BART arrests protesters for speaking out

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In this image from July 11, a protester denounces the BART police shooting of Charles Hill, pictured.
Photo by Luke Thomas, fogcityjournal.com

Faced with yet another protest over BART's disruption of cell phone service on August 11 to preemptively disrupt a protest, and with lingering anger over the BART police shooting of Charles Hill on the Civic Center station platform on July 3, BART police stifled vocalizations of dissent with immediate arrests during an Aug. 22 protest on the Civic Center Station platform.

“Free speech is the best kind of speech,” said one protester on the Civic Center BART platform as the second protest called by the international hacker group Anonymous in as many weeks challenged the BART system at rush hour.

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.

Video by Shawn Gaynor

Shortly after, BART police declared the small gathering an illegal assembly. Riot police surrounded some 40 protesters for arrest as media was ejected from the station.

Civic Center station and Powell Station were both shuttered, blocking many transit passengers from their evening commute.

What started as a cell phone disruption has apparently escalated into BART arresting anyone expressing an unfavorable opinion of BART.

When asked if the arrested represented a new BART police policy for protests, Hartwig told the Guardian BART's policy remains the same. “This environment has to remain safe, and if that safety is jeopardized in any way, we will make arrests," he said. "We have a responsibility to maintain a safe station.”

Protesters said it was appropriate to protest on the Civic Center platform because it is the location of the July 11 shooting of Hill by BART police.

Earlier in the day, the National Lawyer's Guild issued a statement calling on BART to respect passengers' and community members' civil liberties during the Aug. 22 demonstration.

"First and foremost, the BART Police should provide transparency regarding the killing of Charles Hill and should stop shooting people, especially unarmed and incapacitated individuals," the NLG statement read. "Second, BART should apologize for its disruption of cell service on August 11th and not repeat this unconstitutional action. Finally, BART should recognize passengers’ right to freedom of speech on platforms and in trains."

Calls to the BART for the names of the arrestees and number of arrests had not yet been returned by press time.

Comments

Handful of protesters in the station. Lots of photographers, media, and cops.

Pics ... http://opbart.4ormat.com/

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

Thanks!

Posted by grannygear on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 10:01 am

How frigging ironic: BART making a big hullaballoo about the necessity of repressing demonstrators to keep the BART platform "safe" when the frigging BART police are *murdering* people on the platforms. You want a safe BART? Then get rid of cops and murderers, not protestors.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

"Second, BART should apologize for its disruption of cell service on August 11th and not repeat this unconstitutional action. Finally, BART should recognize passengers’ right to freedom of speech on platforms and in trains."

Rioting trustifarians are upset that while they were trying to bring the commute to a halt for thousands of citizens, Bart inconveniences people by shutting the phones off. Why would anyone treat these people as adults?

Posted by meatlock on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

"Second, BART should apologize for its disruption of cell service on August 11th and not repeat this unconstitutional action. Finally, BART should recognize passengers’ right to freedom of speech on platforms and in trains."

Rioting trustifarians are upset that while they were trying to bring the commute to a halt for thousands of citizens, Bart inconveniences people by shutting the phones off. Why would anyone treat these people as adults?

Posted by Right On Sister Snapples on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

BART is completely out-of-control, or at least their cops are, with zero respect for the U.S. Constitution/First Amendment. And unfortunately, most of the self-absorbed sheep in this country would likely whine about the protesters and/or those exercising their First Amendment rights. The Status Quo sheep would likely have also whined and moaned about the protesters called the "founding fathers" of this country. Surely they "inconvenienced" some people with their actions as well. It would be interesting to hear how many pathetics complained about those radical as well! (And I'm using the word radical as a positive word). "Inconveniencing" some sheep is what protesting is about, in part. It's to bring the sheep out of their dazed stupor, if that's possible, as damned thick as some of them are. (I know because I've talked with many sheep over the years. Many of them are terribly willfully-ignorant and proud of it).

Any thinking person who commutes into San Francisco should know that there are protests from time-to-time here, as in any other major city around the world. An intelligent person would accept protests as part of taking one of our jobs here in the City. If one doesn't like the protests in the City, then find a job closer to your home in the (backward) suburbs and stop that long, draining commute time which likely makes one very miserable. The green concept is called "working closer to where you work."

The reality is that BARTs despicable actions are the problem. The sheep, as per usual, need a scape-goat. Someone to hate on, in part, for their long, draining commute (that they CHOOSE to do by taking a job here....no one forced the job here on them). The protesters are their scape-goat.

The sheep deserve what's coming.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 1:40 am

The green concept is called "working closer to where you LIVE."

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 1:55 am

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 7:41 am

Wanting to smash and disrupt the state.

The state shuts down some of BART, "yeah we are winning, take that lumpen employed morons"

The state shuts down cell phone service "yeah take that lumpen employed morons, oh wait, the state can't do that to us... and the good riders"

Posted by meatlock on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 8:23 am

ITA!!

