BART service disruptions as protesters call for transit police to be disbanded (video)

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A protest organizer holds a photograph of Charles Hill, who was killed July 3 by BART police.
Photo by Luke Thomas, fogcityjournal.com

Rush hour on the BART system in downtown San Francisco was royally screwed up for several hours July 11, and for protesters who paced along station platforms chanting "No justice, no peace!" and engaging in verbal clashes with transit cops, that was the point. The group, after all, is called No Justice, No BART, and they were there to pressure the agency in the wake of a BART police shooting.

The protesters were there to call attention to the fatal July 3 shooting of Charles Hill, a man who had no permanent address. The BART passenger was gunned down roughly a minute after two transit officers responded to a call from a station agent.

Things started heating up at around 5 p.m., when protesters who had gathered at Civic Center Station, the place where the shooting occurred, moved in a procession up and down the platform, chanting. According to fliers handed out to all the participants, the plan was for groups to board and exit the train cars together.

"None of this is really a question of public opinion -- nobody here is in favor of people being shot down," an organizer said into a megaphone at the beginning of the protest. "The question is, what is it going to take to make it stop?" To cheers and applause, he said, "We're here today to take action to stop the BART police from killing. We don't think the BART police should exist. There's a mobilized angry public that isn't going to take this shit anymore."

Here's what happened when the group tried boarding the first train:

The video was captured by Josh Wolf.

BART Deputy Police Chief Daniel Hartwig was in the thick of it all. The chaos prompted police to shut down Civic Center Station and order everyone to leave. Once a dispersal order was issued, protesters and media exited the station, and passed by a line of officers from the San Francisco Police Department that had formed on the street.

The march then proceeded down Market Street to Powell station, and many activists boarded a train there, then exited at the 16th and Mission Street Station. With police and media still trailing behind, they proceeded back downtown on foot.

A second standoff occurred around 7 p.m. at the cable car turnaround, just outside Powell Street Station, much to the bewilderment of shoppers who gathered outside The Gap and Forever 21, clutching their shopping bags. Wearing helmets and holding nightsticks ready, police stood in a line to block off Powell street, facing protesters who were congregating in the plaza.

Tensions ran high as chanting continued and people shouted at police. At one point, a young mother who held her three-year old son started shrieking at police, enraged. She said that an officer had taunted her by saying, "Bang, bang, we'll come."

No one was arrested while the crowd remained in the plaza, but after mostly everyone else had left, a man who had joined in the protest was taken into custody and charged with being intoxicated in public.

Earlier in the afternoon, at Civic Center Station, Laura Wolterstorff held a photograph of Hill that she had found online. "This happens often in our city, not only with BART police, but with the SFPD as well," she said, adding that she works with people who are struggling with homelessness and mental health issues. In the case of transit cops, "Is it necessary to have a police force that carries guns?" she asked.

Another woman who joined the protest at Civic Center, who gave her name as Miriam, said flatly, "I think if he was wearing a suit, he wouldn't have been killed."

Details about why transit police fired at Hill three times about a minute after arriving on the scene are sketchy. While the police have justified the shooting by saying he was brandishing a knife, the agency has yet to release a surveillance video of the incident.

Comments

Yeah...way to make your point....screw up the commute for people who aren't involved and MIGHT actually rally to your cause.

These kind of protests do nothing but hurt the cause. Gee...they're out there committing civil disobedience, damaging property and I could not get home for 3 hours....sure, let's support them. Not bloody likely.

The guy had a weapon, he attacked and wounded a cop...and YES, BART officers are COPS. He got shot. Too fricking bad for him. Don't go after a cop with a weapon.

Posted by Ken Howard on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 11:28 am

There's clearly a problem with the BART police, in view of recent events. The BART directors are responsible. The buck stops with them. They should insist on better training for BART police and raise their professional standards. No more delays!

On the other side of the coin, the protestors are foolish to disrupt the lives of commuters to make their point. The commuters are not the problem.

Some of the protesters called for disbanding the BART police. That's a stupid demand. Public safety threats occur on BART and need to be countered. It won't do to pretend they don't occur.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

the last people in the world who will be able to fend for themselves without cops.

In general these people are like right wingers who go into fits of ecstasy every time there is a bad economic indicator they can spin the blame onto Obama. Nothing makes a professional protester happier than a cop shooting someone.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

Arthur, you say the protestors are "foolish" to disrupt the lives of commuters. But this is the third death BART police are responsible for in as many years. Clearly, the BART directors have not remedied the problem. If not disrupting BART itself, how do you suggest these protestors see to a solution before someone else is needlessly killed?

