BART, PG&E targeted for protests

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Green Party candidate Terry Joan Baum, seen here speaking out at a rally against police brutality, is headed to PG&E next.
Courtesy Terry Baum for Mayor

Protesters plan to descend upon downtown San Francisco on Sept. 8 and 9, as two separate groups of organizers are calling for mobilizations against the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E).

The Sept. 8 BART protest scheduled to take place during rush hour at Powell St. Station, which aims to take a slightly different approach than recent civil disobedience launched by the hacker group Anonymous, is dubbed "Spare the Fare Day." Demonstrators will once again express disapproval with BART police policies and censorship, but this time will attempt to "protest in a way that inconveniences BART administrators but not BART passengers," according to a Facebook post.

The PG&E protest, meanwhile, aims to denounce the utility giant "for its arrogance, incompetence and downright criminality" on the anniversary of the Sept. 9, 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, according to a Facebook announcement.

While mayoral candidates City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Sen. Leland Yee, and Sup. John Avalos all publicly criticized PG&E after a federal investigation pinned the blame on the company for the deadly gas explosion, the demonstration outside PG&E's Beale St. headquarters is being called for by Green Party candidate Terry Joan Baum. (Mayor Ed Lee, meanwhile, recently took a battering from his opponents for praising PG&E for its donations to a youth group.)

The pipeline explosion leveled an entire neighborhood in San Bruno and killed eight people. Baum told the Guardian that as the anniversary of the tragic event neared, "I just felt, we have to observe this," so she organized a protest. "It just became very clear that the negligence that caused the blast was reaching levels that were criminal," she said, and "there should be a grand jury" convened to conduct a criminal investigation. "It's very clear that PG&E is no longer a responsible steward, and they need to be held responsible for their choices," she added. Baum said she was getting the word out mainly through Facebook, and had no idea how many people would attend.

Meanwhile, back at BART, a war of words is brewing around BART's so-called "free speech zones," in which the agency has said protesters may express themselves outside the fare gates but not within areas that passengers must purchase tickets to access. According to an online announcement, No Justice No Bart worked with activists engaged in other projects to formulate a "Catch-22" for BART.

"Since BART has been very clear in insisting that we should “protest outside the fare gates”, they will have a choice," the No Justice No BART announcement states. "If we mobilize enough people, in order to keep riders moving into and out of the station, they will have to open the emergency exits and let folks ride for free, just as they do for all sorts of big sporting events, antiwar protests, and even past No Justice No BART protests," the post explains.

"On the other hand, if BART police decide to close the station, or otherwise interfere with or attack our protest outside the fare gates, we have made it clear that we are prepared to respond by moving the protest to other stations and/or inside the fare gates. If they choose this course of action, BART will be demonstrating that their 'free speech zones' are bullshit, and they will be taking responsibility for causing a major disruption to their passengers."

BART spokesperson Jim Allison told the Guardian that the agency's response to the next scheduled protest would depend on whether service was disrupted. "We don't have a problem with people protesting outside the fare gates, as long as it doesn't disrupt service and is done lawfully," he told the Guardian. "We're not going to arrest them for just showing up and expressing their opinions. We're not going to try to silence them."

Comments

Thanks for the coverage Rebecca. Great report!

To see the time & place info for Friday's PG&E protest rally go to:

http://terryjoanbaum.com/

or, to the event's FaceBook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=187510794652397

The PG&E HQ is near the San Francisco Embarcadero BART station.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 07, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

PG&E Protest Rally!

Time:

Friday, September 9
12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location:

PG&E Headquarters
77 Beale Street
San Francisco, CA

Created By:

Terry Joan Baum for Mayor
Teresa Baum
Rose Shapiro

More Information:

No more San Brunos!

On the first Anniversary of the criminal San Bruno Blast, rally to protest PG&E for its arrogance, incompetence and downright criminality!

Please spread the word and help bring power back to the people.

www.terryjoanbaum.com
staff@terryjoanbaum.com
415-553-8847

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 07, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

Thanks, Rebecca Bowe, for the latest on BART and PG&E demos.

You say:

“Demonstrators will once again express disapproval with BART police policies and censorship, but this time will attempt to ‘protest in a way that inconveniences BART administrators but not BART passengers,’ according to a Facebook post.”

That’s a step up the evolutionary scale. It’s too bad, though, that it took the demonstrators this long to figure it out. They have their work cut out for themselves in convincing BART commuters that they’re not a bunch of lunatics.

Granted, evolutionary adaptation is sometimes very slow. But species that can’t adapt quickly enough go extinct.

You say:

“The PG&E protest, meanwhile, aims to denounce the utility giant ‘for its arrogance, incompetence and downright criminality’…”

Most would agree that PG&E is guilty as charged ...

