Protesters Target BART For 3rd Straight Monday

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Police kept protesters in San Francisco corralled to sidewalks and outside of BART station fare gates Monday night, preventing any major traffic disruptions or station closures.

Two protesters were arrested at the Embarcadero station after the men crossed a fare gate.

One of the protesters who was arrested spoke to the crowd with a megaphone before crossing into the paid area of the station, announcing that BART administration, and not protesters, were responsible for the previous weeks’ station shutdowns.

The protesters had gathered surrounding the fare gates, which BART has said is a free-speech zone. The demonstrator addressing the crowd used a ticket to pass through the gates, and told the crowd he was about to “test” that principle.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

After briefly leading the crowd in a chant of, “No justice, no peace, disband the BART police,” he left the paid area and returned to the crowd.

After several minutes, BART police moved into the crowd to arrest him and one other man. BART released a statement tonight saying the two were arrested for “interfering with BART operations.”

BART closed no stations, and all trains ran on time.

The protest started outside the Civic Center station around 5 p.m. Monday, heeding calls by organizers not to gather on the Civic Center station platform, where BART police made swift arrests last week.

Protesters gathered in the plaza were wearing bandanas and masks and were waving signs against police brutality like, “Stop Killing The Poor.”

They attempted to march down Market Street, as they had last week, but San Francisco police blocked any attempt the crowd of about 50 made to move into the streets, keeping them on the sidewalk.

The crowd yelled, “pigs go home” at the officers keeping them confined to the sidewalk.

They marched east on the sidewalk on Market Street, and made stops at the Powell and Montgomery stations, protesting briefly inside the stations but outside of the fare gates. They did not attempt to enter the paid areas.

After the arrests at Embarcadero, there was a brief confrontation with BART police, who kept protesters from entering the station. They then left the station, and attempted to move onto Market Street, but were again blocked by San Francisco police.

Protesters then walked quietly back to Civic Center Plaza, where a few entered the Civic Center station, but they did not make any attempts to disrupt service.

For the third consecutive Monday, BART officials had warned commuters that stations may be closed due to this planned protest by the hacker group “Anonymous.”

The group had instructed protesters Monday to hand out fliers stating their demands instead of entering the stations.

Anonymous began its protests after BART shut down cellphone service at several stations during a separate protest over the shooting of 45-year-old Charles Hill.

Protesters were chanting, “Charles didn’t have to die. We all know the reasons why, the whole system is guilty.”

Hill was fatally shot July 3 by BART police after he allegedly threatened officers with a knife and a broken bottle, police said.

Corby Sturges, who commutes to San Francisco from the East Bay, called the protests “misguided.”

“Interfering with the commute is not making much of a difference at BART headquarters,” Sturges said.

Kate Svinarich, who commutes to San Francisco from Oakland, called the protests “more irritating than convincing.”

Someone set up a Facebook page titled “Commuters Take Back BART.”

The page said there would be a counter-protest Monday.

“BART commuters are sick and tired of ‘protests’ interfering with our right to use public transit, so we can earn a living and get back to our families,” the site states.

Despite a few brief confrontations with bystanders, there were no signs of counter protests.

BART shut down cellphone service in the stations during a protest Aug. 15 and has closed multiple downtown stations in response to each protest.

Last Monday’s protest resulted in the closure of the Civic Center and Powell Street stations and the arrest of about 40 people by San Francisco police.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said, “We support peaceful protests so long as they’re outside the fare gates.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • dave j

    cowards. Take off your masks.

    • Joshua Frederick Driver

      thank you these people are cowards they should be in jail at this point they are failing to meet peaceful protest

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  • ron

    Don’t these protesters have something else to do than disrupt other people’s day? As for Anonymous…if they feel they are not doing anything illegal and are just standing up for free speech then why don’t they go by their real names?

  • Tim

    These ;people are urban terrorists…they need to be in jail. They have nothing to protest.

  • Written by an American

    They wear masks because they don’t believe that their right to privacy is respected in America anymore. What would the authors of our Constitution think if they knew that? Do you think the founders of this country used pen names because they were cowards? It was because their tyrannical government targeted them because they were political opponents as if they were criminals. That is the same behavior tyrannical governments have shown throughout history. They use intelligence under the guise of promoting security, when in fact the information is used to target political opponents, who are then discredited, imprisoned, or worse. The only place this immoral, repressive and inevitably destructive practice does not occur is in a Nation whose government is truly by, for, and of the people. BART is paid for with our tax dollars. We will disband it if we like. We have a right to know everything BART does, to tell every tax payer about it, and to change THEIR behavior if we feel it is not conducive to the common good. That is how democracy works. You cannot shoot people because they are drunk, or homeless, or poor. You cannot condemn or attempt to silence your fellow man for protesting such an act. These truths we hold to be self-evident.

