OpBART 6: Peaceful, No Arrests

While some in the media may report that Anonymous wasn’t at OpBART since none of the protesters–except for a pair of Anons at Powell Street Station–were  wearing masks, the merry band of shadowy internet hacktivists were very much present, paying for tickets and riding BART trains back and forth under the San Francisco Bay, passing out fliers to fellow commuters and tweeting their locations.

Anonymous is an idea; the masks are not necessary. Sometimes the best anonymity is in plain site.

Unlike previous protests, there were no arrests and BART did not close any stations. Instead, protesters posed for photos with BART police and quietly spoke with other riders. The Department of Homeland Security was there, since that’s what they do.  BART police told protesters not to block train doors and to stand behind the yellow line while waiting for trains. Quite a difference form the previous weeks, which saw journalists and students arrested.  Hundreds of fliers were distributed, though as one Tweeter remarked:

#opbart trivia: fliering on bart was named by mehserle defense as reason to move murder trial out of oakland www.indybay.org/oscargrant

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Vivian Ho tweeted:

Commuter arguing with Krystof: “There are some crazy people out there that deserve to be shot.”

Krystof is the driving force behind No Justice No BART.

Anonymous has vowed the OpBART protests will continue. BART’s new General Manager, Grace Curnican says she’s willing to talk to protesters about BART. Today’s non-action by BART police may be in response to Curnican’s openness. Sadly BART’s website doesn’t have a way to contact the new GM directly, but you can email BART here.

Anonymous would like to visit Ms. Curnican. As always:

Expect us

 

 

OpBART 6: Anonymous Protesters Will Take to the Trains, New GM Willing to Talk

OpBART 6 is gearing up to start in under an hour, with protesters saying they’ll pay the fee and board the trains. Meanwhile, BART’s new General Manager Grace Crunican, told SFGate:

I am open to meeting with anybody who wants to meet with me – protesters included.

While No Justice No BART has a spokesperson, Krystoph, Anonymous is far more difficult. A leaderless group–that’s why one of their logos is a suit with question mark in place of head–they don’t have a spokesperson. Granted, individuals who act a/Anonymously during protests could schedule a meeting with Grace Crunican and give their opinion about what should be done, but even within NAonymous there is not a unified plan.
The Anonymous demands, compiled through internet communication and posted on YourAnonNews are:

1. We want the BART PD DISBANDED completely.  BART has no reason to have a police “force” at all, HIRE flashlight security if you please.

2. We still WANT a public apology for the shutting down of the Cell Service.

3. Reopen the investigation to the killing of Charles Hill.

4. Fire Linton Johnson and BART Chief Kenton Rainey.

These are our new demands, and we will protest every MONDAY at 5Pm until our demands are met.  We will not be scared into ceasing our protest.  We will expose everything ion our power to expose everything you do wrong WE are watching.

But there are some Anons who have slightly variant opinions. Some would like the police retrained and armed only with tasers and batons. And retrained. Did we mentioned retrained? So maybe “reorganized” works better than “disband,” since frankly I like feeling safe on public transport, and don’t trust my fellow passengers to do the right thing. But every negotiation needs to start somewhere.

Apologize: Yes, for gods’ sakes, for the Bay Area’s sakes, please apologize. Then act to make changes.

An investigation into the the shooting of Charles Hill is needed.

Firing Linton Johnson is a given. He embarrassed the agency  by shutting off cell phone service which is what created these ongoing protests and drew global attention to BART’s behavior–including the shooting death of Charles Hill which had stayed a fairly local matter until cellphones went dead; by misrepresenting the Constitution; by trying to stage a fake press conference with shills; and by saying he’d shut off cellphone service again if need be.

Were I to sit down down with Ms. Crunican, firing Linton Johnson is a definite must-be-done. Buh-bye, Linton, you’re a moran.

Firing the BART’s chief of police: See above.

I am hardly anonymous. My name is easy to see. But like every concerned citizen, I’m willing to drop Ms. Curnican an email.

 

 

 

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.

 

BART Police Arrest Journalists, Cite KGO, KTVU at BART Protest. Homeland Security Present

Thursday’s No Justice No BART protest–which shut down Powell Street Station in San Francisco–turned into an ugly attack on free speech and freedom of the press when BART police arrested between 25 and 30 people, a third of whom are reported to be journalists, including seven student journalists from San Francisco State University and the Chronicle’s Vivian Ho. Ho, and others were cited for interfering with transit; the student journalists were not cited. Also arrested: No Justice No BART organizer Krystoff.

