read. I expect that the website has no teeth, but would be one more place to log your and other’s outrage!

I generally have had a good experience with Greyhound, but have not be on a bus since late 80′s.

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avatar caldreaming January 16, 2012 at 9:55 am

Yes, I find it a poetic irony that this would happen on MLK day. It shows how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. It could’ve been much worse; As I remember; in the civil rights movement, A busload of freedom riders were driven to A secluded spot Where the driver got off the bus and walk into the woods to have his lunch. While two pickup loads of bat Wielding KKK Gave the riders some of their southern hospitality.
“In loyalty to their kind they cannot tolerate our minds, and the loyalty to our kind we cannot tolerate their obstruction”

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avatar Heather January 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

This doea not shock me at all. I can tell you all stories about every single trip I ever took on Greyhound and how every single one of them ended up like some circus sideshow while every single time my luggage was lost, and always for 2 weeks. I have pictures of windows nearly falling out of a bus I was on, the failed attempt to fix it with duct tape after the same driver refused to have it fixed properly at the terminal, the same bus hitting a parked car……yeah, Greyhound TRUMPS every other travel service in the category of WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER! I have had my fair share of drivers with chips on their shoulders, yelling at me for someone else having a walkman turned up too loud (I didn’t even have mine out of my bag), driving like a drunk person, allowing child abuse but kicking my husband off for dishing some back to the child’s father, OH I could go on for years. Greyhound has a “Standard Reply” letter for every inquiry and/or complaint and has never owned up to anything their employees (which technically serve as a representative of the company itself by way of employment and customer interaction) have done wrong, so I won’t be surprised when all of the people affected by this incompetant agency get that letter as compensation for their troubles.

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avatar Nick Berggren January 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

My luggage disappeared in Denver when we were made to scramble off the bus by homeland security or DEA agents with dogs and machine guns. I’ve never been treated with as much suspicion and contempt traveling anywhere in the world as I have been in my own country. I’ve never seen anything so much like a storm trooper as those fat Kevlar clad bastards. I’ll NEVER even consider travel by greyhound again, especially after hearing this story.

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avatar Mike January 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

I agree mavigozler, the driver should have his license yanked. On that note, yank the broadcasting license for PBS and cut all Fed funding because they discriminate against the conservatives every single day!

Slippery slope to go down, isn’t it?

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avatar Nick Berggren January 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

huh?

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avatar nancyo January 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I second that ‘huh’ and add a ‘?!’

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avatar Nick Berggren January 16, 2012 at 10:43 am

Greyhound ALWAYS treats people like shit but this is beyond anything I’ve witnessed.

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avatar Leon January 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

I have been on several trips on greyhound. And always hour there late but otherwise ok. But it has always been a circus. Many of the drivers were old fats and really bitchy.
But nothing of this level.

I imagine that it was a couple of assholes who were against the “hippies” and decided too be on a power trip. I doubt it was something that greyhound itself was behind.

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avatar nancyo January 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Well, if Greyhound allows that kind of behavior, they are as responsible as the crazy who works for them.

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avatar ag January 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Sadly, if Greyhound shelled out the kind of money it took to get rid of all the disrespectful drivers and replace them with people who were excited to do their job instead of being disgruntled that they cannot retire yet, a bus ticket would be just as expensive as an airplane ticket.

The crew of a Jet (maybe 6) can get 300 people from San Diego to DC in 6 hours, and they can carry cargo with unused space in the baggage hold. That is 36 man hours to move 300 folks. How many hours would Geryhound need to pay bus drivers to move those same 300 people from San Deigo to DC?

Face it, this driver was not mad at the Occupy people specifically, he is mad at everyone he thinks does not have to work. I’m sure this guy would have just as quickly had a fit if the Kardashians tried getting on “his bus”. I think the Police said it best when then told the passengers they have had a long history with this particular driver, and I wonder how many people he has left stranded that did not have all the resources to recover that the Occupy people had.

I think the only thing everyone can agree on is that this one driver needs to find himself among the now 10% of the population that is unemployed.

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avatar VancouverJade January 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I find it ironic that someone working for greyhound would discriminate against anyone who is taking a bus… who do they think takes the bus? it sure as hell isn’t the 1%.. um.. the 1% are driving their Mercedes SUV’s and Hummers across the country, if their aren’t flying first class or business class…

I am humbled by the kindness of strangers who go out of their way to help others in need. Those are human qualities that should transcend personal politics. The driver is clearly in the wrong job, and by the sounds of it, he is likely suffering from a personality disorder if the cops are regularly dealing with him and having to apologize. Angry people like that generally have some kind of pathology going on. Greyhound should be looking putting him into some kind of therapy before he can drive again. Although, at 70, perhaps they should retire him.

On a side note; the driver would have been 20 during the Freedom Rides of 1961.. wonder if he had some kind of connection to that in his younger days, he does sound like a biggot and that is a lifelong pathology.

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avatar Nan Di Giovanni January 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Vivian was left in the cold, overnight, in Amarillo with NO SHOES! She could not retrieve her shoes from the bus. He left a woman with no shoes! I was lucky to reach Occupy Little Rock, who met them and graciously gave her shoes. We from Occupy San Diego demand a public apology and a refund of the costs of the tickets. That money was donated by people of all walks that support Occupy San Diego.

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avatar mavigozler January 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Sorry about Vivian. This driver personally and Greyhound as a corporation take full responsibility in many respects what was done. The most serious offense is discriminating against you on the basis of your “creed” (political opinion). Federal civil rights laws in existence for nearly a half century make it illegal–unfortunately not criminal (an attorney please correct me)—for a person to be a bigot in this form and manner. This driver is responsible not just for the throwing you off the bus, but also any danger or stress that was a consequence of having thrown you off the bus. There must be an attorney who will work on contingency to go after the driver and Greyhound, although you might want to demand in your petition as part of any settlement that the driver and Greyhound issue a written apology that is published as a whole page in a publication of record (New York Times comes to mind) for the offenses committed. That would be the most effective, in addition to any compensatory and (other) punitive penalties.

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avatar Ron Hamann January 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Like Amtrak, Greyhound is a monopoly who answers to no one. A civil lawsuit would be the thing. Do not cave-in and accept a settlement. Demand twelve in the box and let’s get this guy to tell his story in court. We want the whole world to see.

Amtrak sucks, but Greyhound double-sucks. Only the very poorest of the 99% are forced to ride those filthy, stinking Greyhound buses .

