Even BART must honor free speech rights

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Given the recent battles between BART and both the physical and online protesters organized by the group Anonymous, it's no surprise that the live video feed of this morning's (Wed/24) BART Board of Directors meeting is down due to “technical difficulties.” But we'll try to follow-up later with what happened during the special meeting focused on BART's decision to shut down cell service in an effort to thwart a threatened Aug. 11 protest against the latest fatal shooting by BART police.

In the meantime, we have an interesting letter sent this week to the agency by the American Civil Liberties Union, which cites relevant caselaw and makes it clear that BART exceeded its legal authority in shutting down the system. Unfortunately, BART's stubborn refusal to acknowledge its mistake has spawned continuing protests that are snarling commutes and – given the trigger-happy nature of some BART cops – unnecessarily creating dangerous situations for everyone.

“The people of our state have the right to speak freely as Americans and as Californians. Our supreme court has long held that cutting off telephone service can infringe upon the right guaranteed by the First Amendment, reasoning that because 'the right of free speech and press are worthless without effective means of expression, the guarantee extends both to the content of the communication and the means for its dissemination.' Our state constitution is even more protective of free expression than is the First Amendment,” writes staff attorney Michael T. Risher, citing the 1966 Sokol v. Public Utilities Commission case, among others.

The standard set by the Supreme Court for when speech or networks may be cut off is when it creates “a clear and present danger of imminent violence,” which he argues simply wasn't the case with a protest that never even materialized. And he notes that the courts take an even more dim view of prior restraint, or the regulation of speech before it even occurs.

“BART cannot properly prevent protestors or other cell-phone users from speaking with one another on the telephone in the first place. Our courts have held that even private telephone carriers, whose actions are not constrained by the First Amendment, cannot shut off service simply because they believe that their customers may be using their services to facilitate crime,” he wrote, citing the 1942 ruling in People v. Brophy. “BART, which is bound to follow both the First Amendment and the California Constitution's Liberty of Speech clause, must not do so either.”

Comments

If BART are closing their stations and systems, whether because of an impending riot, platform overcrowding, technical failure or any other reason, then clearly the most significant inconvenience is the stopping of trains and/or the ability of people to board them.

The fact that the flower stall also closes and the shoe shine guy goes home, along with any phone lines or wifi, is secondary to that.

Can we have a sense of proportion here. You're acting like this is the greatest injustice and government "takin" in the history of the land.

It's a footnote, regardless of whether it was technically legal or not. Are there really no major issues to cover?

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 10:55 am

if you don't enjoy freedom of speech, and think the first amendment is a joke, feel free to move to cuba, china, etc.

Posted by Midnight Fapper on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

and a free-market economy.

I often can't get a cell phone signal, including when I'm on a Muni streetcar underground, or on an airplane.

Hell, I couldn't even get a signal in the basement level of City Hall.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

Capitalism isn't in our constitution but freedom of speech is. Maybe you don't care about the erosion of our constitutional rights, but many others do.

Posted by steven on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

I had no idea that we were granted rights to cell phone service in four downtown BART stations in the constitution! Amazing!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

"We must guard First Amendment freedom of speech and this will become a landmark case," said BART Director Robert Raburn. "We must also guard against a drift toward a police state...Neither speculation about a protest nor mere disruption of train service, nor other illegal activity by itself, constitutes a risk to passenger safety that would warrant interruption of cell service."

"I think we should err on the side of not allowing suspension of cell phone service," said Director Joel Keller. "That is something that is a right. Once we headed in that direction and allowed cell phones to be utilized in the district we have to protect that right."

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20096788-245/bart-tackles-its-big-brot...

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

I dont care what sensationalist comments some BART board member made - show me where in the constitution it guarantees cell service in the 4 downtown BART subway stations.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 6:29 am

Actually those comments regarding Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms (or, as you call them, "sensationalist") are from two different BART Board Members. And they directly address how BART is required by the Constitution not to suspend cell phone service.