During the event protesters and the press stayed outside the platform areas of the station. No Justice No BART had called for the demonstration to take place in front of the fare gates in an effort to force BART to open the emergency exits, allowing passengers walk out for free. The portion of BART stations before the turnstiles is considered to be, has been stated by BART to be, a free speech area.

Also on hand, the Department of Homeland Security.

 

BART police cited the local ABC and CBS news crews reporting on the protests, and some journalists had their San Francisco Police Department-issued credentials confiscated by the SFPD, who aided the BART cops.


The student journalists’ adviser/instructor Justin Becker–whose Twitter feed was instrumental in our reporting of the BART Board of Directors meeting last month–Tweeted

in response to:

Reporter Joshua Wolf–who spent 226 days in prison for protecting his sources, longer than any other journalist in U.S. history–was also detained, but was released and posted great photos. One student journalist tweeted that another was jabbed in the stomach with a baton when she tried to take a photo.

Police surrounded protesters then told them to leave or they would be arrested, a point one reporter brought up doing the press conference above. (During an earlier #OpBART protest, some protesters claimed SFPD arrested them for blocking traffic after ordering them off the sidewalk.)

Arresting journalists for doing their jobs? Arresting students for doing their homework? WTF, BART Police? Anonymous #OpBART said it best:

BART caused the ongoing BART protests and drew Anonymous’s wrath when they shut off cellphone service August 11 to prevent a potential demonstration by No Justice No BART–the organizer’s of Thursday’s event, supported by Anonymous–protesting the shooting death of Charles Hill at the hands of a BART police officer.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian reported that most of the arrestees were cited for:

violation of Penal Code Section 369i, which makes it a crime to disrupt rail service, outlawing activities that “would interfere with, interrupt, or hinder the safe and efficient operation of any locomotive, railway car, or train.”…

The professional journalists in the group have been released after being detained for about 30 minutes, and they’ve been shepherded into an area where they can no longer see the group of arrestees. But a group of three to five San Francisco State University journalism students who don’t have press credentials remain in custody, despite repeated appeals to the police by their faculty advisor Justin Beck.

The Homeland Security Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) unit

an anti-terror unit charged with protecting transportation infrastructure from potential acts of terrorism run by the Transportation Security Administration.

were also present at Thursday’s protest, as they were on August 30. The Department of Justice was present at all #OpBART protests, KALW also reports:

The United States Department of Justice also had personnel on hand for the recent protests by the hacktivist group Anonymous. Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, confirmed that DoJ sent a member of its Community Relations Service to all three OpBART demonstrations this month. CRS, formed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is DoJ’s “peacemaker” for conflicts and tensions stemming from racial or ethnic tensions or civil disorder. Hinojosa also confirmed that CRS staff were present at July and November demonstrations in Oakland over the conviction and sentencing of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant.

VinceintheBay snapped this shot tonight, a perfect expression of San Francisco. But with BART Police behaving as they did Thursday and on August 11, not to mention shooting people at BART stations–free speech is getting squelched, and with it the heart and spirit of San Francisco.

Vince also has raw footage of the protest on his YouTube. Here’s part 1

photo 1:  estimarlqk, via OpBART Twitter (estimarlq was also cited by BART Police)

photo 2: VinceintheBay, via OpBART Twitter

#OpBART 3: SFPD Says “It Will Be Different” Anonymous Sez “Expect Us”

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr promises regarding #OpBART 3 on Monday August 29:

It will be different.

Hopefully he means “different,” as the San Francisco  police will not hit people with batons as seen in this video below. Or maybe that San Francisco police officers will not order people off the sidewalks then arrest them for being on the streets, something reported repeatedly on the #OpBART Twitter feed after the Auguest 22nd protest.

Or maybe “different” in that the SFPD will pay more attention to their arrest lists: The name of a 17-year old–date of birth 9-15-1993, arrested at the #OpBART2 protest, then booked and held in San Francisco County Jail under section 601 (missing person/runaway)–was released to the media, against SFPD media guidelines, followed by another email from the SFPD asking reporters to delete the previous list and use the updated one attached, whihc omitted the juvenile.

Oh wait, this is how San Francisco Police Chief Suhr means “different”:

I don’t want this to be construed as delivering a threat, but enough is enough. They made their point, and they are now losing in the court of public opinion. We don’t feel that we took appropriate action at the appropriate pace (on Monday). The next response will be quicker.