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avatar WENDY SUE January 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

What many folk don’t realize is that the Amarillo13 were falsely imprisoned, locked up on the bus for over an hour by a Greyhound employee. I’m sure there will be a lawsuit against Greyhound in the future!!! The least Greyhound should have done was to put them up in a hotel and feed them! Greyhound did NOTHING! Thank goodness for the local Papa John’s pizza, who’s manager along with Occupy supporters all over the country sent them free pizza!!!
Amarillo13 update: They have reached their destination of Washington DC and will be Occupying Congress!!!

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avatar Mad Mal January 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

yes, some of us are forced by poverty to ride those buses. They are already so expensive I cant afford to use them much at all. Keep racking up monetary awards and you make it worse cause they’ll only jack up the prices. How bout suing for detailed and verifiable plans for improvements in drivewr training and supervision and help everyone?

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avatar Bif Loman January 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Unfortunately, Greyhound’s hands are tied. All of their drivers are teamsters and to fire a driver is difficult at best. If Greyhound was free to run their business as they saw fit and was not bound by union contracts and antiquated work rules, that driver would have been fired long ago.

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avatar Lonesentinel January 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Ech…you are probably right about that union business – the jerk of a bus driver is how old? He may have some pretty heavy seniority within the union also…

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avatar arturner January 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Help me out here. You said that Greyhound would have fired this driver long ago but they could not.

Why did they try to fire him long ago, and how did the union stop them?

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avatar Bif Loman January 17, 2012 at 5:58 am

If this driver truly had a long list of complaints from passengers as alleged, don’t you think Greyhound would have fired him long ago? As someone who once held a union job (autoworker), it is almost impossible to get fired. Also, the government regulations give the driver total authority, just like the airline pilots, to remove any passenger. That is why the police were powerless and had to remove the passengers at the driver’s request.

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avatar Frank Gormlie January 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

That’s a croc. “If Greyhound was free to run their business blah blah blah” – gotta call B.S. when I see it. You are using this incident to attack all unions. Any capitalist business can fire people for cause.

You’re also using this incident to attack “work rules” – what? like safety regulations – damn those gov’ment regs – they just ham-string businesses don’t they? Get rid of the EPA, government inspectors of our food, drugs, water, work place, eliminate workers’ comp, the 8 hour day, the 40 hour work week (yeah, I know – these are under attack).

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avatar Lonesentinel January 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I don’t see where he is attacking all unions. Unions definitely have their place – & Walmart needs a national one badly…agreed?

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avatar Bif Loman January 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It is very difficult to fire a union member. This case illustrates that point. This driver is alleged to have many complaints lodged against him and yet he is still on the job. He is protected by the union. Due to government regulations, the police were powerless to stop the removal of the Amarillo 13; the driver has total authority on who can and cannot ride on the bus. Again, this case illustrates the point of government regulations (which the union had a hand in writing) gone wild. There must be a middle ground between the driver having total authority granted by the government, as this case illustrates, and no regulation at all.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm

It is very difficult to fire a union member. This case illustrates that point. This driver is alleged to have many complaints lodged against him and yet he is still on the job. He is protected by the union. Due to government regulations, the police were powerless to stop the removal of the Amarillo 13; the driver has total authority on who can and cannot ride on the bus.

Really now? Okay, driver goes down aisle and says okay, you’re a n*gg*r: off the bus!! Goes down a little further. Hey, you’re Muslim, off my bus, you terrorist!. Archie Bunker the driver walks to the back: Oh hey, you’re a stinkin’ Mexican! How did you get on the bus??

And you say no one can touch this driver? Really?

To my knowledge, NO government regulation protects even less offensive and criminal behavior than that.

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avatar Red Cloud January 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Unfortunately, Greyhound’s drivers are NOT all Teamsters. Greyhound is owned by First Group, USA (in turn owned by a Scottish multi-national), a virulently anti-union, anti-worker company that treats its workers like chattel slaves. So, let’s criticize the driver who should be disciplined, but let’s not try to twist the facts to prove a point that’s pretty darned dumb anyway as anyone who’s worked with collective bargaining agreements knows.

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avatar Watacat January 17, 2012 at 2:41 am

Greyhound drivers are not membeers of the Teamsters. In some ways they would be better off and have a decent pension plan (which they do not) so that older guys could retire at a decent age. Unfortunatley, today, most of the drivers are there just because it is a job, not because this is what they wanted to do with their lives. There are not enough people who want to do this job anymore, too many rules, restrictions and just plain obstacles, not to mention the demeanor of too many of the customers who use four letter words in their ordinary conversation instead of acting and speaking like even semi-educated people. Not putting down the folks in Occupy but I started in the 1950′s and loved the job – would I do it over again starting now – never happen!!

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avatar Bif Loman January 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm

True, the drivers are not teamsters, they are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

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avatar Lonesentinel January 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Due to ‘actions’ (some may say criminal) committed by those that claim to be part of this movement in rallies held, I have little respect for the ‘occupy’ movement. But I also want to say that this was very wrong – and I hope the bus driver is fired for his actions.

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avatar Mike Kirby January 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Please don’t let the actions of a small number of people and far out-of-the-ordinary behavior, highlighted by the media and reported as if it was the norm, define your view of the overwhelming majority of respectful, law-abiding, patriotic Occupiers. Thank you.

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avatar mavigozler January 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm

He should be more than fired. There should be very, very heavy & serious penalties for this Archie Bunker-style bigotry. This nation has to make a strong statement about this intolerable behavior, and an example has to be made of this creep. He should be sued for every dollar he has that is beyond his need to eke out a minimal, bare existence in life. His assets should be taken from him to the level that he himself would need to use his own bus for intercity travel just as many of the downtrodden must pay a considerable sum because they might be forced to live “on the other side in town,” and because they may have to move to another city far off in order to find employment in this era of the Bush Great Recession. Maybe this scumbag needs to have a bit of humility forced on him, and be put in a position where another Archie Bunker calls him an “un-American (hippie) loser,” or other such epithet. Let’s see how he himself likes being on the other side of bigoted hate.

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avatar Lonesentinel January 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Good luck trying to get that to happen – especially in Texas. I understand your irritation. Probably the one thing you and I have politically in common (at least for sure) is an intolerance for bigotry. In this case though, I’d let it go – unless you wanted to see if you could get a few hundred of the movement to use Amtrak and make it ‘noticeable’ via media – though that is a bit pricey of a protest/boycott.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

If this is a federal civil rights matter, nothing says that jurisdiction may be limited to less-friendly-to-Occupiers-from-relatively-liberal-California Texas.