    • SWM

      Right, but I saw a protestor shove an old lady into a garbage can and try and throw another kid into an oncoming train. So how is that related?

      • SWM

        And yes, you can shoot somebody that is trying to kill you

      • Hippie Liberal Feminist

        As the protestor who pushed the old lady into the garbage can, I feel my actions were justified and I will keep shoving more and more old ladies into garbage cans until I get my point across that cruelty will not be tolerated. I will drop kick an old man in the stomach if that’s what it takes for governments and peole to start being nice to each other

    • DRE

      You f’ing people who keep going on about Charles Hill being shot because he’s homeless or poor need to get a clue and stop feigning interest in a cause so that you can feel socially justified in your childish behavior. Charles Hill was shot because he threw a knife at a police officer and threatened them with a broken bottle. Next time you see one of these mentally unstable people acting up and brandishing a weapon, why don’t you walk right up to them and use your words of possitive reinforcement and give him a hug. Let me know how that works out for you. When you’re laying in a pool of your own blood screaming for help from the police, don’t expect a speedy response. Their hands will be tied because you crunchy hipsters will have made it legal for a person to wave a weapon as a matter of free speech and the guy who stabbed/shot you was just exercising his rights. Let the police do their already difficult jobs and keep your unqualified and uninformed opinions to yourselves.

    • Wake Up Call

      You are so delusional it’s pathetic. The homeless guy was not shot because he was drunk and homeless. He was shot because we was waving a knife and broken bottle around in a public area and attempted to attack the police. I hope that the police will do the same exact thing in the future without hesitation. You and people like you are the anarchists and tyrannists, not the government, in this case. You have very little support, and the public is turning against you. It’s your behavior that needs to change.

  • FedUpWithThugs

    These so-called protests are nothing more than anarchy – there is NO legitimate reason to disrupt a public transportation system. If you are NOT using BART for transportation, you are only there to disrupt transportation which the PUBLIC needs.

    I for one am fed up with these domestic terrorists who think blocking trains/stations/stopping transport is somehow going to improve anything. You want change? Utilize democratic methods not guerilla warfare. Guerillas should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And if they fail to disperse – I have NO PROBLEM with every single one of them being tear gassed or tased or shot for sabotage.

    • An American Citizen

      These are democratic methods. A guerrilla uses machines guns, not words and protests. Their methods are much more like the BART police than the protestors that who hope to non-violently bring their government under the control of the people. I know. I fought guerrillas to protect the right to free speech and assembly of all American citizens. All police officers and soldiers are sworn to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

  • J.E.

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close their bad cases.
    Several FBI and DEA in the San Francisco Bay Area where supplying drugs to gangs for resale. The drugs had been stolen from evidence vaults. To maximize profit, evidence was mostly stolen from cases involving suspects that had payed bribes.

  • PLW

    Arrest the demonstrators if they do any illegal activity, jail and fine them to pay for law enforcement costs that tax payers will have to pay due to the demonstrations. Heaven forbid if they are held accountable for their illegal actions!

  • An American

    Show me the video of him weilding that knife in a way that made that officer fear for his life or the safety of others (i.e. his partner since no one else was there) and then, perhaps, I will believe that it was a justifiable homicide. Explain to me why there was no “escalation of force”, i.e. a tazer, a rubber bullet, or at least a genuine effort to treat this man like every other angry drunk rather than like Osama bin Laden in the crosshairs or Seal Team 6.

    Of course an officer and his partner would say that the shooting was justified. Otherwise, the officer would go to jail. I know how it works. It works the same as it did among our forces in Iraq. That doesn’t means it is not just as oppressive and fundamentally wrong for BART officer to kill people because they panicked or they were offended by the person they shot, or they had never fired their gun in anger before and want to, or some combination of those factors.

    You may choose to stand on the side of intolerance and oppression if you like. You will be judged for the choices you make. The time is coming to reaffirm our rights as human beings. It has been 235 years. Let us remind the world what we stand for in America. The growing fear of those driven by greed and self-empowerment who have taken the reins of this great nation becomes more apparent every day. They will soon be called to account for their actions.

  • Hippie liberal Feminist

    That’s right!!! Did you know that cops kill millions of people every year in the bay area alone? It’s true!!! i read it in “Liberal Weekly Reporter”. Rather than shoot the homeless man with a knife, they should have hugged him instead. “An American”, when you served in Iraq, did you see a lot of military forces covering up killings?

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