Anonymous responded to Chief Suhr’s words thusly:

Now you have our attention.  We do not appreciate threats nor do we take well to them, especially from a chief of police who has a very interesting background himself. May we remind you of 2003?  Allegedly conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the infamous Fajitagate affair, in which three off-duty cops allegedly beat up two men for their Mexican takeout.  Or maybe we should ask Chief Heather Fong why she had to reprimanded you in 2009.

Oh and in 2005, Chief Fong demoted Suhr to the backwater, literally–making him chief of security for SF’s water supply.

The police department replied to Anonymous, issuing a written statement:

As Chief Suhr has stated this is NOT a threat. We as a department will continue to facilitate first amendment rights to protest. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for everyone. While the demonstrators have the right to protest, we will continue to facilitate it to an extent where it does not infringe the rights of others. We as a law enforcement agency had a duty to protect the constitutional rights of all.

BART has stated that

expressive activities

are not permitted on the paid area of BART stations, meaning any area beyond the turnstiles, and expressive activity in the station requires a permit. Is standing on a platform in a tee shirt reading

I <3 Free Speech. Please Don’t Shoot Me!

a violation of BART’s rules and regulations? Is standing in the station area with duct tape over your mouth? Do these actions require a permit on BART property?

Police ienforced BART rules, making arrests of people chanting and passing out fliers on the platforms during the first two #OpBART protests; none of the arrestees were Anonymous, who confined their protests to outside the station, (though one Anon was  photographed tweeting behind a post on the BART Civic Center platform).

It’s important to remember that there are two groups which are uniting to protest BART (along with random unaffiliated citizens). No Justice No BART is demonstrating against the transportation agency’s police department and policies; BART police officers have shot two men in two years. No Justice No BART has successfully disrupted train service in the past during their demonstrations, most recently on July 11 in response to the shooting of Charles Hill, BART service was suspended when protesters climbed on trains.

Anonymous–which for the most part rallies for freedom of information and communication–was drawn into the fray when BART shut off cellphone service on BART platforms and in trains on August 11 to prevent a planned protest by No Justice No BART which BART Chief of police Rainey said was discovered on a

blog webpage.

In the past two and a half weeks, Anons have swiftly educated themselves on the background of BART and the shooting deaths of Oscar Grant and Charles Hill, much they did in 2008 when the removal of a Tom Cruise video on YouTube led to the development of  Anonymous’ Project Chanology, a year long series of real life  protests–the first time Anonymous moved off the interwebz –that embarrassed Scientology, and aided a number of high ranking members to leave what ex-members describe as an abusive cult.

During the #OpBART protests, it has been members of No Justice No BART who have been on the train platforms chanting and shouting, holding signs, while Anonymous and others have marched up top.

How will Anonymous make #OpBART3 different for the SFPD and the BART police? Civil disobedience tactics like chains, padlocks and “blackbear” lockboxes seem a bit old school for Anonymous who have shown their displeasure for BART spokesperson Linton Johnson’s high-handed tactics by scouring the internet for information about the  former anchorman and then providing a treasure trove of  photos featuring Linton Johnson frolicking topless in the Land Down Under. And wearing really stupid tee shirts. All from Linton Johnson’s publicly available blogs (since shuttered).  Anonymous also redecorated MyBART.org; and someone claiming Anonymity easily hacked into both the MyBART.org and the BART police databases, then released names and other information from both sites.

Anonymous’ effort have proven them to be a force with which to be reckoned: The international uproar over the suspension of cellphone service, made hugely public by the MyBART.org hack and the ensuing protests, has prompted an FCC investigation and forced BART to develop a policy limiting cellphone shutoffs. The majority of BART’s Board of Directors expressed emotions ranging from dismay and outrage over the suspension of cellphone service.

Anonymous has proven themselves to be rapidly mutable, highly adaptable organism with fluid intelligence and Trickster‘s sense of humor which can, to some at times, appear cruel or insensitive. At the core, Anonymous is doing it for the lulz. And like Trickster, Anonymous does not forgive, nor forget. Expect them. And expect them to do it differently, too.

Oh and the SFPD has opened its doors for new recruits. Preferably ones fluent in meme-speak and lolcats.

photo: OpBARTsf

 

Anonymous Exposes BART Exec Linton Johnson Over Cellphone Shutdown

Linton Johnson, BART's man with a big, bad idea

Sexytime goes public for BART spokeshole Linton Johnson! Anonymous claims they were sent photos of the dapper talking head whose words have enraged free speech activists. Some photos were available on Linton Johnson’s open to the public Facebook page, since made private, while others were on his me.com page. Anonymous are circulating them on Twitter. One Anon tweeted:

Im exactly as worried about Lintons privacy as he was about everyones civil rights. In other words not at all.