You say:

“the demonstration outside PG&E's Beale St. headquarters is being called for by Green Party candidate Terry Joan Baum.”

... However, rhetorical posturing by fringe candidates is not likely to solve anything.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 07, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

dead last in the Mayoral race is that she doesn't have to worry about how she behaves in the meantime.

No reason why an attempt to show the populace that she has the maturity, objectivity, wisdom, balance and common sense required to lead a major US city should be sullied by behaving like an unemployed anarchist troublemaker.

Posted by Bob on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 11:23 am

@Bob, Without any real solutions it is nothing more than rhetoric, and politicking. PG&E has indicated that they will start reviewing it operations based on the findings of NTSB. They also indicated problems in the regulatory rules that could have contributed to the problem.

Terry Joan Baum is a politician with no solutions. This is made worse by the fact that she seems to haven't considered the finding of NTSB review of the accident. Now, that would have been a start.

Posted by JustRed on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

Baum's protest yesterday was laser focused on the National Transportation Safety Board report, and based on that report, Baum and other protesters called for criminal charges against PG&E and its executives.

The report totally slams PG&E for gross negligence, and a Bay Citizen article describing this can be read at:

http://www.baycitizen.org/san-bruno-explosion/story/feds-pges-pipeline-m...

Perhaps 'JustRed' you should bother to know what the hell you are talking about before sticking your neck out and shilling for PG&E.

Just curious...

How much are they paying you?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

Can someone give me a ride to Burning Man?

Posted by Chromefields on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 10:37 am

"The advantage to Baum of knowing she'll finish dead last in the Mayoral race is that she doesn't have to worry about how she behaves in the meantime."

- Bob

I remember a time when SF progressives actually cared about winning elections and had candidates and messages that appealed to a wide spectrum of voters.

Today, however, SF progressivism is mostly about providing progressives with psychological relief through acting-out.

Terry Baum is the premier example. She loves to disrupt candidates' forums to which she hasn't been invited and to yell in people's faces through a bullhorn at demonstrations.

Her campaign consultant, Eric Brooks, acts in the same vein. He thinks he can build support for his candidate by stomping on everybody's toes within reach of his feet.

Well, we're all entitled to our own methods of finding psychological relief, right? But we shouldn't kid ourselves that this sort of behavior has anything to do with winning over voters.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

She talks about revenue increases alright - she specifically mentions a city income tax (which is illegal under CA law) and a tax on vacant properties (unenforceable and a drastic expansion of government power).

Why can't the Greenies run someone with a platform which actually corresponds to reality?

Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

"We can do anything we have the imagination to envision. We just have to develop the political will to follow our visions through to completion. It’s time to reject the “realism” that has led our city to kowtow to corporations (like the recent tax break for Twitter), at the same time it creates a new fee for the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. There is a much deeper realism that tells us that the way we are living and doing politics right now is not sustainable. Let’s make San Francisco the most humane and sustainable city in this country! Let’s create the First Green City in the U.S.A!" ~Terry Joan Baum,

Posted by Guest on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

"There is a much deeper realism that tells us that the way we are living and doing politics right now is not sustainable."

- Terry Baum

Things don't look good for the human species.

The natural environment is on the verge of collapse. The dominant political systems of the planet are incapable of dealing with major problems. Soon even people like Chris Daly will have access to nuclear weapons.

The short-sighted greed for money and power on the part of large corporations and political entities is the cause of many of the planet's problems.

Unfortunately, the ineptitude of those who challenge the status quo is another cause. They often don't think strategies through clearly. They cling defensively to dogmatic formulas. They don't know how to talk with those whose views are not entirely in synch with their own.

A first step in the right direction would be to make political discourse safe again for rationality. That means being open to new ideas and intellectual diversity, developing social skills, and having a higher regard for evidence and logic than for received dogma.

At this point in the game, there's not much we can do about the greed of the big corporations and government entities. We can, however, start being rational ourselves.

Why not give it a try?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

"Soon even people like Chris Daly will have access to nuclear weapons." ~Arthur Evans

Wow, way to engage in fearmondering, dogma and hate, Arthur! Ever think to look at your own reflection in the mirror?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

"Wow, way to engage in fearmondering, dogma and hate, Arthur!"

- Guest

Alright, if you insist, I won't discourage Chris Daly from getting his hands on nukes.

But I would certainly draw the line at Aaron Peskin and his wife.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

"We Know the Problems"=even more inane than usual Arthur TROLL

Posted by vigilante on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

Hey, Vigilante, there's a post of mine that you overlooked and didn't draw readers' attention to.

Any guesses?

Should I give you a hint?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 5:09 pm