The commuters are not the problem, but most of them were previously unaware that yet another person was shot dead by the BART police. The fact that they were unaware isn't the same problem, but the more people who aware of the situation, including the commuters, the more compelled the directors will be to find a solution. And I certainly hope you're not suggesting that the inconvenience of a handful of commuters outweighs the cost of one man's life.

As for disbanding the BART police, Krystof pointed out in his speech that if this is a matter of public safety, why doesn't BART have their own paramedic department?

Neither Caltrain, nor Sam Trans, A/C Transit, Muni, nor even the ferries (which probably are outside the purview of all police jurisdictions) have their own police departments. What makes BART unique in needing its own police force?

Even many cities contract out their police services instead of having their own department. West Hollywood is patrolled by the LA County sheriff, and they even have special cars with Pride flags on them.

Maybe the San Francisco Sheriff's department should take over crime enforcement on BART.

Posted by Josh Wolf on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

To where there is information as to how you know that dead dude wasn't partaking in the actions involved with knife as claimed by the cops and riders.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

Thanks, Josh, for your thoughtful and well stated comments above. Some responses follow.

You say:

“this is the third death BART police are responsible for in as many years.”

We agree that there is an ongoing, institutional problem here.

You say:

“Clearly, the BART directors have not remedied the problem.”

They should be held accountable for their incompetence. They should not be let off the hook. The blame should not be shifted to others.

You say:

“If not disrupting BART itself, how do you suggest these protestors see to a solution before someone else is needlessly killed?”

Disrupting BART will not make the directors more accountable. It will only irritate commuters and make them feel hostile to the demonstrators.

The proper response is not a quick emotional episode of acting-out. Rather, there should be an intelligent, ongoing program of educating the public about the failure of the directors and of pressuring the directors to fulfill their obligations.

You say:

“the more people who aware of the situation, including the commuters, the more compelled the directors will be to find a solution.”

The public has to be given the proper message: the directors are guilty of failed management. However, the demonstrators are giving the public another message: Look how dumb we are.

You say:

“And I certainly hope you're not suggesting that the inconvenience of a handful of commuters outweighs the cost of one man's life.”

I’m saying that intelligent protest is better than stupid protest.

Half of the social injustice in the world is due to the greed and arrogance of the powers that be.

The other half is due to the stupidity and short-sightedness of those who protest the above.

There’s no substitute for intelligence, either in governing or in protesting.

You say:

“if this is a matter of public safety, why doesn't BART have their own paramedic department?”

There are people on BART who target others for crimes. They will not be dissuaded by singing Kumbaya. A police presence is necessary.

You say:

“What makes BART unique in needing its own police force?:

BART covers numerous geographic jurisdictions and has among its riders a group of people (mostly males, by the way) intent on committing crime.

You say:

“Maybe the San Francisco Sheriff's department should take over crime enforcement on BART.”

Good luck in convincing the sheriff of that!

Let’s be reasonable.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

Arthur Evans, you and Josh seem to agree that BART has a mismanagement problem. Since you don't believe the protesters had the right approach, please tell us what you are going to do to hold BART police accountable.

Posted by rebecca on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

At this point it doesn't seem that we know exactly what happened. If you know of a link that factually shows exact what happened, then it would be nice to see. Shooting a guy brandishing a knife may well have been the right thing to do.

These sorts of things are tragedy's, that cop will have to live with this for the rest of his life. He's likely not a person who got into law enforcement with the planned goal of killing someone for something to do. Although that seems to be the theory that our professional rioters and protesters seem to working under.

So at this point, accountable for what?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

Matlock,

You make a good point. We know that there is surveillance video of the incident, and we only got a sense of the real tragedy of Oscar Grant by watching the numerous cell phone videos.

The BART authorities have said they've reviewed the video, and it appears everything was done according to policy. Well, maybe they should release that video so you and are left with more than conjecture about what really happened.

Posted by Josh Wolf on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 9:53 am

They should head down to the BART office and protest for the video to be released.

I'm not working under conjecture, the protesters are, it should say " so we are left with more than conjecture."

Posted by matlock on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 10:19 am

Hey Arthur,

Thanks for the response, but I think it's interesting that you neglected to address my issue of what makes BART unique from other inter-county public transit agencies in regard to policing.

Caltrain is probably the best example. Like BART the train covers several counties. Like BART it is a government entity. Unlike BART, Caltrain does not have its own police department, and I believe they contract through the San Mateo County Sheriff's department.