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avatar Lonesentinel January 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

Ok…what is the penalty that can be levied against one man – Greyhound cannot be proven to be discrimanatory by one incident by one person – descriminating in Texas against political ideology? I googled & saw nothing…

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avatar john January 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

So you’d ruin this man because his political views differ from yours.

Gotcha.

(noting it’s not been established as factual this is why they were removed from his bus)

Oh, one more thing: “Bush Great Recession”? The dimwit’s been gone for 3 years. Didn’t you get the memo?
Prefacing an expected reply about “he was so bad these things take time to repair” we’ll have to start rewriting the history books about responsibility of events in the US during Bush’s first term, won’t we….

Political extremism and partisan willful ignorance is deplorable from either side of the political field.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 12:23 am

I know that right-wing extremists have a hard time paying attention, but the issue of a lawsuit is not that he has a political opinion different from mine. In fact, the issue is that he committed a heinous, offensive, bigoted, illegal, and what should be criminal act against someone having a political opinion different from his.

As far as I am concerned, this monumentally ugly creep can sit and stew in his home and rail against liberal Occupiers until he does humanity a favor and says he can’t live in this world any longer and he puts the muzzle of one of his 40 guns in his mouth. (I have no doubt he worships the 2nd Amendment as much as he despises the 1st Amendment.)

When a liberal or Occupier commits such a heinous act to deny people their civil rights and that liberal or Occupier is not arrested and convicted for it, y’all come back here now, Bubba, and tell us all about it.

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avatar john January 17, 2012 at 2:25 am

LOL, right wing extremist, that’s some funny stuff there. The hilarity of you talking about the hate and offensive views of others with rants espousing your wishes they put guns in their mouths and pull the triggers is completely lost on you, obviously.
Kill thyself, hypocrite, is all I have to say about that.

If you’d like to get on topic, answer me this: How would this driver have even known what their political views were unless they were disruptively voicing them? Why were they so eager to film the aftermath of this but didn’t get a word of his alleged offenses on camera as they happened?

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 3:20 am

The funny thing, Bubba, is your completely unwarranted, unprovoked ending of your previous message:

Political extremism and partisan willful ignorance is deplorable from either side of the political field

You clearly were referring to individuals commenting, criticizing, harshly judging, and shaming the deplorable acts of the bus driver, the only deplorable acts involved here. But apparently because you are partial to the bus driver’s beliefs, you needed to try somehow to include his opponents in his offense. Your odious and unprovoked attempt to lump the driver with those criticizing him is no different than the sophistry used by your kind which tries to demean a trial court jury by accusing them with the same crime as the defendant.

You had no basis to make to try to cast those criticizing and judging this driver with the same hate that he actually showed by depriving those passengers of his civil rights. But because you hate the Occupiers and their objectives, you had to, in some way, use a variation on attacking the messenger instead of the message.

As to your questions, you have no basis to believe that the passengers were in violation of the rules of the transport service that would get them tossed off the bus. Could it have been more about how this group looked (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-732207) rather than how they acted?

Already there are some video clips being posted on YouTube.com. Only one I have seen is not particularly a smoking gun against the driver. But eventually we will get the facts that no one disputes (including passengers who were not part of the group thrown off), and there seems to be sufficient evidence to indicate at the moment that these persons’ civil rights were violated.

This will not go away, no matter how much you, the bus driver, and other right-wing extremists might wish it so.

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avatar john January 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

1. I don’t oppose the message OSD is sending the establishment, I am criticizing their lack of decorum in turning this trip into a circus others must endure along the way.
2. My comment about partisanship was mainly to you, particularly your ill informed comment about “Bush’s Recession”. You’re trying to appeal to everyone else’s sympathy by suggesting the contempt I expressed toward the ignorant statement you made is directed at them as well.
3. There is indeed basis for my position that these people were acting in a manner the driver judged as disruptive, it is found in their own statements that they were engaged in rallies and chanting right outside the Greyhound station, their previously calling themselves the “occupy grayhound” (sic) group, their stated intent that the trip itself would be an adventure they would use to inform people along the way of their agenda, the referring to themselves during the incident as “protesters” and “occupiers”, the admission that the driver was telling them to sit down and shut up.
All of which leading anyone who understands what the whole point of activism is, to be disruptive, bring attention to yourself and your cause, to conclude that anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in a Greyhound bus for hours with 13 individuals engaged in such a circus were the ones whose civil rights were being violated here.
It was Don Ainsworth’s judgement call whether they were a tolerable nuisance or not. The law is going to be pretty clear on this one, that is the standard we’ve got in a civilized world, and your approval of this is not a prerequisite for it to be so.
This will not go away? Sorry, without them getting a bit of this on camera, there never was anything to begin with. It’s private property, if the argument is the person you were a guest of on it was engaged in violations of an offensive nature, you’ve got to have evidence of it.

I find it curious you didn’t answer those pointed questions I had. Perhaps that is because the answers are hard for you to face.

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avatar arturner January 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

Ill informed? John, the Dow went from its all-time peak of 14,000 in October of 2007 to its 12 year low of 6,600 in March of 2009, just six weeks into Obama’s presidency. Since then it has been consistently trending upward, and is now at 12,500. That’s somewhat higher than where it was when Bush took office in 2001.

Sure, it’s the Bush recession. Under Bush, the Dow lost over half of its value. Under Obama, it has nearly doubled. Bush got us into this recession, and Obama is in the process of getting us out of it. I don’t see how you can look at those numbers and dates and conclude anything else.

