Connex are goddamn bastards. This isn’t a transport rant, but I felt it was an appropriate opening in any case. I read this article at the start of the week and it made me realise how tolerant I’d been, when really I should have been screaming from the rooftops like the rest of the transport-minded crazies (ie Reuben :P).
The ticket inspectors are horrible, drunk on power, violent and abusive assholes! The worst thing is that I’ve seen this first hand and I just went along with it. Every morning at Melbourne Central they’re lined up at the gates ready and waiting to harass anyone who dares use a concession ticket (although they were notably missing after that story was published, oh just decided to take a day off out of nowhere huh? Tails between your legs like dogs!). I would take pleasure in haughtily waving it in their face while I was still using my concession card until it was revoked a couple months ago, not because I’m a super-bitch (that’s still up for debate yea?) but because of how rude they were when asking/forcing people to show it. And even though I knew it was fucked up enough for me to be bitchy about it, I didn’t register just how bad it was.
We pay them good money! I spend 50bux a week on stupid train tickets, and for that I get squashed into a tiny overcrowded space, cancelled or late trains and on top of that harassed by the inspectors! Fucking bullshit. I’ve seen them walking casually through, plainclothes, acting like passengers then suddenly someone’s like ‘Now!’ and they rip out their badges, jump over seats and start chasing some punk kids like they were catching the crown jewel thieves or some shit. Its insane, its over-kill, its just wack.
So anyway (after that ridiculously long intro), this is what I’m feeling so bad about. A couple of weeks ago I was walking through Melb Cent with my full fare ticket, and I see about 5 inspectors have this lady up against the wall, and she’s crying and begging them to give her back her license, and they’re waving it above her, screaming at her and pushing her backwards. They were threatening her and mocking her, and the poor woman was hysterical. It was fucked up. And I looked at that and thought, ‘Yeop she probs forgot her concession card,’ and felt relieved that I had my full fare ticket so they couldn’t stop me at the gate anymore.
I can’t believe I walked past that and did nothing! I’m an enabler. I just let them do that to her and walk on relieved I didn’t have to deal with them. Like it was perfectly fine that a group of men should gang up on a woman, make her cry and hold her up against the wall like she did anything worse than maybe not pay $5 on top of her existing ticket. Why oh why didn’t I go up to them and tell them to calm the fuck down? To stop pushing her and making her cry? I was too afraid they’d turn their wrath on me. That’s just weak, that’s not good enough.
There was a house on the corner of a couple of busy streets in my area that a family of Muslims moved into. And everyone saw them on their front lawn or packing their stuff into the house, the whole neighbourhood knew we had a new Muslim family. Anyway one day we drove past to see someone had spray painted on the front of their white house “Fuck you Muslims” or something equally as evil.
I felt so bad, every day it was still up I wanted to knock on their door with a welcome basket and ask them if I could help them repaint the wall, to show that they were actually welcome. And I kept thinking, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll do it the next day, until finally it was too late and they had repainted it themselves. I always regret that I let it go, I did nothing, and by doing nothing and keeping myself out of their business I had added to the problem. Silence is consent. Their house is up for sale and I don’t blame them for leaving. What a shitty neighbourhood.
I vow to myself, never again will I let myself sit back and watch something terrible happen without lending a hand to stop it. I will not let people be treated like they have no rights, I have to find the courage to stand up for what’s right no matter what the cost is! I’m so disappointed in myself.