I’ve seen 14 pictures and some are pretty embarrassing: Linton Johnson in a tee shirt reading STIFF pulling down his red  shorts to reveal his manhood (actually, most men would be proud to have that chunk of flesh, but like, he was dropping drawers in a large group); Linton Johnson mugging and dancing for the camera while in a bar on vacation in Australia; and the most embarrassing of all, Linton Johnson making a cute face wearing a STUD tee shirt and an ugly pink, plastic beaded veil. Seriously, wtf on that fashion choice?

Anonymous has singled out Linton Johnson for his high-handed actions in the August 11 suspension of cellphone service, the first time a government agency in the United States blocked telecommunications service in an attempt to hamper a protest. Anonymous is  demanding Linton Johnson’s resignation, along with that of BART’s chief of police Kenton Rainey.

Linton Johnson claims responsibility for coming up with the epic fail idea to shutdown BART’s platform and train car cellphone service on August 11 to prevent protests. Wired reports:

“It came to me in the middle of the morning,” Johnson said, referring to the idea hours before BART authorities unplugged underground antennas at its four downtown stations during the rush-hour commute. “I sent it to the police department and they said they liked it. They started vetting it.”

Then Linton Johnson went on vacation, returning three days early to deal with the first #opBART Anonymous organized protest.

Linton Johnson has few things to learn about the Internet, like anything you email out can be sent to someone else; and your photos aren’t private if you post them to Facebook and don’t click “friends-only”. (UPDATE Linton Johnson made his FB account private after this post was published).

And Linton Johnson definitely needs to study up on the Constitution. Here are  Linton Johnson’s choice comments on our Constitutional rights:

They made us choose between people’s ability to use their mobile phones (and) their constitutional right to get from point A to point B

a Constitutional right to safety.

No, Linton Johnson, there is no clause in the Constitution that states there is a “right to get from point A to point B” or a “right to safety.”

And, Linton Johnson, it looks like the FCC thinks your idea was a bad one. FCC Commissioner said that BART’s critics have

a valid point.

BART board president Bob Franklin said at today’s special meeting the cell phone service suspension

wasn’t about silencing protesters

which appears to be a contradiction of  Linton Johnson’s brilliant idea and comments from BART police lieutenant Andy Alkire who said, shutting off cellphone service in anticipation of a protest was :

a great tool to utilize for this specific purpose

If the purpose of shutting off cell service was not to silence protesters who might use cellphones to coordinate, then why was service shut down? For their safety? How does not having phone service make you safer?
Linton Johnson, the architect of this mess, should step down: He is an embarrassment to BART. And not because he dresses stupidly on vacation.

photo from Anonymous, via Twitter

BART Director: “Speculation About Protest Doesn’t Warrant Cell Shutdown”

BART’s board of directors met today in a special open session to address the August 11 suspension of cell phone service, which the majority of directors soundly decried, putting interim BART general manager Sherwood Wakeman in the hot seat.

During the meeting BART experienced

technical difficulties

and did not provide live feed.  How um, odd….An earthquake was also felt during the meeting.

The following was gathered off Twitter feeds and news reports of the meeting.

BART police chief  Kenton Rainey told the board that he learned about the August 11 planned protest on

a blog webpage

and made to decision to shut off cellphone service for the riders’ safety. In a dreadful spin about the August 11 incident, BART spokesperson Linton Johnson had said

There are a multitude of groups … flying in from all over the country. They want to do surprise attacks, basically, on BART riders.

Weirdly BART doesn’t consider the full platforms caused by baseball games and drunken concert revelers to be

a threat to the safety of disabled passengers

A”no protests” card was pulled out by a BART employee during the meeting, while an advocate for the disabled informed the BART board of directors that shutting of cellphone service put people at risk–without texts, deaf people can’t get emergency info.

One cellphone-using BART rider said that in his opinion the claim that any 1st amendment right was violated

is specious and trivializes our 1st amendment freedoms

However, other speakers disagreed.  Michael Risher from the ACLU commented that

Just because something can pass constitutional muster doesn’t mean it’s right.… we hope in the next few weeks BART will develop a policy that they won’t turn off cell phone service except in most extraordinary of circumstances

and went on to say that he hoped that

the board takes opportunity to reaffirm free speech rights.