Unlike BART, Caltrain is actually a federal governmental entity, not a regional one. And unlike BART, that entity, AMTRAK, actually has its own police force. For some reason Caltrain isn't protected by AMTRAK police, but I don't have any knowledge specifically why that is.

Posted by Josh Wolf on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 9:58 am

amazing

"As for disbanding the BART police, Krystof pointed out in his speech that if this is a matter of public safety, why doesn't BART have their own paramedic department?"

You do know that BART travels from jurisdiction to the next? You would like paramedics to ride BART to someone having a heart attack and then take BART to the nearest hospital with that person?

Let me help

I used to work on the border between two cities and counties. Right near there was an intersection where if there was an accident the cops would have to figure out what city/county was responsible. I would see them out there with tape measures trying to make it the other cities problem.

Now think about BART and it traveling from one city and county to the next with maybe some local cops on the train is some areas. Wouldn't take long for the thugs to figure out the best spot to rob you on your way to the anarchist convention.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

That is an equally silly arguement. AC Trancit is patrolled by the Alameda County Sheriffs Office in Alameda County and by the Contra Costa County Sheriffs in Contra Costa. SamTrans is patrolled by the San Mateo County Sheriffs Office in that county. But those are buses. And BART police take a LARGE NUMBER of bus related calls at the stations because normally they are the closest ones to the call and can get there much faster. BART goes through four different counties at a much higher rate of speed. And if a crime takes place in one county, it can be in another jurisdiction in a matter of seconds in some cases. So who takes the call??? By the time that gets figured out, criminals may be loooooooong gone. So what happens to you when you are robbed or stabbed or assaulted aboard a train? Do you want to wait until the jurisdictional issue is sorted out before you get the assistance you need? Or do you want a BART officer to take the case in a matter of moments because they are always nearby?

What if it was you mom? Or wife? Or girlfriend? Or child? Then what? Do you even know how many arrests those guys make on a weekly or monthly or yearly basis??? And for the record, there ARE paramedics stationed at the West Oakland and Embarcadero stations for emergencies. And although they are not "BART" paramedics, they are there because BART wants them to be there.

You had better be careful what you wish for. Its all fun and games until you start running into criminals on the BART system with guns, other weapons and bad intentions. And if you think they are not there, you are seriously kidding yourself. Trust me. But its cool. You will sing a much different tune when you are the victim of one of these people that the BART Police are there to protect you from. And you will be the first one to call 911. Bank on it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2011 @ 1:11 am

If the goal is to disband the BART police, I wonder if alienating commuters is the most effective method?

Posted by Chris Pratt on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

Josh....did you not get the memo on what time these idiots chose to shut down the system? Try 5:30 p.m......RUSH HOUR. Why else would they try that time?

You blathering idiot...there were more than a "few" people inconvenienced. Two, possibly three stations did not reopen for normal service until after 8:00 p.m. How would YOU like to be stuck miles from home for 3 hours. Bet not.

The idiot who climbed on top of the car should have been left there, and when the train finally did move, he would have been crushed. Good riddance.

Posted by Ken Howard on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

Unfortunately, most of these posts remind me of what one reads on SFHate (also known as SFGate). Most people there despise any and all protesters, no matter what the protest is about. If there's a protest, the hate flows on that site. The posts here remind me of the posts there. Some nasty and hateful things written here, just as on SFHate. It speaks volumes about the kind of person who would write such a post. None of them I would ever want to meet or know.

One of the reasons for a protest is to inconvenience the sheep and to inform them of a certain problem they are likely unaware of. The point of a protest is NOT because the people protesting have nothing better to do. Clearly, many people here in the US Empire would live very comfortably in a full-blown fascist state. Don't worry, we'll be there very shortly at the rate things are going.

Thanks Josh, for your post. Just an alert: Don't waste your time with that Arthur Evans piece of work. He's just here to argue with people; anybody he can get to respond to him. His hobby is arguing with people and picking their words apart. He's a self-appointed authority on most topics. He has nothing better to do than that. I say that based on experience.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

Was this post meant as parody?

Posted by matlock on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

"please tell us what you are going to do to hold BART police accountable."

- Rebecca

Alas, I no longer have the health needed to organize protest actions of any kind. At this point, it's an accomplishment when I succeed in climbing up the stairs to my apartment. If you can climb yours with ease, count yourself lucky!

If protest organizers were wise, they would come up with an intelligent and focused program whereby members of the public would be cordially invited to contribute according to their abilities.