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avatar john January 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

A. Since when does the Dow Jones industrial alone determine the economic health of America?
B. Even if it did are you going to engage in the fantasy of pretending it was Bush’s policies alone that caused that, and not deeply systemic problems within our economy that were perpetrated by nearly everyone in a position of power?
C. Let’s cut to the chase here, the very fact that this person called it a recession, no matter whose name he put in front of it, shows he has no business sitting at the adult table of domestic policy discussion.
Calling it a recession implies this delusional belief that what’s been going on for quite a few years now and getting worse is something that is a temporary anomaly and we can somehow get back to anywhere near a place we were at previously.
You yourself allude to this by touting Obama’s success.
FORGET IT.
The prosperity we saw for decades was an illusion, we printed money out of scraps of paper and traded it for real goods and services to other nations as fast as they could consume OPEC oil, which we’d schemed with the Saudis to ensure would be priced in dollars. This was not sustainable and the clincher was policies of the 90′s which favored open trade with the Chinese which US corporations took full advantage of, divesting their brick and mortar manufacturing assets here and transferring the manufacturing knowledge to Asia, jump starting their industrial revolution by decades. They also took full advantage of THAT and completely ignore all patents, licensing and copyrighted material.
America transformed itself from producers to consumers, and there is no way to turn back time and take the knowledge back- you’d have to also take back the evolution toward capitalism the Chinese have gone through.
This is not “Bush’s recession”, though go ahead and believe whatever the hell you like. Obama isn’t turning a damn thing around and Americans are more strapped now than they were 3 years ago and will be worse off in 4 more no matter who is elected.
This is no recession, this is the inevitable downfall of the highest flying culture the world has seen yet, to be replaced by another some day, and another after that. George W. Bush could not have done one damn thing about it, though had he sat by idly and allowed sanctions against Iraq to end, and the French/Russian/Chinese consortium to consummate their drilling contracts and put all that oil on the world market and lose dollar hegemony (and a subsequent dollar crash against the Euro- google “petrodollars”) we’d be a lot worse off today that’s for sure. The nitty gritty is that we produce little or nothing the world needs save for some agriculture, what worked in the past- a better idea, an invention you brought to market out of ingenuity, will never work again because China will make it better for half the cost the day after you introduce it- and the only way that would change is if we would work for their wages and under their environmental standards.
I’m sure this is nothing you’d like to hear but if you want to simply scoff at it you can entertain me with the fairy tale of exactly how George Bush caused this horrible recession and what policies Barrack Obama enacted to get us out of it.

I’m up for a good laugh.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 8:32 am

1. What proof do you have it was a circus? It seems that the only person objecting to the presence of the Occupy passengers was the driver. He singled out the group! If there had been violations by a passenger of the rules of transport, he should have set the passenger at the side of the road, not the group.
2. The Bush Great Recession is an accepted fact by the intellectually capable and the intellectually honest. If you decide that it is a partisan comment that is disputable, that’s your choice. And a bad choice, I must say, since it will attest your credibility in discussion (or lack thereof).
3. If other passengers were disturbed by the Occupy passengers trying to speak with them and responding that they were not interested, but they persisted anyway, those passengers could have told the driver that they were being annoyed. Bus riders travelling in a group could logically be expected to get out of their seats (so long as there are no rules against it) and converse with others in the group. The bus driver will have to make the case that rules of passenger conduct were violated, and repeatedly, and that it was done by each and every one of the Amarillo 13, and by no other passenger, if the driver wishes to avoid being accused of discrimination based on political belief.

The driver does not have a license to rule that bus in any which way he likes, just a restaurant owner cannot see a group of black patrons among a roomful of white patrons and ask them to leave because they will be refused service and considered as trespassers.
Race, gender, looking funny, and believing that people who are Republicans are intellectually stunted cannot be used to decide who gets to ride the bus or not. So long as the passengers conformed to Greyhound rules of civility and lawfulness, this bus driver has some explaining to do.

This incident seems to be getting bigger rather than going away. (Disappointed?)

And what question of yours was not addressed? Questions that reek of facetiousness never get answered, as those not intellectually stunted should well understand.

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avatar john January 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

1. What proof? Their own account, as already stated. We haven’t even heard the driver’s side of it, their own words make the best case against them.
What do you call “a rally with chanting”?
2. See above.
3. If the whole group is participating in protests and activism, and they in fact did state their intent to “occupy Greyhound” as they left San Diego, the driver is within good judgement to have the whole group removed when he saw trouble starting. His responsibility is to the bus and the safety of its passengers, not to ensure the ability of these people to engage in activism.
What is this driver supposed to- think these people are up to? For months we see them on TV targeting corporations, shutting down ports of entry, etc. When he sees them engaged in activism for all he knows they are there to disrupt the operations of his company and prevent his bus from reaching its destination. To put it bluntly, OWS has gained a reputation for anarchy at this point and that’s the last thing in the world he wants on his bus- yet you seem to feel they had the right to take that on board and he was supposed to put up with it in the name of their constitutional right to free speech? If this is what anyone believes they are hopelessly uninformed, and this leads to the gist of my opposition here- they showed a terrible lack of decorum in taking this on the road in the first place and should have saved all their efforts for the big show in DC. WHERE IT BELONGS.
People on that bus- drivers and passengers- don’t want to know about anyone’s damn politics. they don’t need anyone to “educate” or “inform” them about what you want the world to be like. Yet for some bizarre reason some of you can’t seem to imagine why anyone doesn’t want to welcome being “occupied” and having someone from a thousand miles away pass through their world, get in their face chanting in rallies about how you want to tear down the government, banks, financial institutions with no plausible proposals of what you’d replace them with.
I think I’ve said more than enough in this thread and don’t expect to change anyone’s mind any more than you’d change mine. Perhaps it’s time to review the public relations philosophy of this movement if you expect it to go anywhere but further into vaporland. You think (this incident) is getting bigger? No, it’s just getting the buzz around in the circles of the faithful. Preaching to the choir.
People are not going to support it if it represents anarchy, if it represents people trying to interrupt them going about their daily routines or just trying to earn a living. If it represents people trying to “occupy” buses and small towns where people don’t appreciate anyone who thinks it’s cute to be disruptive.
There were plenty of people whose ear they had a few months ago who certainly agreed that the government and financial institutions needed a wake up call. I was certainly one. Most of us lost interest when it was revealed that the plan is to tear it all down… and stand around and wonder what we’re supposed to do next.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

1. And that rally with chanting was happening on the bus, to the possible annoyance of the other passengers? I recall reading that statement and that this behavior was not happening on the bus. Show us the quote again, in full context.
2. Only the most ineducable and ignorant of right wingers attempt to defend Bush-Cheney policies as not having a major, if not sole, role in the economic crisis that continues to leave us with the long-term unemployed. They have grasped at straws saying it was the Democrats who took over the Congress in the last two years of Bush-Cheney reign, to reaching back and blaming Clinton, Carter, LBJ, FDR, and just about every Democrat whose name they can remember, so desperate are they to revise history to satisfy the pathological liars among them.