Posted by grannygear on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 10:03 am

oooooh, what's coming, Jorge?
(*shaking in boots*)

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

What about my right to get home with no disruptions

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 7:59 am

Wait, what right to get home with no disruptions? Is that in the Constitution? AWESOME! My commute is gonna get so much easier.

Posted by Isntabella on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

you prevent others the right of free movement. If you want civil rights, it is a pre-condition of that that you first respect the rights of others.

Ask anyone in State prison about whether civil rights can be removed for cause. I think you'll find that is also in the Constitution.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

Editor:

President Obama's war in Libya was a success for proxy warfare, start to finish.

We mustered arms under authority of the War Powers Act. That law illegally delegates Congressional war powers to the president. President Obama then ignored the time-limit on that proxy altogether, arguing that our part in this has nothing to do with war.

NATO proved useless -- both man and material. No matter, the NATO cover allowed our proxy bomb-dropping in the cause of Pax Americana.

Will the left be checking-in on this, or are they too busy blaming Bush for the bad economy?

Posted by Guest Paul Burton on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 8:56 am

And anyway, the US wasn't actively involved of late - it was mostly the French and the British.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

From the August 12 Counterpunch article 'NATO'S Massacre at Majer, Libya' at:
http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb08122011.html

"U.S. Navy ships being used by NATO "to protect Libyan civilians" include:
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55) and USS Barry (DDG 52),Submarines USS Providence (SSN 719), USS Scranton (SSN 756) and USS Florida (SSGN 728),Marine amphibious ships USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Ponce (LPD 15) Command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20), Support ships Lewis and Clark, Robert E. Peary and Kanawha,AV-8B Harrier fighters, CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft aboard the Kearsarge and Ponce, KC-130J tanker aircraft flying from Sigonella Air Base, Italy, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft of VAQ-132, based at Whidbey Island, WA and flying from Aviano Air Base, Italy (the above listed aircraft were diverted from Iraq at NATO's request "to help protect Libyan civilians"), P-3 Orion sub-hunters and EP-3 Aries electronic attack aircraft."

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

and our involvement since then has been more logistical and supportive.

Anyway, the mission is an unqualified success. Unless you're a Gaddafi supporter, I guess.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

I'm a supporter of human beings.

You, are a supporter of killing people for political gain.

And anyone who can read can tell that your picking nits about whether the U.S. is actually pulling the trigger on the massive armory that it is providing in the Libyan 'war', is totally irrelevant to the dynamics of what is actually going on, which is the U.S. and other corporate states securing control of North Africa to control its oil.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

order to defeat Hitler. Are you saying we should have just let Hitler do whatever he wanted to do just in case - God forbid - some civilian somewhere might die.

You're really from another planet, aren't you?

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

WWII was not a tiny cynical conflict stirred up purposely by elites to gain control of fossil fuels. Your comparison is laughable on its face.

Playing the Hitler card is not going to help you justify wiping out civilians over oil and natural gas.

It helps to understand the planet you are in fact living on, before asserting the arrogance to rhetorically accuse others that they are from another one.

Whatever planet -you- are from, it appears to be the same one that the Bush's call home.

Guess we better blow up that Libyan smoking gun, before it becomes a mushroom cloud, eh Paul?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

Yes, under Bush 2 (George W Bush) we had 3 wars/occupations/countries being droned:

Afghanistan
Iraq
Pakistan

Under Bush 3 (Obama, Mr Change We Can Believe In) we have 6 (DOUBLED!)

Afghanistan
Iraq
Pakistan
Libya
Somalia
Yemen

They are the ones we know about. Who else is being droned that we don't know about?

And for what? The neocon Project For The New American Century agenda of global domination and empire building by the US Empire (as this country falls apart/crumbles here). Despite what lies come from this corrupt government (both D and R), that's what these wars/occupations and droning of countries is about, because the US Empire does not have any problem whatsoever supporting and cooperating with SOME despicable politicians around the world - when - in the interest of the US Empire.

"We" were told that Iraq, for example, was not about oil. The sheep fell for that lie. Only a fool believed that. Well check this out:

Cheney's Halliburton gets letter of intent for Iraq oil
http://tinyurl.com/3uoc3j8

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

As some of us said to begin with, Libya = OIL, despite the BS and lies spoken to the contrary by the US Empire politicians and their cheerleaders:

From Russia Today:
Barrel per Bomb: Libya 'winners' & oil majors launch black gold grab
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsFFZlgtK5Q

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

These protesters are morons.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 28, 2011 @ 11:44 am

"Robert McDowell of the FCC, though he cannot yet speak to his organization's position, did say at a recent event that protestors and rights groups raise "very valid points," suggesting the agency may put the burden of proof on BART to justify its actions."

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/105359.html

Posted by Tami on Aug. 30, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

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