After at least five MTA buses were used to haul the more than 700 protestors arrested on Saturday for marching onto the Brooklyn Bridge, the TWU Local 100 will ask the New York State Supreme Court for a restraining order against the city and the NYPD preventing further "forced use" of Local 100's bus drivers. "The government may only compel a citizen to assist in law enforcement when there is imminent danger," TWU president John Samuelsen says in a release. "There was no imminent danger here, and therefore the Operator's 4th Amendment rights were violated."
The release also notes that, "In at least one case, passengers were ejected from an MTA bus and told to wait for the next bus, and the Operator ordered downtown." An MTA spokesman tells the Daily News, "The MTA has a long history of cooperating with the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies when they require vehicles to perform their duties." But Samuelsen balked at that explanation: "Our mission is to provide transit service to the riding public, not transport people who were arrested." A press conference is currently under way in front of the Supreme Court building on Centre Street as the TWU outlines their rationale for the filing.
Samuelsen, whose union voted to support the Occupy Wall Street movement last week, appeared on Keith Olbermann's show on Saturday to explain why the transit workers' marched with the protestors. "There's a sense of desperation for working people and working families in this country, that the folks in government just don't get."