Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Rosa Parks Day

December 3rd, 2005 4:45 PM

I Found the Courage to Obey the Law!

From: Emma Beverage
To: contributions@michaelmoore.com
Subject: I found the courage to obey the law!
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 12:39:46

Greetings Michael Moore,

Thanks for your newsletter, your leadership and daring to do the right thing! I will tell you what I have done to follow in Rosa Parks' footsteps.

I quit disobeying the laws that regulate trucking. That is right. When I began supporting myself in trucking in 1973 drivers were expected to disobey the laws and falsify their log books in order to keep their jobs. (My grandfather was a truck driver and I was married to a truck driver so I had been around trucking long before I began to support myself driving a big rig.) I broke the law just like everyone else for years. After deregulation I guess the big companies decided that they had so much power and influence with the politicians that they no longer needed to observe human rights. It rapidly reached the point that you could not keep a job if you were not willing to run a week at a time without stopping to take a shower. At first I continued to disobey the laws but I insisted on being able to stop for a shower. I received so much retaliation trying to get me to conform and get with the program that it made me stubborn. I decided that I had lived with only four hours a sleep a night for my entire career and now they were scheduling runs so that I could not even get that! I began to insist, not only on a shower every day, but I added one hour to my sleeping schedule. When they hammered me harder to conform I added another hour of sleep to my schedule. I began to sleep a full six hours a night and take a shower everyday. When they did not let up on their harassment, trying to get me to conform, I started running legal! I have kept a journal and documented twenty years of this struggle. Each time I took a baby step and found the courage to stand up for my rights it gave me more courage to take another step and insist on more rights.

I did finally get blackballed from trucking, thanks to DAC a company that tracks rouge drivers who refuse to conform. If the other drivers would wake up and refuse to cooperate in their own enslavement, the trucking industry would not get away with what they are doing. Most drivers feel they don’t know how to do any other kind of work and if they don’t do what the trucking companies want they will end up doing hard labor somewhere so they give the bosses what they want. I had that fear also, which is why it took me so long to find the courage to do what I did.

I have 26 chapters written on a book exposing what actually goes on in trucking. However, I needed to find a new career so the book has been put on hold while I go to college on a PEL grant to get enough education so that I can create a new career as a graphic artist. Just because you find the courage to do what is right, it does not mean you will end up rich or famous. Most of us just lose our jobs as a result of our courage. But if you don’t keep trying to stand up for your rights, Corporate America will absorb the rights of the dock workers next and then the peons of the office and this movement will continue until America is not a FREE country anymore. So we must all find the courage individually or our whole country will go down!

Thanks for all you do,

Emma Beverage

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