The blame that right wingers now wish to level is that while Obama clearly mitigated the disaster–keeping it a Great Recession rather than the Second Great Depression–he and his economic advisors (many of whom are Bush-Cheney holdovers and members of the financial sector that created this disaster in a MASSIVE DE-REGULATED environment)—he was not able to work a miracle and pull us out of the quagmire.

The problem with you and other hysterical revisionists (pardon, historical revisionists) is that you can’t explain away why Bush-Cheney made FRAUD LEGAL in their deregulation of just about everything. People ask why Obama and Atty Gen Holder haven’t prosecuted the criminals who precipitated this continuing economic crisis. It’s simple: when you make CRIME (FRAUD) LEGAL, there is no basis for prosecution. The rich and foreign countries can now buy candidates and their elections in the United States, thanks to a maniacal Supreme Court and Citizens United: corporations and other like entities are now people too. In its history, the Court had never ruled on guns being an individual right, but rather, they actually conformed to (stare decisis) to precedent. Not any longer: this out-of-control Court is making the Taney Court (who made the outrageous Dred Scott decision) and courts setting other unbelievable precedent look respectable. The Rehnquist and Roberts Courts will go down in history as the most disreputable, the most outrageous, where insanity replaced jurisprudence.

3. You are asking us all to suspend judgment until we are all in full possession of the facts. But all that you reveal in your diatribe is that (a) you have made an inexcusable, unjustifiable number of assumptions (oh the irony of the hypocrite!) regarding what happened, but what is worse (b) you reveal you have a huge axe to grind with the Occupy groups and that you are pleased with seeing them unjustly treated and pushed around because, well, you just don’t happen to like their politics.

Not that anyone is surprised by this. I am clearly a liberal who holds an enmity for the right wing. And you are more likely a sycophant to the 1% (deluding yourself or sold on the hope that you will be a member of that class: you won’t). You have all the extreme right-wing talking points down, not seeming to deviate from any strictly delimited boundary they have set for you (good for you: your minders don’t much like heretics, and you can find yourself ostracized quickly…ask David Frum).

In the end, you won’t persuade anyone reading this web site comments (blog) to change their minds, and neither will I. So we can continue to cite left and right wing talking points, claim that the truth/reality/facts are on our side, and then what?

Is there anything we have missed in characterizing—often wildly—the Amarillo 13 incident?

The one thing that disappoints me is that there is not a lot of press coverage of this. To my surprise, Keith Olbermann made driver Ainsworth(y?) his Worst Person on Monday. But no chatter or mention on the 24/7 cable networks.

If this driver had put blacks/women/gays off the bus, wouldn’t this be a Twitter trend hashtag at all?

avatar john January 20, 2012 at 10:49 am

1. My points have been clearly stated, there is no reason for me to browbeat you with them. They lead me to conclude they planned this trip as a coast to coast circus, their accounts of rallying and chanting in Las Cruces lead me to conclude the trip was going as planned. The caption in a previous article shows them calling themselves “occupy Grayhound”.
It is your unsupported assumption their “Occupy Greyhound” activism ceased in the presence of Don Ainsworth.
2. Interesting you can only imply such ad hominem insults apply to me and not level them directly, why is that?
Because you cannot refute a lick of my analysis of our current economic situation, that’s why- and continue your repulsive practice of winding up all your hatred of the right wing, and hurling it at me including issues far outside the scope of anything being discussed. GUNS? WTF does that have to do with ANYTHING? Do you have a clue how
I feel about gun control or the NRA? It’s pretty evident you’re just a hater masquerading as sharing the views of Obecians who frequent this blog, AKA “progressives” and “liberals”.
This was the basis for my first reply to you, your comment was just seething with hate, and that’s all you have in your debate arsenal- you certainly don’t have any facts to offer, blaming this on Bush-Cheney “deregulation”.
However since you’re standing on that I do thank you for offering me such ease in which to hand you your dignity on a platter with the facts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass%E2%80%93Steagall_Act
The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, through the provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This is the deregulation most often cited when people cite the banking and mortgage crisis.
HOWEVER such people STILL don’t have a clue, and neither do you. It was all expressed above at length in point #3, I won’t bother typing it out again just to see you not address a single word of it and instead launch off jousting at right wing windmills that fill your head with seething rage, none of which represented a thing
I said, and still being given such latitude with your reply you still don’t even know who deregulated what when.
3. You uselessly still try to portray my position as right and yours as left, (on the topical issue of Greyhound and OWS) which given what I’ve seen so far of you should be expected irrelevance.
I have been arguing the position that the driver of the bus, the other passengers, and employees and passengers and citizens in towns at all points between, have the right to go on about their daily lives without being “occupied” by a large group (on a bus at once it is) of loud, rambunctious activists whose entire philosophy is to disrupt and call attention to themselves. It doesn’t matter whether they are leftists or tea-baggers, and I’m not even against their underlying message other than noting it’s going to fail as it only seeks to tear down, not offer something better to replace it with.
I’m arguing for civil behavior and decorum, and consideration for others, and holding growing contempt for some people with such partisanship they attack and berate anyone critical of those sharing their views engaging in such behavior.

avatar mavigozler January 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

[This is a reply to your latest reply: no reply form control is offered at a certain level in these threads.]

Without any basis to justify your nonsense that the Occupy passengers were harassing other passengers or the driver or violating rules of conduct set forth by Greyhound (assuming they even have such rules and do not leave it to the discretion of drivers completely), you are insisting that the Occupy SD riders were tossed rightly.

The burden of proof is on the driver for showing that the riders were thrown off for valid reasons. He can say, “Hey, they are just dirty hippies and I threw them off on a whim,” and at least we will have a reason (probably the correct one).