Here is a comment from a third.
Be careful not to hurt your brain- it has big words like First Amendment:

"The First Amendment and the right to have a communications channel are what people are looking for because it's part of this democratic society we live in...We can't sit back like Big Brother and say we don't like the message," said Lynette Sweet, a member of the board of directors for the San Francisco area subway agency, also known as BART.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 7:37 am

of the Constitution that might possible govern any requirement of BART to provide cell phone service forever.

There are other interpretations of it that regard that as an unjustifiable extrapolation of the meaning of the First.

You won't get a definitive ruling on that until and unless this goes to Court and since nobody suffered any actual, quanifiable loss as a result (as far as I know) from the brief break in service, we may in fact never know whether this was any kind of unconstitutional action.

In any event, it's hard to imagine this was the kind of thing the founding fathers had in mind when they crafted the Bill of Rights.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 8:29 am

Something is either legal, or it is not.
Why use the phrase "technically legal"?

And why, after arguing for weeks that BART did not violate Americans' Constitutional Rights, have you suddenly changed course and tried to claim this ridiculous breach of rights guaranteed all citizens by the Constitution of The United States is merely "a footnote"?

Let me help you out here.
This travesty has been covered by print and online news outlets all over the world, for weeks.
Google it if you are so willfully ignorant that you have managed to hide this fact from yourself. Then tell us that this is merely "a footnote".
You might also want to tell BART Board member Robert Raburn this is just "a footnote", he seems confused in the quote following:

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."
http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2011/08/24/bart-director-speculation-about...

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

because there are lots of occasions when actions are in breach of some rule as a technicality - meaning that there was no material outcome from the "transgression".

Example - sometimes I jaywalk if there is clearly no traffic. Is it against the law? Yes. Does that matter? No. My breach was technical not material.

None of us know if BART acted illegally because it hasn't gone to any Court. AFAIK, nobody has litigated it and so at this point it's just hypothetical conjecture.

So you don't know and I don't know. We're just giving opinions. and unless and until a Judge is required to rule on it, it will remain mere speculation.

But what I do know is that the amount of media coverage (at least here - I don't know about "globally") is out of all proportion to the temporary inconvenience to the very small number of people who may have suffered a slight delay in their ability to make phone calls.

One more time - BART is in the train business, not the phone business. Why aren't you upset about the much bigger inconvneience here - the fact that peoples' transit was affected?

Or don't you care about that?

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

Paul, the reason I quoted from this letter and these court cases is to show how the courts have ruled on this issue, despite your willful ignorance. And this is not an issue of riders being momentarily inconvenienced by not getting a signal, it's about whether a government agency with its own police force (not simply a "train business" as you assert) can shut down telecommunications systems in order to stifle free expression and the right to peaceably assemble and petition for a redress of grievances. That's an important constitutional principle, and a timely one given we've seen in the Arab Spring uprisings.

Posted by steven on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

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."
http://lafiga.firedoglake.com/2011/08/24/bart-director-speculation-about...

"the amount of media coverage (at least here - I don't know about "globally") is out of all proportion"
Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

If you "don't know about "globally"" then Google it, and then make an INFORMED comment rather than further illustrate your ignorance.

You claimed this violation of the Constitution of The United States of America is "a footnote".
Reality does not agree.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

you had to climb a few steps to make a phone call.

The Constitution is vital. Individual claims about being temporarily inconvenienced may not be.

I'm not aware that the BBC is giving the same emphasis to this non-story as is the SFBG.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:41 pm
BBC

Yes, even news outlets with an international audience (not just the Guardian and Bay Area outlets, for which this is obviously a big story) are covering this story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-us-canada-14568160

Posted by steven on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

the shooting by police, the protests and the illegal hacking.

The temporary suppression of cell service was just a one-line throwaway.

I'd hardly call that a global media frenzy.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

You just don't know when to quit, do you, Paul? The entire article was about the cell phone shutdown, which the hacking attack was a direct response to. That is the issue, while the police shooting that started all of this was the throwaway line. C'mon, man, you can disagree with the people who think this story is significant, but don't keep trying to defend yourself with erroneous claims because it doesn't serve your position very well at all.

Posted by steven on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

"what I said was a technicality was that
you had to climb a few steps to make a phone call."
Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

Those words appear nowhere in your earlier post.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

BART's decisions to shut down various aspects of it's services and facilities in the face of what it perceived in good faith to be a danger to public safety.

