Indigenous Activists Confront Unicity Taxi Supervisors

Urban Warrior Alliance members enter the Unicity Taxi offices on Hargrave Street. Calvin Clarke (right) says supervisors addressed their concerns, but workers in the office were yelling racist comments at them. (Courtesy Red Power Media)

Urban Warrior Alliance members enter the Unicity Taxi offices on Hargrave Street. Calvin Clarke (right) says supervisors addressed their concerns, but workers in the office were yelling racist comments at them. (Courtesy Red Power Media)

CBC NewsPosted: Mar 01, 2016

Cab companies taking complaints from indigenous community seriously, said Unicity Taxi’s general manager

Some indigenous activists in Winnipeg say the time for peaceful protest is over when it comes to standing up to the city’s taxicab companies.

On Friday, four members of the Urban Warrior Alliance entered the Unicity Taxi office on Hargrave Street in camouflage pants, jackets, bandanas and masks.

“When we showed up that way, I think we threw a scare into them, which is why we wear our masks and our camo sometimes,” said Calvin Clarke, a member of Urban Warrior Alliance. The small community activist group participates in blockades, vigils and marches for missing and murdered indigenous women.

“We need to do that to shake everything up, let people know, you know, ‘wow, these people don’t mess around,'” said Clarke.

Police were called to the scene but no arrests were made.

Urban Warrior Alliance members speak to Winnipeg Police Service officers after entering Unicity Taxi offices in protest. (Courtesy Red Power Media)

Urban Warrior Alliance members speak to Winnipeg Police Service officers after entering Unicity Taxi offices in protest. (Courtesy Red Power Media)

“To be honest, they did nothing violent,” said Unicity’s general manager, Sunny Dhir. “They just came here to talk, but I explained to them, there’s a proper way we can talk because there is a girl working here, too, maybe they’re scared.”

Dhir told them that complaints involving criminal offences should be taken up with the Taxicab Board and the Winnipeg Police Service.

Winnipeg woman files complaint, says cabbie asked her for sex.

In the meantime, the driver in question is still working. Dhir said he would only be suspended if warranted by the police investigation.

Company says complaints against drivers are few

Despite mounting concerns from the indigenous community, including a call to action from the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, Dhir said complaints against drivers are few.

“Maybe there are a few girls that are not complaining yet, but on the other hand…there’s a complaint [from] the drivers, too — drivers getting robbed, not getting paid — we have to consider both the things equally.”

Clarke said the treatment of indigenous people by cab drivers goes far beyond a few complaints, and was evident by the response from some Unicity Taxi workers on Friday night..

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2 thoughts on “Indigenous Activists Confront Unicity Taxi Supervisors

  1. Prairie girl

    In the UK cabbie sexual violence started against minorities and now it is not safe for any women to take cabs. It’s gotten really bad in Europe. Way to go warriors, total respect and admiration for standing up for Canadian women. If I can I will go protest with you, this is not solely an aboriginal issue. Everyone should be outraged!

    Like

  2. Lynne

    Would no longer pick up woman at all.
    And I did say women as in all.
    Cameras in all cars.
    And you show up at my door dressed for trouble. You would find it.

    Like

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