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Unite the Rally 2018 in DC: Metro won’t provide separate trains



dc metro
ride the Metro subway system during the evening rush hour in
Washington March 15, 2016.


  • Transit officials in Washington, DC, considered
    providing separate trains for those attending the “Unite the
    Right” rally this weekend. The goal was to help prevent

    a violent confrontation like the one at the
    Charlottesville, Virginia, rally in 2017
  • Unionized transit workers opposed the plan, arguing
    that it would give special treatment to a hate group.
  • DC Metro announced that it would not move forward with
    the accommodations.
  • In the past, the city’s subway system has not separated
    protestors or rally-goersfrom the public. Other cities around
    the world have separated women from men on trains to help avoid
    sexual harassment.

Hundreds of protesters and counterprotesters are expected
head to the nation’s capital for a “Unite the Right” rally
Sunday. The event will be held on the anniversary of last year’s
rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a neo-Nazi named James
Fields drove into a crowd of anti-racist activists. Three
people died
, including a woman named
Heather Heyer
, and dozens were left injured.

In an effort to curb violence this year, the city’s subway
system, DC Metro, considered whether to provide separate trains
for the group affiliated
with the Ku Klux Klan

“We’d like to keep the groups separate. We don’t want
incidents on Metro,” 

Metro Board Chairman Jack
News4 last week. “Maybe [we will] put all of one group
on a train or a certain car on a train.”

Sources reportedly
local members from the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
that rally supporters would be given at least three private Metro
cars and a police escort.

A number of transit workers who are part of the union opposed the
plans, however. They argue that other protesters have not been
given any special treatment in the past, and that separate subway
cars could be seen as the city granting protections to a hate

The DC chapter of ATU “is proud to provide transit to
everyone for the many events we have in DC including the March of
Life, the Women’s March, and Black Lives Matters,” union
president Jackie Jetere said in a statement. “We draw the line at
giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech.
Especially considering that the courts granted Metro the ability
to deny ads on buses and trains that are ‘issue-oriented,’ we
find it hypocritical for Mr. Wiedefeld [the Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s CEO] to make these
unprecedented special accommodations for a hate group.”

FILE PHOTO: Riot police protect members of the Ku Klux Klan from counter-protesters as they arrive to rally in opposition to city proposals to remove or make changes to Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
police protect members of the Ku Klux Klan from
counter-protesters in Charlottesville Virginia, August 12,


“Unite the Right” organizers have
the upcoming event as a “white civil rights” rally.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the
group aims to
establish a whites-only ethnostate.

In a
to Fortune, the union said that more than 80% of
its members are people of color — “the very people that the Ku
Klux Klan and other white-nationalist groups have killed,
harassed and violated.” Because of this, the union did not want
to “play a role in their special accommodation.”

DC Metro has now dropped the plans, The Washington Post


While it is unusual for American cities to provide separate
public transit for those attending rallies or protests, other
cities around the world have done it for women in particular —
but for other reasons. As Business Insider has previously

, in recent years, cities like Tokyo and Mexico City
have instituted female-only subway cars to help protect women
from sexual harassment.

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