I think it's a trivial technicality and you think it's the biggest thing since the War of Independence.

We'll see how it plays out but in a year's time, I suspect we'll both see this is a footnote.

But now I wouldn't blame BART if they shut down cell srvice permanently just to avoid any future problem. Clearly nobody would have cared if they has never offered free cell service in the first place - Muni certainly doesn't.

Sounds like the old axiom - no good deed goes unpunished. You guys are beyond ungrateful.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

"We'll see how it plays out but in a year's time, I suspect we'll both see this is a footnote."

What credibility should anyone give to what you suspect? To begin with, you're the one who goes on what you're "not aware of," (eyes roll upward) and you chose not to inform yourself about the BBC's coverage, for example, which only required a quick Google search.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

"you think it's the biggest thing since the War of Independence."
Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

Where did anyone except you write this?
Nowhere.

Is this how you imagine intelligent adults resolve a disagreement?
By lying about what another has written, with the evidence of the lie just a few inches away?

Good to see, though, that you are back to characterizing a breach of Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties as "a footnote" or a " tempest in a thimble".
If you are going to be pitifully obtuse, the least you can do is be consistent in it.

As to whether or not this story has been covered by print and online news outlets all over the world, for weeks-
Have you bothered to Google that yet?
Why wouldn't you, except out of fear of facing your own ignorance?

Looking forward to your changing your name yet again in the near future to defend PG&E, Ed Lee, and all the other conservative corruption.
A word of advice though- everyone will still recognize the stench of your poor debate skills and right wing willful ignorance, no matter how many pairs of soiled online underwear you change.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

In the future you may want to try this, which will make you aware rather than willfully-ignorant:

Google dot com

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

"...to this non-story as is the SFBG."

If it's such a "non-story" to you, why have you spent so much time posting about it? That doesn't make much sense. Do you often waste your time writing about something you consider a "non-story?"

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

that there are maybe some important issues going unreported while the SFBG endlessly tries to pimp and pump this tempest in a thimble.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

Well if there are "some important issues going unreported" HERE then go to where they are reported ELSEWHERE. Duh. And if you think the Guardian is pimping this issue, why do you stay HERE writing about it? Aren't you aiding the "pimp" and serving as the Guardian's accomplice by doing that? (Answer: Yes). So Leave. No one forces you to come here or stay here, do they? You remind me of that Arthur Evans. When I was reading his shit he used to say the same shit. Are you sure you're not him?

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:47 pm
Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

"you think it's the biggest thing since the War of Independence."
Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

Where did anyone except you write this?
Nowhere.

Is this how you imagine intelligent adults resolve a disagreement?
By lying about what another has written, with the evidence of the lie just a few inches away?

Good to see, though, that you are back to characterizing a breach of Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties as "a footnote" or a " tempest in a thimble".
If you are going to be pitifully obtuse, the least you can do is be consistent in it.

As to whether or not this story has been covered by print and online news outlets all over the world, for weeks-
Have you bothered to Google that yet?
Why wouldn't you, except out of fear of facing your own ignorance?

Looking forward to your changing your name yet again in the near future to defend PG&E, Ed Lee, and all the other conservative corruption.
A word of advice though- everyone will still recognize the stench of your poor debate skills and right wing willful ignorance, no matter how many pairs of soiled online underwear you change.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

inconvenience is a minor issue.

There is obviously a small, vocal, fringe group out there who hates BART and are seeking to greatly exaggerate this in the hope it will gain some kind of traction.

I'm entitled to state that I think that's dishonest and malicious. And outside of this paper I have neither seen nor heard any mention or reference to it. It's a non-issue outside your narrow circle.

