1. This is not a motorcycle gang. This is not an equestrian club. This is an international underground movement by peoples who believe public transport should be free of charge.
2. Some of you call us free riders. Some of you call us fare-dodgers. In the German-speaking world, we are known as Schwarzfahrer, Black Riders. Labels are the least of our concern. To remain anonymous is to remain a ghost. To remain a ghost is to remain elusive.
3. We are not you. We are us. We are everywhere. Some of us are your nation’s citizens. Some of us are illegal. Some of us have never seen a school. Some of us are literate, and even ‘educated’ by your standards.
4. Our conviction that taking any vehicle within any public transport system – be it a bus, a subway train, a sky train, a trolley car, a tram, a linecar in Burma, a jeepney in the Philippines or a maxitaxi in Romania, should not cost us a dime ties us in solidarity.
5. Our society has no head. No snakehead. No logframe. No outcome map. No hierarchy. We have members amongst us, from Indian peasants clinging on the side of a Mumbai train to highly influential street artists in a Manchester tram.
6. We believe public transport should be made universally available and free of charge. We believe, like a lamppost or a public garden, public transport has to be a public good. We believe all private vehicles, vessels and aircrafts should cease to exist.
7. Black-riding is our revenge against the elements of the state and the corporate, the powerful and the rich, who get away driving luxury cars, getting their arses bleached on their gilded yachts and jetting around the world fueled with their parasiticism.
8. The only ‘membership fee’ for The Society of Black Riders is the fine that is forced out of you when you are caught black-riding. The point is to avoid the membership fee at all cost. Run! Run faster!
9. The bigger the membership fee, the more suspenseful the experience. This is a cat-and-mouse game, programmed by the mouse. The mouse likes the thrill. The cat hates his job.
10. A Black Rider who has never been caught is called a ghost. It is imperative to remain a ghost all your life. If you are a genuine ghost, they will never see you.
11. We breathe to black-ride. We black-ride to breathe. We are the rooftop billions. We are the Black Riders.
Ko Ko Thett
Picture Nick Victor