Taxi drivers

Activists distribute hotline resources to NYC taxi drivers

Flyers distributed with links to free resources to prevent hate crimes and help drivers respond quickly in an emergency

After last month’s unpleasant incident where a Sikh taxi driver was physically assaulted and harassed by another taxi driver in an apparent hate crime, Sikh activists have raised awareness in the community about their rights in America.

Maintaining the momentum to educate more Sikhs about the safeguards available to them in the face of a hate crime or racial bias situation, Sikh Coalition and a number of other community and civil rights organizations have gathered on February 12 to organize a resource campaign for minority taxi and rideshare drivers in New York City.

These included the Arab American Association of New York, the Asian American Federation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of New York, the Muslim Community Network New York, and many others.

Read: 40% of NYC taxi drivers on strike are South Asian: City Council candidate Jaslin Kaur (November 2, 2021)

At New York’s John F Kennedy Airport (JFK), more than 25 volunteers distributed 600 flyers with links to free resources aimed at preventing hate crimes and helping drivers respond quickly and effectively if passengers threaten their lives. security. Resources were available from 10 organizations in over 12 different languages.

“Events like these are essential to get resources into the hands of people who need them and to show solidarity between the different community organizations and city agencies that serve them,” said Nikki Singh, Senior Policy Officer and advocacy by the Sikh Coalition.

“We are grateful to everyone who made this distribution of resources possible, and we look forward to continuing to provide legal, advocacy and community support to our taxi and rideshare drivers.”

“Taxi and rideshare drivers in our communities remain vulnerable to hatred and discrimination given their interactions with the public,” she said.

Read: Taxis beat ride-sharing services in New York: Data from Morgan Stanley (July 11, 2016)

Over the past few years, the Sikh Coalition has provided free legal aid to a number of Sikh drivers who have been violently attacked, including a community driver assaulted at JFK early last month, whose attacker has since been charged hate crime, Singh said. .

“We continue to proactively distribute resources in hopes of helping drivers prevent hate incidents or protect themselves when they do occur, and we are excited to partner with city agencies and other organizations. to reach people in need outside of our own community,” she said.

Singh also thanked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for providing transportation for the volunteers and the means to reach the drivers.

Read: New York-based taxi tech platform announces new senior advisor Justin Erlich ahead of expansion into U.S. taxi market (December 17, 2021)

Some of the other organizations that were part of the initiative were: Korean American Family Service Center, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Stand with Asian Americans, New York Human Rights Commission, New York Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit York, the office of immigration affairs of the mayor of New York. , the New York City Office of Hate Crimes Prevention, and the New York City Taxi and Limo Commission.