That's the key to successful organizing - create ongoing, sensible venues that welcome and focus the participation of all kinds of people from every stratum of society.

It's a wrong-headed approach for a group to disrupt the lives or ordinary folks in counterproductive actions, and then turn on members of the public and self-righteously accuse them of not doing enough to correct the injustice.

The powers that be that run the world have enormous force and resources at their disposal. The only hope for reformers is to outfox them.

Alienating members of the public and wagging self-righteous fingers in their faces will not outfox the powers that be. It will only drive the public into the arms of the powers that be.

We see this self-marginalizing pattern again and again with our local progressive sect here in SF. Why is it so hard for them to learn from their mistakes?

There's nothing progressive about either stupidity or self-righteousness.

Intelligence, focus and affability provide the best hope for carrying the day. The BART protestors should give this approach a try.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

I'm sorry some people are upset they might miss whatever show they wanted to watch on TV that night. Some of us are upset that cops can murder people and get away with it every time.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

If you missed picking up your kids at day care and had to pay an extra $1.00 per minute? Tough shit. These assholes had a point to make and inconveniencing you was the best way to do it!

Now don't you feel more warmly disposed to their cause?

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

Yes, it's tragic isn't it that self-absorbed and self-entitled people oblivious to many/most really important things going on in the world miss their favorite (mindless) television show and are late arriving on the couch to resume their couch potato position! Can't be late for that!....as obesity and diabetes continue to soar here in the US Empire.

If this man were a close relative to the people who are moaning and whining about the protesters, I have no doubt the responses would be different....full of outrage and full of anger. They would not be urging the protesters to behave like meek and mild people with no anger and warmly welcoming a broad spectrum of the public (oh give it a rest!) to bring their talents and creativity forth as if they were preparing for a damn plastic container's convention or something (as some self-righteous damned fool essentially suggested) as opposed to an ANGRY PROTEST. And if someone were put out of their way by being stuck on BART, it's your own damn fault, if you live in the suburbs. Ever thought about working closer to where you live? (whining people in the suburbs...the people who constantly moan about The City, yet you choose to come here to work and take our jobs). Envision that green concept of working closer to where you live.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

it down to a science.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

But the morons that you progressives claim to speak for, those morons might just consider you and the rest of the gang, wrong. They might have thought about it and think that the shooting of a knife wielding fuck up is sad but may have been justified.

Or just not agreeing with your opinions as fact makes them brainwashed.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 9:56 am

Yes, the lumpen working-class would otherwise be home eating transfat chips with their fellow fat working-class unenlightened friends.

Better to give then the shock-treatment, enlighten them, teach them truthiness.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

"I'm sorry some people are upset they might miss whatever show they wanted to watch on TV that night. Some of us are upset that cops can murder people and get away with it every time."

- Greg

How virtuous of you, Greg, to be so highly principled and righteous, compared to ordinary folks living their ordinary, unprincipled, unrighteous lives.

However, I have some unsettling news for you: Demonizing ordinary folks is not the way to correct problems in government or society.

You have to win people over. You can't do that by disrupting their daily lives, wagging your finger in their faces, or having foul-mouthed outbursts.

You have to be reasonable.

Bummer, ain't it?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

"it's your own damn fault, if you live in the suburbs."

- Jorge Orwell

What? People are living in the suburbs! Say it ain't so!

So protestors can alienate everybody who lives in the suburbs and uses BART, as part of the protestors' effort to win BART riders over to the protestors' views, right?

(Why does Monty Python come to mind at this moment?)

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

"What? People are living in the suburbs! Say it ain't so!"

What? Protests are disruptive! Say it ain't so!

Of course protests are disruptive! That's the point! The disruption aspect of protesting is what makes it more effective than holding up a sign in your living room.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

"Of course protests are disruptive! That's the point!"

- Greg

Isn't the point to make change happen? Or is the goal disruption for its own sake?

Sometimes disruptive protests are called for. But even so, the disruption should always be intelligent.

Remove intelligence, and disruption is just another manifestation of human folly.

Don't we have enough of that already?

Let's be reasonable.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 9:55 am

Where ARE those relatives? If they cared so much bout this guy, WHY was he homeless?

Where do YOU live, Jorgie? Under the nearest overpass?

Luckily, I live in the City and walk to and from work. However, I used to work in Oakland and I would have thrown these fricking morons UNDER the train had it taken me 3 hours to get home.

