We Don't Pay

Could Occupy catalyze a wildcat consumer revolt in May?

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Last week, occupiers in New York City chained open subway entrances and posted official looking notices inviting the public to ride for free. Their innovative action caused an immediate sensation in the Occupy movement suggesting that similar jams will be carried out worldwide in May.

Jammers explained that the fare strike was done to show the connection between the de-funding of public transportation and the financial takeover of democracy: "Instead of using our tax money to properly fund transit, Albany and City Hall have intentionally starved transit of public funds for over twenty years; the MTA must resort to bonds (loans from Wall Street) to pay for projects and costs ... more than $2 billion a year goes to debt service ... by 2018 more than one out of every five dollars of MTA revenue will head to a banker’s pockets." Union leadership agreed.

Authorities in New York City were swift to condemn, even going so far as to release surveillance footage of the occupiers calmly pulling off this audacious jam. It is no surprise that they are worried. This is perhaps the first time that the fare strike tactic has been successfully deployed in America and it is a sign that the I Don’t Pay movement which has been flourishing in Europe is finally leaping to North America. In Greece, jammers routinely occupy toll booths and public transportation entrances allowing everyone to pass for free.

As Occupy matures, it is beginning to learn a few new tricks. If Occupy adopts the I Don’t Pay movement’s fare strike tactic, we just might see May’s uprising snowball into a wildcat consumer revolt–a mass refusal to pay–the likes of which the world has never seen.

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61 comments on the article “We Don't Pay”

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the question related to the general public - not fox news.

I'm pretty sure I'm a member of the general public, and I've been waiting for it ALL MY LIFE.

so, there's that.


Deceiving commuters into unknowingly stealing a service does not make them on your side. If anything, it would turn them against you as you were insultingly taking them for fools.


Highly doubt anyone will care in NYC where the 1 percent steals from the 99 every frickin day. You ever lived here bro?
More likely they'll secretly applaud whoever came up with that one and walk through the gate.


I suspect most New Yorkers will ride the subway for free for a day and not give a thought to Adbusters, Culture Jammers, or the rest of this juvenile noise.

More wheel spinning from the left that convinces nobody of anything.


you suspect wrongly. People will remember this one. And you can be damn sure the action has clarified to many whose side Occupy is on. Hats off to them!


I ride the subway every day. I asked a dozen of my co-riders about this and they all responded with blank looks.


"This is perhaps the first time that the fare strike tactic has been successfully deployed in America"...

That sounded wildly off-base even before I fact checked it:


I think it's one thing to reclaim mass public transportation and make it free, but it's another to go into shops etc and steal. This kind of action I at least think where people participate in mass theft will damage the credibility of Occupy-


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