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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.