Footnote. BART has my full support and you're lucky I'm not running it as, effective immediately, I'd shut down all cell phone service permanently.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

"There is obviously a small, vocal, fringe group"

The founding fathers of this country were a "small, vocal, fringe group." How many people tried to dismiss them, smear them and minimize them as nothings? But again, since you supposedly consider this a "minor issue," (does anyone believe that?) why do you spend so much time on it? Your actions show otherwise. Your hypocrisy shows that you consider this a major issue considering all the many posts you've written about it. And I couldn't care less what you would do if you were running BART...because you're not. Just big, tough talk. Hot air. Anyone can type "big and tough talk" words.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

I also meant to add:

Despite PaulT's "small, vocal fringe group" nonsense, the number of protesters is irrelevant. Even if it were only one protester, that person should/must have freedom of expression/freedom of speech under the US Constitution.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

since the War of Independence."
I never wrote that.
You lied.
Simple.

The fact, PaulT, that in spite of hundreds of articles having been written around the world regarding this event, you proudly proclaim that you have seen none of them, is a testament to your sheer will to idiocy.
It has not led to these articles not existing.

"outside of this paper I have neither seen nor heard any mention or reference to it. It's a non-issue outside your narrow circle."
Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

Having freedom to speak online must be protected‎
Irish Times - Danny O'Brien

BART mobile shutdown provokes Anonymous hackers
-BBC
15 August 2011 Last updated at 08:54 ET
Hackers have targeted the website of a San Francisco transport company that turned off mobile masts to prevent protests outside its stations.
Public anger towards the Bay Area Rapid Transport (BART) had been fermenting since July when transit police shot dead a man who was carrying a knife.
BART disconnected its transmitters in a bid to quell planned demonstrations.

Hackers target Bart transport agency again
-BBC
17 August 2011 Last updated at 18:50 ET
Protests have taken place at stations in San Francisco recently against a police shooting
Hackers have launched another attack on a transport agency that cut off mobile phone services at San Francisco stations last week to prevent protests.

BART tackles its 'Big Brother' moment
CNET - Elinor Mills - ‎3 hours ago‎
Michael Risher, staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, speaks to the BART board of directors today at agency headquarters in Oakland, Calif., during a special session to discuss the transit district's shutdown of cell phone service during ...

Cellphone service cutoffs should be rare, BART says
Los Angeles Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
After an emotional, three-hour hearing, members of BART's board of directors said the policy would undergo rigorous vetting by the public and the American Civil Liberties Union. "If we're going to shut off cellphone service, ever, it needs to be under ...

FCC commissioner: BART critics may be right
CNET - Declan McCullagh - ‎7 hours ago‎
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said that the agency is still investigating what happened when BART pulled the plug on cell service on August 11 in four subway stations in downtown San Francisco in anticipation of a protest. (A BART board meeting is ...

BART develops cell policy after free-speech uproar
USA Today - Paul Elias - ‎4 hours ago‎

BART Vows to Develop Policy After Free Speech Protests‎
Patch.com - David Carini - 1 hour ago
BART's board of directors was briefed on the controversial option to shut-off cell phone service four days before a planned demonstration at ...

Video: Can Transit Agency Legally Cut Wireless Access? The Associated PressIn-Depth

Cellphone service cutoffs should be rare, BART says‎ Los Angeles Times

ALL 217 NEWS ARTICLES »

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

"I'd shut down all cell phone service permanently."
PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

"We must also guard against a drift toward a police state"
-BART Director Robert Raburn.

Here's a footnote for you, PaulT:
You wouldn't run BART for more than a day before being run out of town.
You'd be lucky to escape tar and feathers!

Your argument is not with a "small, vocal, fringe group".
You are at odds with the BART Board of Directors as evidenced by what they said today:
"We must guard First Amendment freedom of speech and this will become a landmark case," said BART Director Robert Raburn. "We must also guard against a drift toward a police state...Neither speculation about a protest nor mere disruption of train service, nor other illegal activity by itself, constitutes a risk to passenger safety that would warrant interruption of cell service."

"I think we should err on the side of not allowing suspension of cell phone service," said Director Joel Keller. "That is something that is a right. Once we headed in that direction and allowed cell phones to be utilized in the district we have to protect that right."

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20096788-245/bart-tackles-its-big-brot...

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

I was exaggerating your position as a reductio ad absurdum. It's called a rhetorical ploy.

And I'll confirm that I've only read about the cell phone thing here, and one piece on SFGate.

I heard about the cop shooting and the hacking. The first is unfortunate and the latter disgusting.