A representative from Indybay.org, a citizens’ news service pointed out that

The tactic of shutting down communications sets bad precedent, could spread to other police forces, this is historic.

Krystof (one name) from No Justice No BART stepped up to the mic, saying

I’m the guy that comes to your meetings.  I’m not anonymous to you!  Your counter-protest strategy is failing miserably…We don’t want you to improve free speech policy. We already have a policy called the Constitution..We don’t need your permission to protest. We are going to do it anyway. Our free speech zone is wherever we are standing,

adding that his group would continue to protest.

One speaker, Twitter handle dto510, aksed the board to vote regarding the cellphone shutdown:

I spoke to BART Board noting evidence of safety threat on Aug 11 was wrong, and asked for vote on cellphone shutdown.

The BART board of directors weighed in. While at the top of the meeting, BART’s assistant General Manager of Operations Paul Overseir said a small hiccup in service could lead to overcrowding and danger on the platforms (again baseball games, oh heck football games, let’s just say it!) and BART chief counsel Burrows pointed out that there are designated free speech areas, the BART board of directors seemed generally unhappy about the cellphone shutdown.

Board member Robert Raburn called the August 11 action imprudent adding:

This will become a landmark case. We must protect 1st amendment. Speculation about protest doesn’t warrant cell shutdown.

Board member James McPartland (on speaker phone):

This is the start of a national discussion on authorities’ power to shut off cellphones.

Board member Joel Keller:

People have a right to cellphone service but BART also has to deal sometimes with situations of imminent danger. When two rights collide, the right to safety and the right to free speech, we should err on the side of not allowing the suspension of cell phone service. Once we allow cell phone service, we have to protect that right.

(the right to safety is not in the Constitution, fyi.)

Board member Lynette Sweet asked the staff to explain the chain of command that lead to the suspension of cell service, and BART Police Chief Rainey replied:

I am responsible for the actions of August 11.

BART’s interim general manager Wakeman says he ultimately authorized Aug. 11 decision on a recommendation from Rainey, and that the FCC was not notified. Nor was BART’s board of directors

Sweet asked about ADA compliance, if was that part of the equation. Wakeman replied

There are alternative means of communication for the  disabled.

Sweet said she has not been quiet on the issue because it is such a big issue, and that the board not being involved in the August 11 decision and the shooting of Charles Hill  shows that BART has not learned any lesson from the shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009. Sweet also said:

I agree with Krystof. Our counter protest strategy is not working.

Board member Tom  Radulovich said that the shut down of cell service was unjustifed and that BART should admit their over reaction and mistake regarding cellphones

even if it’s hard

Sweet concluded

There’s a way to have both safety and open communications.

BART board president Bob Franklin, who said that people have an immediate distrust of BART, still defended Aug. 11 cellphone shutdown, saying

It wasn’t about silencing protesters

much to the outrage of people following the live tweets. No really, then what was it about?

Franklin also said:

I supported Chief Rainey’s tactic to shut down cell service because of safety. We can’t take that chance.

That kind of double speak and attitude will lead to more protests.

@pixpls tweets and #opBART were invaluable for this story.

Photo: YourAnonNews

Anonymous States Goals in #OpBART

On Wednesday at 9am, BART will hold a public meeting to discuss the shutdown of cell phone service at BART platforms and on trains. The meeting will live stream and you can watch it here.

Anonymous has stated its goals/demands, and they are very reasonable. Once met, the protests will stop. The next round of protests is scheduled for Monday August 29.  The protest on Monday August 22 drew between 80 and 100 people; the San Francisco police arrested 40 people, some of whom were journalists, who were released after they were able to prove that they were members of the Fourth Estate.

Here’s the Anonymous statement, expect to hear part or all of it at tomorrow’s BART board of directors meeting:

We are Anonymous, over the past two weeks we have proven that we stand by what we believe…We have stated and will keep our promise of a protest EVERY week until our demands are met. Since these demands have not reached the BART board of directors yet, we will remind you of what we want in order to stop our protest:

1. Fire Linton Johnson and BART Chief Kenton Rainey.

2. Mandate new training for all BART officers.

3. Publicly apologize to the people for shutting down cell service.

4. Take the guns away from the BART police.

5. Reopen the investigation to the killing of Charles Hill.

Not only will these demands make the public feel more safe riding the BART system, but it will also ensure that BART is taking active steps to correcting it’s mistakes.