Your attempts to steer any blame away from Bush-Cheney and to try to saddle Clinton with this economic crisis is class right-wing talking points. If you wish to complicate the discussion by arguing what is right-wing and left-wing, you go ahead and wander off into that pasture and bay at the moon, if you like. You will prove nothing by saying that all of this is Democrats taking over Congress in 2007, this-or-that act of government such as Dodd-Frank, Glass-Steagall repeal, butterflies flapping their wings in the Maldives making hurricanes in the U.S., or a combination of events only committed by Democrats and the left, as the cause of suffering and misery. Each of us will have to draw a conclusion from the cacophony of points—your partisan screaming and shout-downs from the right, others from the left–as to what brought us to this condition. As you have clearly damaged your credibility by engaging in obvious, ludicrous historical revisionism, it remains a question as to how much of your crap will be swallowed spoon by spoon to those still claiming to be undecided on the matter.

avatar john January 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

You stated the reason for the “recession” was deregulation (by Bush/Cheney) and I pointed out the most often cited piece of deregulation was the repeal of Glass-Steagall under the Clinton administration.
You have not heard me blame Clinton though his China policy was certainly a factor.
If you have a specific act of deregulation as significant as Glass Steagall please offer it, otherwise your tactic of attempting to merely connect me with unidentified “right wing” principals as cause enough to discredit my valid talking points, fails miserably.

avatar mavigozler January 22, 2012 at 12:04 am

You stated the reason for the “recession” was deregulation (by Bush/Cheney) and I pointed out the most often cited piece of deregulation was the repeal of Glass-Steagall under the Clinton administration.
You have not heard me blame Clinton though his China policy was certainly a factor.
If you have a specific act of deregulation as significant as Glass Steagall please offer it, otherwise your tactic of attempting to merely connect me with unidentified “right wing” principals as cause enough to discredit my valid talking points, fails miserably.

The most cited by whom? Right-wing talking points web sites?

You are asking for reading material. Try this:

A Nation of Village Idiots

Did Liberals Cause the Sub-Prime Crisis?

Myths and Facts about the Financial Crisis

It’s the Deregulation, Stupid

While there is no doubt that bipartisan cooperation was involved in some acts intended to provide home ownership on a wide basis and that they may, i.e. arguably, be contributing factors in the fraud that took place later, to suggest that or to link Clinton to part of a conspiracy by which that fraud could occur is ludicrous. Of Bush, or rather Cheney, I have no doubt: he has already shown himself to be a criminal in more ways than one, and being told of a scheme that could allow fraud to occur in which the nation would be made destitute would make him green light such a plan.

avatar john January 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Funny stuff, didn’t have to go too far down the comments of the first link before I saw plenty of people pointing out his errors- that one where he said more was spent on AIG than on AFDC, to get called out by a reader that AFDC didn’t even exist since Clinton abolished it, was truly priceless. And another reader points out that while the author IMPLIES the commodity futures modernization act was connected to Bush by saying “a few days after the Supreme court made Bush President…” The fact is it was Clinton who signs it into law as Bush was still weeks away from being sworn in.

Another commenter points out:

“I read this post with great interest but then decided to do a little fact checking. And what I found out was that almost everyone in Congress was complicit in this degulation plan back in the 1990s. In fact the vote in the Senate was 90 yeas and 8 nays. So the Democrats are just as guilty as the Republican­s. I’m not sure why the Dems would have gone along with this unless they had also received huge campaign contributi­ons from the banking and financial industry. ”

I guess you don’t mind being completely BS’d on something if it told you wnat you wanted to hear?

I went to your third link and howled out loud when the very first point he made was the very piece of legislature under question. How again are you proving me wrong here?

Still we’re arguing about pointless points, particularly the link to “did liberals cause the….” whose author wants to dicker about whose deregulation allowed all those bad loans to happen.

WHO CARES?
They went bad because people couldn’t pay for houses they thought they could afford. Why couldn’t they pay them? The high paying factory jobs they had in the 70′s, 80′s, and early 90′s, all disappeared. replaced by service sector jobs which also began to disappear when they couldn’t sustain the economy alone.

You can believe what you like and hide behind all the talking head partisan pundits you can find, but the raw data:

http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=Pages&sp_id=1243#1

Demands thinking people face the music. In the last 20 years the entire manufacturing employment segment virtually vanished, replaced by jobs in service, health care and government.

Get over blaming banks because people stopped paying mortgages. Get over blaming wall street for creating junk investment vehicles, when the real problem is printed underneath untold numbers of products within arm’s reach all around you.

Flip anything over, it always said “US patent number X XXX XXX XXX” underneath. Now it says “made in China”. Wall street used to connect money with people who had ideas and patented them. Now any such ideas are worthless.

From another poster below:

“Dude (or Dudette), it’s the whole social justice/ economic inequity thing that pisses us off. You can’t even claim the liberal mantel if you don’t get that.”

Which many moderates critical of Clinton’s China policies attribute his bizarre favor toward them to.

Did you think helping the Chinese get a leg up wouldn’t see them jump over us?

avatar Frank Gormlie January 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Lonesentinel – Exactly what “actions” are you referring to? The vast majority of Occupy actions have been nonviolent and peaceful. There was that much publicized incident after the first Oakland “Occupy the Port” but only involved a couple hundred youths, and it was disavowed by the main Occupy Oakland group. And this is after hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country have participated in the occupy movement.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm

The fact is, large protest movements are going to attract street people who are there for criminal purposes (muggings, violent crimes against persons, crimes against property) as well as those who should be in state hospitals (if the Republicans had not closed them) carrying signs about the end of time, the international Jewish banking conspiracy, aliens among us having inserted probes into our bodies, and a whole assortment of people who should be getting our love and attention for whatever troubles them psychologically (yes, I am my brother’s keeper).

These people were already on the street well before the Occupy participants showed up, and they naturally mix in with the group when the crowd assembles. Fox Noise Channel and other right-wing media groups take the opportunity to video these exceptions to the rule, and then to declare the members of the movement to be anti-Semites, hippies, dope-dealing/-smoking criminals, and individuals who defecate in public (ask the cops if there were any public defecators before the movement existed…of course!

The funny thing is, the Tea Baggers (who have no connection with the group at Boston who started the Tea Party) were complaining about “left-wing media” showing bigots and idiots holding signs that were racist and demeaning (especially about Obama), protesting that they were a fringe not part of the group. And yet they commit the same mischaracterization.

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avatar JJ January 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I have to agree with lonesentinel in some ways, I don’t believe or can I get behind anything the Occupy Movement stand for or are involved in. Although I do have respect for Occupy or anyone else who wish to state their ideals peacefully even if I disagree with them. Now as for the driver of the bus I think he was a few pints short of a gallon. And if the police statement is correct about this driver it should have been reported before now and the driver remove from dealing with the public. What would Greyhound do if this driver while driving went off the deep end and drove his bus off a bridge. The way he was acting with the Occupy people I don’t think I would have wanted to ride on his bus in the first place.