Most likely, you read lots of left-wing blogs, and so get exposed to this a lot. But I'm normal and so I'm not. Hard for you to believe, maybe. But it's true - there are far bigger stories. You know, like Libya, the Euro crisis, the stock market etc.

Cell phone service? I often can't get a signal. BFD.

Seems to me there's a "War on BART" going on. Quite why a group would hate a transit company is beyond me but i guess you guys have to hate something.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

"But it's true - there are far bigger stories. You know, like Libya, the Euro crisis, the stock market etc."----PaulT

Well PaulT, the name of the publication you're on is called The San Francisco Bay Guardian. It's a local publication dedicated to covering LOCAL stories around the Bay Area. Libya is not in the Bay Area. Use Google map. Go to Google and look up Libya and you can find anything you want to there.

If the Guardian did cover these stories you mentioned, I would hope they would be covering the theft of Libya's oil by the US Empire, Russia, China and Europe. They are all trying to steal Libya's oil before the fighting has even completed. I provided a YouTube video yesterday from Russia Today on this subject. I would hope they would also cover how Wall Street is playing Libya like a futbol game. For example, the stock market is down because Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī is winning some of the battles. Then the next day, the "rebels" are winning some of the battles and the sheep in the stock market fall for it because they know that the US Empire gets to steal Libya's natural resource called oil sooner. I also notice that Mr Change (right-wing Obama) going along with it as part of the PNAC agenda which he fully embraces, just like the Bush regime. In fact, Obama has embraced PNAC so much that he has doubled the wars/occupations/countries being droned. The list of countries is now up to 6 (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen). It was 3 under Bush (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan). And they are just the countries we know about. Who else is being droned by Bush 3?

But back to the local story about the BART thugs and mobile phone service being cut and BART's complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution/First Amendment....

Again, PaulT, use Google dot com and you will see that Libya is no where near the Bay Area. I was wondering....are you related to Ernest T. Bass? How are things in the swamps of North Carolina these days?

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

And now it was all just a joke.
Right.
Not a lie to misrepresent the opinion of another person, it was a JOKE.

Looks like you ended up on the wrong end of the argument, my friend.
Not even the BART Board of Directors agrees with you.
Hey- maybe the BART Board of Directors is part of your imaginary "War on BART".
I'll bet they're part of the "War On Christmas", too!
You should really do something about them!

You know what's a joke, PaulT?
You are a joke.
You just reducted yourself to an absurd pile of horsecrap.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 24, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

I said I was employing humor (parody, specifically) to lampoon and refute your point.

I'm not aware that any of the BART directors have ruled out doing the same thing in the future. And if they did merely because a few protestors made a self-absorbed fuss about it, then that wouldn't be a sound move.

They said what they needed to say to make the trouble-makers go away.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 11:32 am

Freedom of speech, like all rights protected under the Constitution, is not without limits. The U.S. Supreme Court has held in several cases that the government may regulate the time, place and manner of speech in publicly owned areas, especially if the restriction is content neutral. So, by cutting off all phone service, rather than trying to just limit protestors' use of cell service, BART may have well been on stronger legal ground. In fact, even some legal scholars who have criticized BART's actions (as poor policy) have admitted as much.

I will agree that it may have been a poor policy decision to cut off cell phone service, but a poor policy decision is not necessarily an illegal one. And, the truth is that BART was only driven to make that decision because certain people could not responsibly exercise their right to protest and felt the need to engage in property destruction, interference with train service, and general mayhem. They had plans to do it again (and were only temporarily thwarted) and I can understand that when you are pushed against the wall, it is only natural to respond with a heavy hand.

