[In New York] A transit rider protesting moves to slash service and raise fares was dragged out of a public meeting by police officers who feared he was about to imitate the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush.
The rider, Stephen A. Millies, was one of about two dozen people who addressed the authority’s board at the start of a meeting called to approve an austerity budget on Wednesday.
“We don’t need any fare increases and we don’t need our transit system ravaged either,” said Mr. Millies, who said he was an Amtrak signal-tower operator and a member of the Bail Out the People Campaign, a group that has stood up for victims of the economic crisis. He called for the subway and bus fare to be reduced to $1, to help unemployed New Yorkers.
Then, referring to the authority’s chief executive, who was sitting about 15 feet away, he said: “Where is Elliot Sander?” He stooped, slipped off one of his shoes and shouted, “You made $300,000 last year.”
Immediately, authority police officers swarmed him and pushed him out of the room. He was clutching his shoe, a black, thick-soled oxford, in his hand.
“This shoe is for you,” he shouted as he was hustled out.