- BART protests rescheduled for Monday rush hour
at Civic Center
- "The shadowy protest group known as Anonymous is
planning a protest for rush hour Monday at the CivicCenter BART station
following a false start Thursday that prompted agency officials to controversially
shut down underground cellphone service to prevent protesters from communicating
about police locations.
- On its website Saturday, the group said the newly scheduled
action is again aimed at shootings by BART police officers, and that protesters
will be wearing blood-stained shirts Monday "for remembrance to the
blood that is on the hands of the BART police." Police were out in
force Thursday at the Civic Center station in preparation for a protest
that never materialized, with one officer telling The San Francisco Examiner
that it was an "epic fail."
- Anonymous is angry about the New Year's Day 2009 shooting
death of Oscar Grant III at BART's Fruitvale station in Oakland and the
July 3 shooting of Charles Hill, a stumbling transient who attempted to
throw a knife at BART officers at the Civic Center station. In response
to Thursday's cellphone service shutdown, the group is calling for people
to disrupt BART's communications through massive amounts of emailing, incessant
phone calls and "black fax," the practice of sending a fully
inked page to FAX machines.
- "I'm just shocked that they didn't think about the
implications of this. We really don't have the right to be this type of
censor," Lynette Sweet, who serves on BART's board of directors, told
The Associated Press. "In my opinion, we've let the actions of a few
people affect everybody. And that's not fair."
- BART spokesman Jim Allison said the transit agency hasn't
determined yet whether it will again pursue a cellphone service shutdown,
which has drawn the ire of civil libertarians worldwide and protesters
likening it to tactics undertaken by the Egyptian government during the
recent populist revolution there.
- Allison said the shutdown was undertaken by BART alone
by way of disabling antenna that allow underground cell service from Balboa
Park through the Transbay Tube. No cellphone companies were involved in
the action, he said, although they were notified.
- "No one jammed any signals," said Allison,
noting that the cell service was originally made possible only because
BART made it so. "We just shut down the nodes."
- The post on the Anonymous website said Monday's protest
is designed to be peaceful.
- "We request that you bring cameras to record further
abuses of power by the police and to legitimize the protest," the
post says. "The media will certainly spin this in an attempt to make
our actions appear to be violent or somehow harmful to the citizenry at
- A confrontational protest inside BART stations July 11
snarled service for hundreds of thousands of commuters by delaying 95 trains
and canceling many others, Allison said. He said it was unacceptable and
unsafe that individuals tried to physically block trains - especially by
way of jumping on top of them - and that the train platforms are not a
safe place for large demonstrations.
- He said information on BART's website will let people
know about alternative modes of transportation if service is disrupted
again. He said protesters are always welcome to demonstrate outside the
fare gates and that he isn't sure exactly what the police presence Monday
will look like.
- "We're going to prepare to keep our passengers safe,"
- * The image above was the Front Page Illustration on
The Sunday SF Examiner 8-14-11
- 1) BART Protests rescheduled for Monday Rush Hour at