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avatar john January 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I am not the only one who wonders why they had the cameras rolling overtime to show the aftermath of this…
But have not seen a second of footage of any of the alleged offenses committed by this driver. Don’t you think if his behavior was so outrageous someone would have been filming THAT? We’re left with a “she said” but no “he said” account of this incident which accuses him of forcing them off due to their political views and not because they were seen as disruptive.
Never mind the glaring problem of nobody getting this on record, can anyone explain to me how he would even know what their politics were, unless they were being disruptive about voicing them?

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avatar Frank Gormlie January 17, 2012 at 7:53 am

John, there is footage of the bus driver inside the terminal while the door to the bus is locked with people on the bus.

And when is the last time you rode on a bus for more than 1/2 half? In those close quarters for long periods of time?

And why ganging up on the occupiers at all? Why are you refuting their version of what happened? They were the ones left dry at the station for hours after they had paid their tickets.

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avatar john January 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I saw that footage, it really doesn’t reveal a whole lot of what transpired.

You’re right it’s been 20 years since I’ve even been on a Greyhound bus- however as a youth and teenager I rode the Greyhound alone from Grandma’s house in San Francisco to Tuolumne County where my parents lived, well over 100 times over the years, it’s about a 4-5 hour trip. You spend that much time on the bus, you don’t forget it. I can close my eyes and smell the diesel exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke (can’t do that now) right now. I remember riding the Taravel line streetcar through Twin Peaks tunnel to the downtown bus station like it was yesterday, I loved San Francisco and in those days (1970) even an 8 year old could roam freely.

I’m actually not refuting what these people are telling us at all, I’m reading their words and seeing things from a different point of view, and can’t help but continue to do that now.

You’re calling them occupiers, not passengers. Was it appropriate for them to “occupy” Don Ainsworth’s bus? Why am I being told they weren’t acting in a disruptive way and yet everyone admits they were “occupiers”, and “protesters” engaged in “rallies” and “chanting” as they traveled?

As I stated above I’ve said enough in this thread and am not so detached to not realize when opposing consensus approaches trolling. I am certainly still sympathetic to their cause and embarking on this trip is actually a selfless action on their part. One of the things that tends to get me fired up and ranting is when the story you’re being told becomes patronizing, and that is what it looks like to me and many people in the more mainstream forums having to imagine activists, occupiers and protesters telling us with a straight face they weren’t being disruptive.

However thank you for your (as usual) reasonable, well tempered reply. I do have empathy for them, as well as the expectation they did learn a little lesson about what not to do in other people’s sandboxes, so to speak. As I have learned by now to respect what lines one not blatantly cross, in yours. :-)

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avatar Anna Daniels January 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

John, your churlish, trollish “omniscient” comments inspired me to spend an hour calling Greyhound headquarters, the Amarillo station and ultimately writing a letter via snail mail to COO Bill Blankenship (Greyhound Lines, Inc. PO Box 660691, MS 470 Dallas, TX 75266-0691.) I would not have done all of those things on behalf of the Amarillo 13 without you. You are inspiring! I hope others are inspired too!

Post another comment and I will donate $25 to Occupy San Diego, in your name, just because it is the right thing to do!

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Although I am an apostate: God bless you.

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avatar john January 20, 2012 at 11:08 am

Thanks for posting that address, I never would have thought of writing Greyhound a letter of glowing support for its most valued driver, Don Ainsworth, without your reply here.
Umm, Anna, Greyhound’s COO is surely the 1%. If you really believe any response from him is not going to be a patronizing brush off telling you whatever white lie he knows you’re waiting to hear, dictated to his secretary while he’s laughing in contempt and throwing darts at your picture, or sticking pins into a voodoo doll effigy of you, ell I can’t actually say that’s going to happen now can I.
I just know that’s what I’d be doing. LOL. :-)

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avatar Anna Daniels January 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

John- I just made a$50 donation to OccupySD in your “honor.”
For those of you who are likewise inspired, here’s the info:
http://tiny.cc/fw20g

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avatar mavigozler January 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Again, bless you.

You are a patriotic American.

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avatar mavigozler January 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm

While there are questions remaining who was in the wrong on this incident, there is surely nothing laudable in anything the driver did.

That you would find something praiseworthy in what the driver has done is consistent with what Anna accurately describes as your contemptible, trollish, churlish views which you have posted here.

Your pathetic attempt to defend the indefensible–some would almost certainly characterize it as a child-like desperate plea for attention, but I think it is more complex than that–is a stark demonstration that a proportion of those among us are misanthropes, and that a proportion of the misanthropes look for every opportunity to put their hate on display.

The full story is not known yet. What little facts there are suggest strongly that the driver is bigoted scum with a history of having tossed riders unjustifiably. Be that as it may, instead of waiting for the full story, you have decided to applaud the driver’s actions. In my book, you have just qualified for that class of misanthropes who get that intense pleasure from looking for every opportunity to be publicly hateful.

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avatar john January 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Didn’t come here looking for your approval….don’t know why you assume anyone came here wanting to know what you thought of me…. since we’ve never heard the driver’s side of this, don’t know how you come to the conclusion the driver is “bigoted scum”. The hypocrisy is dripping from all sides of your reply.

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avatar jazzie January 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I would think that greyhound only owes for one ticket–the guy the driver wanted off the bus. The others got off on their own. It was their decision to stand in “solidarity,” not greyhound’s.

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avatar Barnabus January 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Hmm… I didn’t see anywhere where the article mentioned that these people took showers during their trip.

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avatar Dan January 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

Couldn’t have happened to a better group. Glad to see the Grayhound driver standing his ground. Funny, its okay for the fleabaggers to destroy property, threaten people, steal, stop shipping, but oh please don’t STOP US! We’re occupiers! Nothing but a bunch of spoilled brats.

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avatar doug porter January 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

please folks don’t feed these trolls. it’s like mud wrestling with a pig.

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avatar Watacat January 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

Have to agree with you John – we don’t have both sides of the story and until we do, there should be no rush to judgement. Maybe the driver was a bit hasty in his assessment of the situation, but we (the readers here) have no knowledge of what transpired (if anything) on the bus involving the Occupy group prior to Amarillo. Any driver worth his salt who hands over a bus load of passengers to another driver will inform the new driver of anything unusual, whether good or bad, so the new driver will be knowledgable of what to possibly expect. There again, I am not blaming anyone in this case, but we should find out the complete story.