So now that we have made ourselves clear, we will continue with #OpBART every week until our demands are met.

We will see you Next Monday the 29th, 2011 Outside the civic center at 5pm.

We are Anonymous,

We are legion,

We never forgive,

We never forget,

Expect us.

“Http Makes Us All Journalists”

The arrest and release of journalists in San Francisco who could prove they were members of the press has prompted  the creation of press passes for anyone interested in joining the Fourth Estate because

Http makes us all journalists.

True.  Bloggers are the new pamphleteers. Just remember:

Publish or perish, search for supporting information and cite your source.

#opBART Second Protest: Arrests Made, Journalists Detained, Police Use Batons on Protesters


 

OpBART began the week with another protest at San Francisco BART stations and myBART.org being taken offline to protest the shut off cellphone service on BART out of fear of a demonstration against the shooting of a homeless man by BART police, the second fatal shooting by BART officers in two years. There was a high turn out of both BART police and SFPD in riot gear, and from photos and video there appeared to be five officers to every protester.

According to SF Appeal, the majority of protestors did not wear Guy Fawkes masks, though some were barely clad. Civic Street Station was closed, and police arrested a man and a  woman at the Civic Center station.

San Francisco Bay Guardian reported:

As a few protesters began to gather, surrounded by dozens of riot police and media, a uniformed BART police officer told a young African American man he would be arrested if he raised his voice. Chanting began in response among the small pack of protesters, and the man was promptly arrested by BART police.

As he was being led off the platform by police, a woman who stood in the center of the platform began verbally engaging a BART officer, saying, “BART police need to be reformed. Make BART Safe. Make BART safe.” She was apparently arrested for nothing more then her words. Deputy BART Police Chief Daniel Hartwig said he could not provide any information about what the arrestees would be charged with.

The SFBG video of arrest is here.

The crowd, estimated between 80-100, outnumbered by police, moved up and down Market Street. Powell Street Station was opened and closed then opened again. The Ferry Building was closed to prevent protesters from entering.  Firecrackers were thrown at the police, and some hooligans pounded on the windows of closed shops. Protesters keep in touch via Twitter.

The crowd chanted

Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!

as they stood  in front the cops. The photo above, of her friend risking a photo, was taken by Vivian Ho who posted it to the #opBART twitter feed. Other video of march here and here.

Some tweets included

8pm:

4th and Market. Group trying to start fire. Throwing Firecrackers at Police and Crowd? #OPBART-RadioRelay

KEEP IT PEACEFUL. WATCH FOR THOSE THAT TRY TO MAKE IT VIOLENT #opBART
Garbage cans were knocked over, and trash was thrown. #opBART twitter and Mission Local reported eight arrests. One commuter was briefly detained after he went after a protester, per SFAppeal. He was not arrested.
IndyBay’s twitter feed reported 30 arrests/detentions, including at least one reporter, at 8:43pm local time, and confirmed by the SF Examiner’s twitter feed. One of those arrested  around 8:45pm was Mission Local blogger Helene Goupil. Mission Local provided live feed to this protest and last week’s. UPDATE: Mission Local’s Helen Groupil was “detained.” She tweeted at midnight:

Thx for the tweets everyone, I was able to show police my business card and was let go #opbart #mlnow
Others arrestees reported via Twitter that they were booked and released.
The journalists tweeted that they were released after showing police their webpages:
This one’s simple: Last week Bay Area Rapid Transit shut off cell service to stifle protests of a killing by transit police.  We’ve seen officials across the globe threaten and take similar actions: from dictators trying to cling to power in the Middle East, to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, to Joe Lieberman and his Internet Kill Switch legislation.
It’s time to draw a line in the sand: Please sign our petition condemning BART, encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to investigate, and warning other public agencies that we won’t tolerate censorship.
AT 9pm, this was posted to #YourAnonNews and #opBART which also warned against a tweeter under the handle of Nov5 who was acting as an agent provocateur on the Twitter feed. Protesters were also urged to move away from anyone acting disruptively.
Most were cited for failing to disperse or illegally blocking traffic. Police spokesman Albie Esparza said no vandalism was reported in connection with the demonstration, but police did confiscate a hammer from one demonstrator.
Anonymous promises more protests on Monday August 29 beginning at 5pm.
photo 1: VivianHo, via  Twitter to #opBART.
photo 2: Anon Medics! Jay@pghTiger via Twitpics
video 1: Mission Local
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