Public transport has unwittingly played a major part in racial equality. On this day, December 1, in 1955 Rosa Parks sat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. She was arrested.
Parks' well orchestrated action was a critical moment for civil rights. Many of us think supportive jornalists had been tipped off. Parks worked for the NAACP and was it a coincidence that people with expensive cameras happened to be there to capture an event? But that event, where other similar ones had failed, sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the rest, thank goodness is a history to be proud of.
Fast forward to London, December 1, 2011. Not one but three people have this week, following their racist rants on public transport (trams are like buses), have either been arrested or are being investigated. And the media were not called in advance to witness the events, the events were caputured on simple mobile camera phones, uploaded to the internet with a #mytramexpereince hastag for the world to see. A few hours and a few thousand views later the police came a knocking.
Well today Ms Parks, I am thinking about you and thank you for all that you were a part of that made this difference in my world.
"At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in."