At the end of the day, I think it is fine to question and scrutinize the policy decisions of of BART. I also believe people have a right to peacefully protest. Though, in my opinion, it would make more sense to protest at BART's headquarters where the policy decisions being criticized are actually made. But, if the goal is to get attention, and the feeling is a protest at BART headquarters would not draw enough media attention, then a peaceful protest at stations would do the trick quite well. Holding signs, chanting, clapping, singing, etc. are all acceptable and protected free speech. Jumping on trains, smashing fare boxes, blocking exits, etc. are all illegal behavior and not protected actions under the Constitution or any general laws. They are not even acts of civil disobedience as I have heard some ill-informed people claim. Civil disobedience is peacefully violating a law to protest the LAW ITSELF. Eg. If BART had a law banning women from riding on the trains, then an act of civil disobedience would be for a group of women to peacefully assemble and then attempt to buy a ticket and board the BART trains. Violating laws unrelated to the policy/laws (laws against vandalism, etc). that you are protesting is not an act of civil disobedience, and violent and destructive protests are also inconsistent with civil disobedience. Finally, people who commit civil disobedience expect to be arrested and punished for breaking the law they are protesting, an integral part of committing an act of civil disobedience is accepting responsibility for it.

These protests are out-of-hand, misguided, and only raising the public's anger. The irony is that peaceful and dignified protests may well have won strong public support and effected real change--what a lost opportunity! Ultimately, if the protest tactics do not change they will lead to violence, and not just by some of the protestors, but by the public and the police against the protestors. Then, when someone is dead or seriously injured, I suppose people can smugly stand on principle. But, I believe who is wrong or right matters little when someone is killed.

If the goal is to actually effect change rather than to simply get negative attention, engage in mayhem, or provoke violence, then I think the tone and manner of the protests need to change, only then can a real dialog begin, and perhaps something constructive can come from this process. If not, nothing will change, except for the worse.

Posted by Chris on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 10:07 am

I think there's more than a little misguided opportunism in those who "protesteth too much" about this topic.

And in fact much of the press in the last day or two has been far more critical of the protestors than of BART.

Time to move on.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 11:29 am

Then I take it PaulT will not be contributing anymore to this thread, which can have a life of its own with or without him and regardless of what the thinks the value of such a discussion is. Under what authority does he declare that there has been enough discussion on this, or any other, topic?

Posted by M. Worrall on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

That's 12 posts on this thread alone.
He's commented multiple times on at least five other stories on the BART Constitutional Rights BBQ before this, in spite of the fact that the only thing that changed in his painfully ignorant posts was his slow slide into accepting FACTS that incontrivertibly proved his willful ignorance and his readiness to lie.

Hey, thanks, PaulT, for letting the rest of us know you have decided it's time for US to move on. You're a credit to arrogant assholes everywhere.

See you Monday at the BART station.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

Does the public have a right to freedom of movement? If so, is it reasonable for the government to restrain those who seek to violate the public's freedom of movement?

The BART protestors have already impeded public movement via BART. According to the article below, the protestors are also costing MUNI:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/08/bart-protest-costs-spilling-over...

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

For instance he imagines he has a "right" to "civility" that voids and supersedes all the Constitutional rights of the people around him.

It's no surprise that you favor BART's attacks on Freedom of Speech.
As you have shown repeatedly, not just here, you're a fascist who fantasizes about the control of others.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

...BART obligated to provide cell phone service? It is not.

Can anybody actually read and comprehend the U.S. Constitution? BART didn't make a law prohibiting free speech. They turned off cell service.

Judges prohibit cell phones in court? are they prohibiting free speech? No they are not.

People really need to think as opposed to looking for activist issues.

Posted by Guest MIke D. on Sep. 01, 2011 @ 3:52 am

"We must guard First Amendment freedom of speech and this will become a landmark case," said BART Director Robert Raburn. "We must also guard against a drift toward a police state...Neither speculation about a protest nor mere disruption of train service, nor other illegal activity by itself, constitutes a risk to passenger safety that would warrant interruption of cell service."

"I think we should err on the side of not allowing suspension of cell phone service," said Director Joel Keller. "That is something that is a right. Once we headed in that direction and allowed cell phones to be utilized in the district we have to protect that right."

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20096788-245/bart-tackles-its-big-brot...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 01, 2011 @ 6:30 am

diffuse this squabble without committing to any changes. It costs him nothing to placate his foes, so it was a shrewd move.

The odds that he believes any of it, let alone is willing to act on it, are trivial. But it's in his interest to nod and smile, even if he has his fingers crossed behind his back, and is furtively winking at us all at the same time.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 01, 2011 @ 8:28 am