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Pandemonium at MTA Hearing in Brooklyn, 4 Arrests

Four people were arrested at a rowdy MTA hearing at the Brooklyn Museum last night, where transit officials found themselves on the receiving end of public fury over proposed service cutbacks. NY1 and Fox have video from the scene, where one irate young woman, who was not scheduled to speak, took the podium. When she refused to yield or leave, she was forcibly escorted from the auditorium and arrested. During the fracas, two other females and one male were arrested. (The MTA makes a point of telling us that all three females have prior arrests for incite to riot.) Here's video; skip past the insipid anchor babble to the 30 second mark:

With the MTA facing a budget shortfall of $800 million, the Authority is poised to implement the most severe service cuts in decades. These include the elimination of the W line, slashed service on eight other subway lines, the abolition of free MetroCards for students, and the eradication of more than 12 bus routes. In public hearings this week, some riders voiced their angry objections, while other struck a more pitiful tone—one straphanger told the hearing last night, "I have a cane so it's hard to get around. They keep saying that the trains go the same as the buses, but there's no handicap access, so we're very concerned." Here are maps of the proposed service cuts, organized into State Senate and Assembly districts.

"You understand what we're doing here? We're hurting people's lives. It's wrong," declared State Senator Martin Golden at last night's Brooklyn hearing. There was also a hearing in the Bronx, but that one was reportedly quiet and subdued, so one can only conclude that the Bronx has lost its edge.

Tonight's your last chance to unload on the MTA when they hold the fifth and final hearing at FIT. There will be a rally at Governor Paterson's office at 633 Third Avenue at 4 p.m., followed by a march to FIT, where the ranting starts at 6.

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