Late Night FDL: OpBART-5, The Evolving Aerobic Version

I came to San Francisco for OpBART-5 which, given the detention of journalists and students on Thursday, could have gone one of two ways: Very Badly or Okay. It was the latter, except for San Francisco Police Department Officer A. Mora striking a journalist’s camera. Twice. But But San Fransisco State University student Eri Verducoza, who is with the campus publication Golden Gate X-Press, kept his camera rolling and didn’t back down.

Guess Officer Mora missed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that it’s perfectly okey-dokey to videotape the police.

There must be someone at the SFPD with a sense of humor or at least knows a good photo-op in the making: Officers were staged in front of a donut shop.

There were about thirty protesters tops, only three Anons were present; the rest of the group was No Justice No BART, plus as many media–and at least three SFPD officers for every demonstrator and plenty of BART police in the stations.

Welcome to Anonymous workout program

joked one protester with a bullhorn as we marched from Civic Center Station to the Powell Street Station and back again, repeatedly parading through the free speech areas outside the turnstiles, crossing streets, and weaving around Market and Mission Street. BART police and the SFPD stood back. Everyone is learning:

The protesters stayed off the platforms and the police didn’t arrest them. BART didn’t close the stations and there was no disruption to commuter services.

I do have to say chanting

Fuck the police! Bad cop, no donut! Police! Murders! Killers! Fuckin’ pigs!

while flipping off law enforcement is childish. It accomplishes nothing. However the BART passengers I spoke with all stated that the BART police should not have guns.

The police I spoke with were very nice, and one asked me what I thought of the situation and what could make things better.

The only time it got a little intense was when protesters ended up in front of City Hall with a line of police on the stairs blocking them. After a brief round of yelling at the police, the march turned and strolled down the roadway as an officer pulled up on a golf cart with a megaphone and announced we were an un-permitted protest and to get off the roadway and onto the sidewalk. A very gentlemanly Anon in a suit guided me to safely and kept me out of the police officers’ line. So chivalrous! As we marched back towards the BART station we were were flanked by police, with more rolling up on their minibikes.

There’s another protest scheduled for next week, and Tall Anon told me that they’d be keeping it up until there is change.

What can be done? BART could take side arms off their police, train them in Krav Maga and give them tasers, batons and Mace. BART should also apologize for killing people. And shutting off cellphones.

 

36 Responses to "Late Night FDL: OpBART-5, The Evolving Aerobic Version"
Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:01 pm 1

Okay, and here’s the latest scoop: BART’s chief communications manager and Constitutional scholar Linton Johnson, who has been on leave since the OpBART, rented 2 SUVs to carry loyal BART customers to a press conference and read a BART-penned script. Um FAIL

In response to a planned protest Aug. 11, BART recruited loyal riders, prepared a script for them to read from, and hired a car service to take them to and from a press conference intended to sway public perception and media coverage, according to emails obtained by The Bay Citizen.

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/13fqD)


Margaret | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:06 pm 2

LISA!
Good for you guys!


Elliott | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:09 pm 3

that donut pic is crackin’ me up!

(Hi Peg :)


edur | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:09 pm 4

BART COPS: Read and uphold the US Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Then Go HOME to your families!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:10 pm 5

Margaret it was really well-(dis) organized. At one point the police lost track of the protesters.

Alos I didn’t realize this, but in SF it is perfectly legal to be nude publicly. I though the nude protester guys I had heard about had G-strings or something. NOPE, nude, and carrying little suitcases that read

Please Don’t Shoot Me

I hope they had on sunblaock. One supervisor, Mr. Weiner (you can’t make this up!) wants nudists to not be allowed to sit bare-cheeked for hygenic reasons


bigbrother | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:11 pm 6

When did SF have just 30 in a protest? Glad it is happening. Nice report thank you.


Kevin Gosztola | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:11 pm 7
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 1

The emails are great because they confirm it. But, watching the video was enough for me to see it was propaganda.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:12 pm 8

Elliot, someone has a sense of humor in SF. I thought the police were pretty nice. One of them showed me a new use for his helmet that he was holding in his hand–nestled in itwas a cup of coffee!

