More protests lead to BART station shutdowns, arrests

Police arrested at least 30 to 40 demonstrators during protests that originated at the Civic Center BART station and then led police back and forth through downtown San Francisco, drawing traffic to a standstill and closing two BART stations at several points throughout Monday evening.

A few dozen protesters gathered on the Civic Center BART platform at 5 p.m. BART quickly closed the station when protests began, arresting several protesters that raised their voices, declaring it was illegal to protest on the BART platform.

The protesters chose the platform to gather because Charles Hill was killed there by a BART police officer on July 3, after Hill allegedly attacked the officer with a knife. The shooting set off a string of protests that have shut down San Francisco BART stations three times since then.

After being ordered to leave the station, demonstrators moved to the street, joining with other protesters already there, and 50 to 60 people started marching east on Market Street. They blocked traffic, yelling "No justice, no peace!" and "Hey BART, what do you say, how many kids did you kill today?"

When protesters arrived at the Ferry Building at Embarcadero Plaza, they demanded to be let into the building. Police blocked protesters from entering, while employees peered out at the unruly mob. Some demonstrators wore masks, others carried signs against censorship and police brutality, and two even protested naked.

Shortly after, protesters turned around to march back west on Market Street. The protest grew as they marched, and at certain points there were more than 100 demonstrators.

Police then announced the demonstration on Market Street was illegal, as it blocked traffic in both directions, even holding up a San Francisco Municipal Railway train proceeding west on Market Street.

The protests forced the closure of the Civic Center and Powell Street stations at several points throughout the evening. Civic Center was closed for a total of two hours and 36 minutes and Powell Street for a total of one hour and 38 minutes, according to BART.


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Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Aug 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm

These "peaceful protests" will continue until a) somebody gets hurt, or b) San Francisco politicians realize that not putting an end to it is costing them votes. Meanwhile BART commuters will continue to be inconvenienced, S.F. taxpayers will have to carry the burden of police overtime and those of us who own property in areas served by BART have been paying tax to support BART for decades and now can't use it reliably.

Mass arrests and confinement on Alcatraz Island in sleeping bags for a month while the "powers that be" attempt to figure out what to do to preserve the peace!

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Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Dear Editor,

As I board an airplane, my iPad has an airplane mode that disconnects it from the network. The airline personnel tell me when I can use my network connection and when I can't. In reviewing that reality with legal sources it seems that the potential for HAZARD is the constitutional justification for the disconnect.

As I enter a BART station or train, I realize that any network connection offered is a courtesy of the BART network and BART has the right and obligation to end connection when a HAZARD is created.

As I read the terms of service for my mobile telephone I recognize that the network has the right to end connection if I abuse the service and create a criminal hazard.

What I am having difficulty with in this story is freedom of speech applied to any network that has terms of service opposing HAZARDS created by criminal activities or disturbances. What is a greater wonder is BART's continuing entertainment of challenges to their right to end any and all network courtesies.

I must laughingly ask why BART, as a transportation service, is obligated to continue mobile network courtesies to serve the criminal activities of those that would disturb reasonable transportation service? Can you answer?

Of Ralph asking the obvious

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Posted by Barb
a resident of Danville
on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Ralph for you comments

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