Dirty old dog rolls over at last

by Danny Saenz

photo in the courtyard of the D.O.T. building where Danny Saenz and other activists are giving a bureaucrat an earful.

Photo of Danny Saenz at U.S. Department of Transportation, speaking truth to power during a 1998 Adapt action.

That action led to meetings where Adapt activists testified about the humiliations and injuries they had suffered while traveling by Greyhound. DOT Secretary Rodney Slater promised to push through the necessary regulations. Slater kept his promise.

I didn't plan it.
I had gone to visit my Mom in Corpus Christi on Greyhound. On Sunday, May 14, I was on my way back and just happened to get a ride on a lift-equipped Greyhound bus!

The lift was about one-third of the way from the front of the vehicle. The Greyhound personnel had to check with supervisors because the driver had complained. The worker who helped me said he had been trained.

As I was riding the lift onto the bus, I remembered all the times Adapt had blocked buses, fighting for our right to ride. It has been more than ten years since my first Greyhound arrest, longer since Adapt began the fight. Our hard work -- the long road trips, marching in heat, cold, and rain -- has paid off.
Finally, We Ride!



photo shows a woman who has chained her chair to the big hubcap of a Greyhound bus. One policeman bends over to scold her while another uses a bolt-cutter to sever the chain.

Stephanie Thomas, under arrest, in Adapt's long-running Greyhound campaign. Photo by Tom Olin.

by Kathleen Kleinmann

This is history:
I rode a Greyhound Bus from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh on May 19, 2000.

I called ahead, and making the reservation was not a smooth process. It left me with great doubt as to whether I would actually get a bus with a lift. For safety, I made a special trip to the bus station for a ticket the night before.

Then, lo and behold, the bus actually did have a lift! There were two wheelchair sites, side by side. It took a small army of about ten bus employees to figure out how to use the lift and tie down my chair properly.

Due to the space required, six regular seats were folded or unusable. Unfortunately, the seats had been sold to passengers who were forced to sit or stand in the aisle. But the driver was jolly and so were the passengers. It was a new bus &emdash; clean, bright, with beautiful windows all around. We had a gorgeous ride through the heart of Pennsylvania.

I wore my Adapt t-shirt, of course. Every half-hour or so, when I became overwhelmed by the full significance of what we have accomplished with all our years of battling the "dirty dog,"
I chanted, in a whisper, "The people, united, will never be defeated."

Today Adapt is fighting for the passage of MiCassa, federal legislation which would allow people with not nursing homes. Adapt will win that battle too. To learn more about Adapt and MiCassa, click here.



This article is reprinted from Mouth #60, the Mouth Chronicles issue.

To order that issue, click here.




See MORE GOOD NEWS. Click here.

See more news -- about Senator Pete Domenici's proposed Psycho Scarecrow Bill -- from the July-August 2000 issue of Mouth.