In early May 2016, PROP alongside Bronxites for NYPD Accountability and the Coalition to End Broken Windows organized the first #swipeitforward action in NYC, offering free rides to New Yorkers to denounce the abuse and money spent by the city in arresting, fining, and harassing poor New Yorkers who cannot afford to ride the subway. You can read about the first action here (NY Daily News) and here (AM NY).
According to PROP research, the city of New York spends $50 million a year arresting people who can’t swipe into the subway while data from the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services shows that of the more than 29,000 arrests in 2015 for the offense, 92 percent involved people of color.
To help us organize another 3 #swipeitforward actions this summer, where activists will swipe New Yorkers in and raise attention to the issue at major subway stops in Manhattan, we have set up a crowdfunding campaign.
A misdemeanor arrest costs about $1750, meaning that the total expense to the City’s taxpayers for this tactic in 2015 came more than $51 million. Since a single subway swipe only costs $2.75, this is a significant waste of public resources. We seek to raise the money as soon as possible to support at least three more Swipe It Forward actions over the summer. We greatly appreciate any donation, no matter how small, even if it covers just one subway swipe.
(Photo Credit: Charles Eckert, 2013)