Contrary to reports, the driver did not lock the door to the bus, he did close it and anyone who has ridden on a Greyhound several times will know how to open the door if necessary. The door was closed by the driver so he could leave the side of the bus as he is responsible for any passengers once he loads them. If he had left the door open whilst inside the terminal, someone could have gotten off on their own, cracked the enamel on their fingernail, or some other silly such thing, and then the ugly word SUE would have arisen as it seems to have in at least one of the videos already.

Lets find out everything!!!

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avatar doug porter January 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

Better late tahn never. The sdUT aka the Daily Fishwrap has picked on this story. See the trolls in action over at the comments section. http://bitly.com/wSN2YR

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avatar Robert January 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Never mind the discrimination lawsuit, the public endangerment of being locked in a bus for an hour could bankrupt Greyhound, and deservedly so.

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avatar jazzie January 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Actually, only ONE occupier was asked to leave, and the rest left with him. So, “occupierS” were NOT kicked off the bus. This completely voids the thought that the driver didn’t like the politics, since he didn’t kick all of them off.

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avatar Anna Daniels January 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Your comment is disputed by the following:
“The account goes on to say that the police officer and the driver then walked through the bus together, “”Don asked every passenger “are you with Occupy?’ To the 13 of us who responded yes, the police ordered them to exit the bus. Then Don said “Anyone else support Occupy? You can get off too!’” http://obrag.org/?p=52683

Are you motivated enough to ask for a police report? I am.

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avatar mavigozler January 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Who is your CREDIBLE source for what happened then?

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avatar jazzie January 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Oh, and by the way, if you think Eugene is unbiased, wow. He is an occupier himself and has videos on youtube showing that he is not unbiased.

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avatar doug porter January 20, 2012 at 7:35 am

Of course Eugene is “biased”. At OBRag we reject the premise of “objectivity”, (we do ask for honesty) we’ve said it early and we’ve said it often. So don’t stumble in here after reading about us at Glen Beck’s roach motel–or where ever– and start whining. That’s like going to France and complaining because everybody speaks French.

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avatar jazzie January 20, 2012 at 8:02 am

Can’t find this type of heads up anywhere on the OBRag page….can you point me to it? I know ahead of time that when I got to France people speak French. How does someone know ahead of time that the OBRag is biased?

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avatar jazzie January 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

And, Doug, I’m technically a liberal democrat, however, I do not support groups that exaggerate and have a huge sense of victimhood. The occupiers feel the world is against them and behave that way. They make liberals look bad–most of us do not act like, and do not claim to be, victims of everything around us.

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avatar doug porter January 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

You’d think you’d get a clue from the peace symbol in the logo. Or the catch phrase, “Freaks, Uppity Women & Politicos”…OR…
Front Page. Right Hand Column, Under Staff Box:
Welcome to the OB Rag – Ocean Beach & Beyond
“The OB Rag has been initiated to ply the Ocean Beach community and the San Diego scene with news and commentary from a distinctively progressive and grassroots perspective, and to provide a forum for those views. Others with similar views are invited to contribute and participate.”

And you might be shocked to discover that we often consider “liberals” part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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avatar mavigozler January 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

And, Doug, I’m technically a liberal democrat, …

What does technically really mean here? Oh well, at any rate…

The record of your numerous posts here on this issue alone do not suggest you to be a liberal at all. You seem to have the talking points characteristic of the right wing down pat, in tone and substance, in fact. I am going to go out on a limb and call you a despicable liar for describing yourself as a liberal Democrat.

Note that I don’t say, if you don’t mind, I will call you a despicable liar since (1) you likely will mind and (2) I don’t care if you mind, so phrasing it that way would be quite insincere on my part.

And if you really are a registered Democrat, realizing full well that are willing to embrace a spectrum of personalities, even the intolerant and those with the most closed of minds, let me suggest to you that you might find the Republican Party more to your liking. While the leadership of that party demands more conformity and is far less tolerant of heresy, I think your views might still slot right in. You’ve already met one or more of the membership criteria anyway: you loathe the Occupy movement and you would appear to hate what the Founders stand for…you’re on your way.

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avatar john January 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Can you post a reply without vicious ad hominem insults?

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avatar BMac January 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Huge sense of victimhood?
Dude (or Dudette), it’s the whole social justice/ economic inequity thing that pisses us off. You can’t even claim the liberal mantel if you don’t get that.
I’m no victim, but I certainly can’t sit back and watch $ take away my democracy any longer- that’s what it’s about.
And yeah, the peace sign should’ve given it away.

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avatar jazzie January 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I don’t think so Anna. Read the Amarillo Globe-News account (I think this is where I read it) where one of the occupiers was interviewed and stated that one was kicked off and the rest followed in solidarity.

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avatar Patty Jones January 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I think you need to read the story again, or at least read the whole thing once.

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avatar deborah January 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

the police said that have had to deal with this driver, his bad attitude and his trying to get passengers arrested without cause all the time. He should have been fired long ago, did the police ever contact Greyhound to report this drivers obvious abuse of the law. This could also go under filing false police reports. hope they fire this driver as he should be and deny him unemployment.

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avatar Deborah Stone January 19, 2012 at 11:47 am

Greyhound is OVER!

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avatar BMac January 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

GO 13!
That which does not stop you only makes you go further!

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avatar Jon January 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

It would seem each individual locked on the bus for an hour would have a false imprisonment claim against Greyhound. Irony in all this is that it sounds like the grumpy old bus driver is someone the Corporation would love to fire, but that is hard because of his union protection.

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avatar Joel January 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I took a greyhound in the past, wasnt too bad, recently i took from Orlando to Tallahassee and back. WHAT A RIP OFF. Now i know of ChinaTown bus, and MegaBus. Never again going to a greyhound. They threw my bag on the floor next to the bus WHERE ALL THE OIL SPILLS FROM THE BUS. they didnt let me take a multi tool with me. Seriously if I wanted to sneak a knife i could do it at any rest stop, gas station or whatever they stop in. they wanted 10$ for them to give it to the driver in a box and would be returned to me at my destination. I got searched and metal detector in Orlando FL.

Amtrak is too expensive. Greyhound can barely compete with airlines. I went to Washington DC on Jan-17th. it was 210 on greyhound and 235 on Jetblue. Jet blue was 2hrs, cable TV, Xirius radio, and free snacks and drink. Fuck Greyhound

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