NY Times: As Living Standards Fall for Seniors, Some See Signs of ‘Silver Revolution’

By DAVID WALLIS

 
Community activist Ann A. Stewart, seated, attends a Massachusetts Senior Action Council chapter meeting. Ms. Stewart, 89, was arrested in Boston for participating in a street protest over the doubling of fares for a local paratransit service. CreditMylan Cannon/The New York Times

BEFORE Boston police detained Ann A. Stewart last August, she had a clean record. But she vows not to wait long, certainly not another 89 years, to become a repeat offender.

Ms. Stewart, 89, a retired hospital employee, was arrested while chanting slogans with a few co-conspirators from inside an imitation jail cell to protest the doubling of the local paratransit fare to $4. Protest organizers erected the fake prison in the middle of the city’s busy Stuart Street to symbolize the fare increase’s effect on disabled riders on fixed incomes, and to block traffic. Ms. Stewart’s arresting officer — “a very nice young man,” she recalled — did not place her in handcuffs and let her keep her cane.

Ms. Stewart, who does not use paratransit herself, treasures the memory of her approximately two hours in custody. “It means a lot to me,” she said. “I’m very strong in my belief about certain things a senior should be able to do.”

Not long after the August protest (which was part of a longer campaign), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rolled back the paratransit fare by one dollar — evidence, in Ms. Stewart’s opinion, that older adults must aggressively fight for their rights.

Continue reading here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/15/your-money/as-living-standards-for-seniors-decline-some-see-signs-of-silver-revolution.html?_r=0

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