Barbara Lott-Holland on The Bus Riders Union Film And Life as a Consciousness Raising Experience
VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINES
Your National Movement Building Show
“Wake up and smell the revolution”
Tuesday April 04, 2023 | 8 AM PST
On todays show Voices from the Frontlines
The Bus Riders Union Film
Life as a Consciousness Raising Experience
Recruited on the bus in 1998, Barbara has been a cornerstone of the organization since then. A resident of South LA and a transit-dependent bus rider for nearly four decades, Barbara has been elected by our members to the BRU’s leadership body, the Planning Committee, for twelve years running. She has acted as Co-Chair of the Planning Committee and of the Monthly Membership Meeting for ten years. During that time, she has served as spokesperson and representative of the BRU in the media, with public officials in LA and Washington, and in national and international social movement forums. She is the only recipient of the Strategy Center’s W.E.B. Dubois Fellowship (2009-2009).
Eric’s sings “In the Still of the Night” by: The Five Satins, and “Please MR. Postman” By: The Marevelettes.
Eric will also read his commentary on the Democrats trivial indictment of Donald Trump, the unsettling precedent it sets, and its destabilizing implications for representative democracy.
The Bus Riders Union film is a documentary about an activist group called the Bus Riders Union. Their focus is on improving the public transportation system in Los Angeles. The bus system there is in a sorry state. Busses are overcrowded. A rider will routinely see three busses pass her by, completely full, before being able to board. Handicapped riders find that the lift system on most busses is broken. Many riders need to take three or more busses to arrive at their destinations, and late night service on some routes is discontinued without any notice. On top of this, the MTA was planning a massive fare increase and focusing their energy on subways and trains that are costly and benefit mainly upper class white people. The B.R.U. views this struggle over Los Angeles busses as the new civil rights battle. The bus system is utilized almost exclusively by minorities and low income residents. Since the busses are so unreliable, workers are not able to predictably arrive on time and therefore have trouble holding jobs. This means that an already disadvantaged segment of the population is being further held back. Kikanza Ramsey, B.R.U. organizer, describes her organization as “an experiment to see if we can create a multi-racial, bi-lingual, gender-balanced mass movement of working class people.” The tape follows the legal struggles of the group throughout the 90’s as they battle with the city and the MTA for service improvements. (“Https://Mediaburn.Org/Video/Bus-riders-union/”)
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