I just think yelling profanity at the police and calling them names is immature and counter productive.


Kevin Gosztola | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:13 pm 9
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 7

Hmm, just read the article. Haha, they’re so bad they couldn’t even get people to read the script. So that video that looks staged isn’t staged.


DrDick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:14 pm 10

Lisa!

Cops apologize for killing people? Boy are your priorities confused. Everybody knows it is the people they kille dwho owe them an apology for making them discharge their firearms and getting in the way of the bullets. Now those poor beleaguered police officer have to go through the hassle and inconvenience of a reveiw board and everything! /s


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:16 pm 11
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 7

Of the video was such propaganda, Kevin, and you called it, fer shure. The DOJ has been watching this with their community team, and wanted to sit down with ANonymous and discuss what could be done–the only difficulty wiht Anonymous is that they have no leader and no one speaks for them.. But I think the collective demands are a good starting point.

It was cool that a few police officers seeing me take pictures and stuff asked what I thought of the protests and what could be done. I gave them FDL business cards along with my thoughts and said what I had see on video that didnt reflect well on the SFPD.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:18 pm 12
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 9

No one Linton is on family leave, huh? Jim Allison calls right back, answers questions, is very direct. I asked him about the rumors that BART was planning to ban masks on trains and in stations, and he said

I’dont know about that.

He actually sounded weirded out by the idea.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:19 pm 13
In response to DrDick @ 10

BART is a public utility. Their police did the killing/s that prompted the protests.

Dang Linton got punked by the MYBART defacement!


Margaret | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:21 pm 14

And not just any doughnut shop but “Donut [sic] World”! Must be a whole lotta sticky sugary goodness in there!


DrDick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:22 pm 15
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 13

That is basically what my snark was about (as well as my best wingnut impression).


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:22 pm 16

Kevin, what do you make of this:
HBGary linked *Palantir* employee planning counter-protest to #OpBART #Anonymous

Granted it is from two weeks ago, but the article appeared right as the leaked FBI faux report on Anon surfaced, which to me seemed a false flag doc…


Margaret | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:23 pm 17
In response to DrDick @ 10

Not to mention the tedious paperwork. How dare those corpses increase their workload!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:25 pm 18

@ Dr. Dick, excellent right wing impression and snark. Just want to be clear that BART for all their guns and goodies are um…only police insited BART, though the majority are sworn peace officers, so I suppose they cpould arrest someone for littering or robing a coffee shop…But then again I could make a citizen’s arrest myself for those things.


DrDick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:27 pm 19
In response to Margaret @ 17

The scary part is that this is exactly the kind of thing Limbaugh or Beck or any of the other wingnut talking heads would say if they deign to even notice this (it is in San Francisco, the gay black communist capital of the world, after all).


DrDick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:29 pm 20
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 18

I am not sure how it works in SanFrancisco, but in Chicago and (IIRC) New York, transit police have actual police powers, though they do not work for the regular police department.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:31 pm 21

I saw a nice BART police doggie on the train Sunday when as an experiment I wore a borrowed Anonymous logo shirt. No reaction from the policeman. I think he and the dog were on 9/11 duty.


Margaret | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:35 pm 22
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 21

Should have borrowed an “Allah Akbar” tee short.


DrDick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:38 pm 23
In response to Margaret @ 22

Or absolutely anything in Arabic script. The cops would have no idea what is says, but assume it was suspicious.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:40 pm 24
In response to Margaret @ 22

Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:43 pm 25

Along with the protest I also had some delcious food, most notably Humphrey Slocombe’s ice cream. The have Jesus Juice flavor (cola nd red wine), surprise breakfast (bourbon with corn flakes) and an incredible salt & pepper ice cream…


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:45 pm 26

I missed my flight today and soothed my jangled nerves with $1 day at Pancho Villa tacos.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 08:52 pm 27

Missed Homeland Security yesterday, but here’s a picture by another observer. It would be a drag if someone took advantage of a peaceful protest to push another agenda. Maybe that’s why they are there. Or because protests in general are their duty.