And Lucretia actually has a good point. What if you had to pick your kid(s) up from daycare? Some places do charge for lateness. Some of them simply leave the kid in the doorway and hope their parents pick them up soon. But of course your protest about an armed asshole who went after cops with a bottle and knives has to be done. Good luck with the next one, now that it's zero tolerance for you idiots. Have funzies in jail.

Posted by Ken Howard on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 6:16 am
Posted by marcos on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 6:55 am

"The video was captured by Josh Wolf.'

Josh blew his 15 minutes of fame when he gleefully filmed anarchists breaking the windows of small businesses on Mission St. about 5 years ago.

Joshie (not Giorgy), I thought you got a job as a cub reporter for the Modesto Sun?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 7:36 am

Hey Guest (Officer Peter Shields perhaps?),

I actually got a job at the Palo Alto Daily Post where I wrote for a year before leaving to attend the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, which I just graduated from in May.

If you'd care to discuss my accomplishments as a reporter since then feel free to give me a call.

Posted by Josh Wolf on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 10:12 am

When your anarchist friends were breaking the windows of small businesses on Mission St. (rather than offices of Fortune500 companies in the financial district)...

...did you ever once consider telling them that their senseless rampage was hurting working-class people?

How about when they bashed the gay man in the head?

Did you have anything to say?

Just wondering.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

No, he didn't. These workiing-class types are better off cleaning broken glass off the Mission St. sidewalk than sitting at home eating cheese puffs and getting fatter.

The anarchists enligthened them to the realities of the state repression by the capitalists

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

What a load of B.S.
There's a difference between being an anarchist and being an inconsiderate, disrespectful, ass hole that just wants to beak shit that's not theirs while filming it because they have to much time on their hands and don't want to take responsibility and pay for the damage they caused.
Damaging other peoples property isn't going to enlighten anyone on the realities of the state repression by the capitalists particular when the message is in the unclear form of vandalism and the destruction of property, and is more likely to just piss people off instead of enlightening them.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of idiots out there that are sheep (and most of those idiots vote, mind you that not all voters are idiots) but there are also people that aren't idiots that already realized the message and are simply content with their life. People who are sheep will almost always need a shepherd.
As an afterthought, the closest a person can be to a true Anarchists in the U.S.A. are people who make a conscious choice (mental illness doesn't count) to be homeless as it is the closest way for a person to live outside
the governments control. Which would mean that non-homeless anarchist are just more posers.

Posted by Anonymous Anomaly on Aug. 14, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

Greg Suhr, now police chief was who Josh Wolf did not videotape when Suhr failed to command the response to the G8 demonstrations that resulted in cops entering into an unsafe situation and getting injured.

The involvement of Suhr was what caused Wolf to spend almost a year in jail. Greg's got juice.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 8:05 am

Greg Suhr's involvement didn't get me 7 months in prison; certainly not directly.

What led to my imprisonment was an overzealous activist in the LGBT wing of the police union who called the FBI to report a hate-crime because the officer injured during the protest happened to be gay.

If anything, Suhr's involvement in that night's protest is what led to his own punishment as head of library security. Not my own imprisonment. Sure, if had made sure all of his officers had followed protocol, then maybe no one would've gotten injured and the FBI might not have gotten involved. But that's a stretch.

Posted by Josh Wolf on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 10:05 am

It's interesting that the supporters of the protestors all assume that the BART riders are middle class 9 to 5 suburbanites. The assumption being that this was just a minor inconvenience is flawed. There are plenty of people who ride BART that can be significantly impacted both financially and otherwise (care givers, parents, etc.) by this sort of stunt. Anyone who rides BART in SF knows that people of all stripes ride the train and that everyone is impacted.

Posted by Guest666 on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 8:06 am

Except for the few who already agreed with the BART protestors, people across the city are grumbling about their tactics.

But if the protestors had used intelligent tactics, the same amount of energy across the city would now be directed against the BART directors.

The protestors' action inspired the choir but alienated everyone else who wasn't part of the congregation.

This is not a smart way for advocates to build up public support. It leads to self-marginalization on their part, combined with self-righteousness and paranoia.

These traits typify doctrinaire sects in both politics and religion.

Attitudes that are more likely to succeed in winning over the public are respect for those whose support is sought and openness to what is best in human nature.

Let's be reasonable.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 8:42 am

Hey Arthur, I know you attempted to explain to Rebecca what you had in mind but it was clouded with generalities and not specific ideas for action. You may not be in the nimble form you once were to lead crowds on marches, but your brain is clearly still strong enough to engage intellectually so there's no reason you'd be unable to come up with a detailed plot to put the BART directors under the gun for their own officer's shooting.

