Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Today is #SwipeItForward Day: here’s your chance for some civil disobedience

Another example of how Twitter can mobilize a movement.

Do it.

(Photo by Flickr user Phil Hollenback, used under a Creative Commons license)

Wanna do something philanthropic and also kinda radical? Today is #SwipeItForward, a day various left-wing organizations have decided is a day to swipe in someone else for a subway ride.


Swiping in someone else for a ride has been technically illegal until earlier this year. According to the New York Times, police have arrested more than 10,000 people begging for swipes in the subway. That’s a lot of people for the crime of donating $2.75 to someone.
But that changed in April, when Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced the coppers were going to go easier on swipe beggars in the tube. From the Times:

In explaining the more lenient approach last month to the rank and file, the Police Department’s internal order said the new policy was the result of a decision by the Manhattan district attorney’s office to no longer prosecute people arrested for minor infractions such as swipe-begging, smoking in the subway, or taking up two seats on a subway car.

In recent days the hashtag #SwipeItForward has gained popularity on Twitter with Nov. 2 being the official day to take a collective action and swipe for our fellow New Yorkers.

The group Safety Beyond Policing has been advocating the #SwipeItForward campaign for some time.

“The Safety Beyond Policing campaign along with a citywide network of activists are joining community members to demand more,” the group’s #SwipeItForward site reads. “We know the impact of Broken Windows fare beating arrests is not just the $1,750 it costs to arrest someone but the immeasurable collective trauma of over 150,000 potentially lethal police interactions a year, once we include ticketing. Instead of feeding our people into jails that break our bodies and feed on our spirits, we should use our tax dollars to provide access to public transportation.”
So here’s your chance for a little civil disobedience.
If you’ve become upset at the violence police have used on small-time criminals in New York and all over the country in recent years, you might want to #SwipeItForward.

Companies: MTA
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