DrDick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 09:02 pm 28

Time for me to toddle off. Take care all.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 09:07 pm 29
In response to DrDick @ 28

Night Dr Dick, sleep well!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 09:07 pm 30

I really, really like SF…


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 09:47 pm 31

waynec | Tuesday September 13, 2011 10:25 pm 32
In response to Margaret @ 22

Margaret, Are you trying to stir the pot???


mzchief | Tuesday September 13, 2011 10:28 pm 33

Very interesting, Lisa. Thank you for your report. Are there any legal observers present such as those from the National Lawyers Guild?


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday September 13, 2011 11:09 pm 34
In response to mzchief @ 33

No, there were not, but there were cops with bean bag guns.


factanonverba | Wednesday September 14, 2011 03:13 am 35

“It accomplishes nothing.”

On the contrary, it has united the city against the protesters. I have to ride BART daily and I am thankful that the BART police are on duty and frankly I do want them to carry a gun especially at Civic Center Plaza. Does mean that the murder of Oscar Grant, which occurred in Oakland, was excusable? No, it does not. But Officer Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, an appropriate sentence.

As per Charles Hill, he had a knife and was mentally ill, drunk at the time and had menaced others on the platform including a woman with a baby. I’m sorry that he was killed but I’ve seen the videos and there is nothing there to suggest that the BART police acted inappropriately. He charged at them with a knife after throwing a bottle. I certainly know what it is like. In 2008, I was assaulted on the 27 Valencia bus in the Mission by a Hispanic male who had jumped the fare. He sat behind me and then started poking me in the back so I went to complain to the driver. Well the large 250 pounder, likely a meth addict according to the SF police, came barreling down the aisle and punched me in the jaw before jumping off. The driver at the point called the SF police but MUNI officials actually came quicker. They came within 3 minutes even though there is a police station at 17th and Valencia. MUNI was actually kind enough to drive me home. While I do believe every life is precious and that Charles Hill deserved better, let’s get real. He is not someone who many San Franciscans are going to rally around or have much sympathy for.

These protests are serving no purpose and all these professional anarchists are doing is pissing hard-working San Franciscans off. I spent 45 minutes in a BART tunnel last month while a mere 150 misguided fools were disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands. Like many other San Franciscans, I don’t own a car and I depend on BART and MUNI to get me around town. Trust me if you had spoken with the people whose lives were torn asunder for a night, you would have gotten an earful.

At a time when the city is hard pressed to meet its financial obligations, these sophomoric and pointless protests are costing this city money that frankly has more important uses such as ensuring an ever more precarious social safety net or preserving jobs. So while I might have been at one point sympathetic to their cause, the group has done nothing but alienate the citizenry of this fair city.

They have a right to protest (though they haven’t even bothered to secure any permits) but they do not a right to disrupt the evening commute of hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom think the BART police are doing a damn good job of protecting the public, nor do they have a right to needlessly waste scarce public resources. Go read the comments on any local SF blog – they run 9 to 1 against the protesters. They might as well set up an offering to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. Rather than raise awareness on issues like why a man like Charles Hill wasn’t in an institution receiving treatment and why homelessness remains a blight on the national consciousness, these protests have actually created a backlash. The sad reality is that there are too many Charles Hills on San Francisco’s streets and given the political mood of the country, the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Lastly, the demand that BART disband its police force is a non-starter. BART operates in 4 different counties and has stations in 23 different municipalities. The system requires its own police force. These protesters are just ineffectual, they’re clueless to boot.


kevinsf | Wednesday September 14, 2011 06:35 am 36
In response to factanonverba @ 35

AMEN +10
San Francisco is a magnet for professional malcontents. I’ve been here 30 years and seen them come, seen them go and even seen some of them mature into productive citizens. San Francisco‚Äôs number one import/export is transient 18-35 year olds.


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