As far as I'm concerned the most effective way to combat this issue is to produce a 30-second commercial addressing the issue and buy a shit-ton of airtime. I'll donate my video production skills if you'll donate the airtime.

What do you say Mr. Evans?

Posted by Josh Wolf on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 10:09 am

There's really nothing else to say about this.

Serioulsy disrupting the lives of literally tens of thousands of people for a questionable "cause" that has NOTHING to do with them....

Greg, you do far more damage to your cause than your most fierce opponent ever could. People have infants, childcare, medications, doctor appointments, jobs...

Your bizarre assertion that you just disrupted some TV watching is stupid, arrogant and out of touch - and it's why you guys FAIL at everything you do. You don't know how to make any real change, because it's simply out of your comfort zone. You live to exist on the fringe where you don't matter.

Posted by Sambo on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 10:42 am

Thanks, Josh, for your post above, and congrats on your recent graduation from the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley.

Some responses follow –

You say:

“I know you attempted to explain to Rebecca what you had in mind but it was clouded with generalities and not specific ideas for action.”

There are thousands of horrible injustices in the world that call out for redress. If ordinary folks got involved in all of these causes, they would have no time for their personal lives.

Organizers should make it practical for ordinary people to participate to the degree they can. To that end, organizers should come up with various inviting avenues of involvement.

It won’t do for organizers to wag their fingers in the faces of ordinary folks and put the onus on them. Organizers who behave in this way will quickly marginalize both themselves and their causes.

You say:

“there's no reason you'd be unable to come up with a detailed plot to put the BART directors under the gun for their own officer's shooting.”

A good move would be to stop demonizing the people you want to win over.

Another good move would be to put out educational leaflets at BART stations describing the problem and urging riders to contact the BART directors.

Another would be to hold educational forums.

Another would be to put videos on Youtube.

I’m surprised that you need me to suggest these possibilities.

You say:

“the most effective way to combat this issue is to produce a 30-second commercial addressing the issue and buy a shit-ton of airtime. I'll donate my video production skills if you'll donate the airtime.”

You assume I’m financially secure and not on the edge of destitution. I hope you don’t make up facts like this when you write articles for newspapers. Otherwise, your degree from Berkeley will have been a big waste of time.

You say:

“What do you say Mr. Evans?”

I say you should stop being facetious in your posts and counterproductive in your activism.

Otherwise, you will only end up making the world worse, while congratulating yourself on how virtuous you are.

Don't we have enough people doing that already?

Let's be reasonable.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 11:23 am

There is, actually, a valid alternative to the BART police. The California Highway Patrol has jurisdiction in all 58 counties -- and while BART isn't a highway, it's certainly a transportation system. Maybe the CHP should expand its mission and BART should contract with that agency to patrol the trains. Not that the CHP is perfect, but it would be hard to get anything worse than what we have now.

Posted by tim on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 11:32 am

Dangerous and disruptive users of BART are the problem.

You're reasoning is severely flawed Tim.

Posted by Lucretia "Secretia" Snapples on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 11:55 am

Tim, you say:

“Maybe the CHP should expand its mission and BART should contract with that agency to patrol the trains.”

Have you contacted CHP to see whether they have either the resources or interest in doing what you suggest?

If so, what did they say?

If not, aren’t you just dreaming idly here?

You say:

“it would be hard to get anything worse than what we have now.”

What makes you think that CHP would do any better if put into the situation of BART police? Do you have any facts bearing on the comparison of the differing experiences and functions of the two agencies?

Aren’t you just dreaming idly here?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

Innocent until proven guilty. How can these protesters call for the firing of every BART police officer when they merely suspect that one used lethal force without cause? This just doesn't make sense.

I appreciate the BART police presence when I ride. Imagine taking the train at night without them. The police are not the problem. The supervisors are not the problem. The riders cause the problems. It's that simple.

Posted by sherpa on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

Should have Tased a few hundred protestors and cleared the platform

Posted by Guest on Jul. 14, 2011 @ 7:37 am

You west coasters sure are a bunch of pansies, the police should have tased a bunch of you and broke a few knee of youy caps!

Posted by AWD on Jul. 14, 2011 @ 7:40 am

Josh, you're thoughtful and well spoken, and have been trained as a professional journalist.

The disruption by the BART protestors has clearly turned into a PR debacle for their cause.

What have you learned from this experience?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 14, 2011 @ 9:32 am

Am still waiting for your reply to the question above:

What have you learned from this experience?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 14, 2011 @ 9:35 pm