If they know where the taxis are, they must be trying to throw innocent Muslims into prison — got it? And some say that drivers who have refused to strike have been threatened.
Conspiracy Paranoia Alert: “Taxi ‘Fear’ Hike,” by Jeremy Olshan for the New York Post (thanks to JC):
September 4, 2007 — Fear and paranoia are driving the taxi strike planned for tomorrow and Thursday, industry sources said yesterday.
The global-positioning systems being installed in all 13,000 cabs will be used to target and spy on Muslims, according to pro-strike literature being distributed by members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, the group behind the two-day walkout.
“This is where deep racial, ethnic and religious prejudices and biases come into play,” one flier reads. “DNA samples are obtained, scrutinized and archived. Personal and family histories are scoured for evidence of ethnic and religious fervor. Clearly, surveillance technology can be a death sentence once you are in its crosshairs.”
Taxi and Limousine Commission officials say the city has no such sinister motives. The GPS will be used to automate the paper trip sheets each driver has to keep, and will transmit only the start and end location of each fare, officials said.
The new technology system, which will also allow for credit-card payments, was approved in 2004 as part of the same deal that gave drivers a 26 percent fare hike.
It’s unclear how many drivers are represented by the Taxi Workers Alliance, which claims 8,000 members – roughly one fifth of the total cabby workforce. But even those who disagree with the group may choose to stay home, sources say, because threats have been made against drivers who pick up passengers rather than strike.
“We are extremely disappointed to hear that that kind of fear mongering is taking place,” TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said. “No one should be operating in that kind of environment.”