BART Police arrest journalists and protesters

|
(21)
The scene outside the Powell BART station at 5pm on Thursday, Sept. 8
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY MIRISSA NEFF

BART Police are cracking down hard on a peaceful protest in the Powell Street station, detaining a group of 30 to 40 people that includes almost a dozen journalists, including Guardian reporter Rebecca Bowe, who just called in with a report on the ongoing situation. (For Rebecca Bowe's account of the BART protest and arrests, with video footage, click here.)

The scene is chaotic and details are unclear at this point, but we'll report more on this blog post as the situation unfolds. This protest stems from shootings by BART Police, the transit agency's ban on political speech on train platforms, and its decision last month to cut cell phone service in an effort to scuttle a police accountability protest that never materialized. Today's protest, organized by the group Anonymous, stated an intention to exercise free speech rights without disrupting BART service.

But BART officials have apparently decided to deal harshly with the protesters and Bowe reports that the group has been detained for violation of Penal Code Section 369i, which makes it a crime to disrupt rail service, outlawing activities that “would interfere with, interrupt, or hinder the safe and efficient operation of any locomotive, railway car, or train.”

Yet an attorney working with the protesters notes that mere speech doesn't hinder operations, noting that section C of that code section specifically “does not prohibit picketing in the immediately adjacent area of the property of any railroad or rail transit related property or any lawful activity by which the public is informed of the existence of an alleged labor dispute.”

While this protest may not involve a labor dispute, it does seem that the ongoing protests against BART are evolving into a test of the agency's claims of the authority to ban all protest and political speech on its train platforms.

More to come...

UPDATE AT 6:07 PM: The professional journalists in the group have been released after being detained for about 30 minutes, and they've been shepherded into an area where they can no longer see the group of arrestees. But a group of three to five San Francisco State University journalism students who don't have press credentials remain in custody, despite repeated appeals to the police by their faculty advisor Justin Beck.

Comments

According to this article, the protestors intended to block access to the toll gates. Also, it appears that today's action did not go over well with commuters.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/08/BA3R1L1SO1.DTL

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

Like the Bay Guardian "journalist" who was arrested for spending the day in the sun and stopping traffic on I80, it sucks to be "journalist" activist and rioter when the coppers close in.

Posted by meatlock on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

"That sucks"=empty 'meatlock' TROLL attack on Guardian reporter

Posted by vigilante on Sep. 08, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

Look on the bright side, at least vigilante doesn't have to think of anything new to say, just keeps repeating the same line over and over and over and over............

Posted by Guest on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

"at least vigilante doesn't have to think of anything new ..."

- Guest

Vigilante wants readers to avoid the posts written by those with whom he disagrees. So he does everything he can to draw everybody's attention to these posts. (D'oh!)

H brown is less self-contradictory. He just wants an outright ban on people who disagree with himself.

By the way, there's nothing progressive about either of these antics.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

you can't stop giving vigilante attention, can you?
you just love writing about him, don't you?
munchkin troll is thrashing helplessly in a little pool of his own troll spew....

Posted by Guest on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

You add a lot of space to the debates here with your multiple personalities.

Substance, however, is another matter.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

It's all just a big conspiracy against you, isn't it Arthur?
You must be VERY important.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

Tianamen Square 2011!!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 8:31 am

that Burning Man didn't get arrested.

Posted by Chromefields on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 11:20 am

The vandalism by the progressive protestors against BART has triggered a wave of revulsion in the public. Hundreds of comments have been made at the Chron's website, mostly critical of the vandals.

Here's one that captures the feeling:

"Great job folks. You have further destroyed your cause in the eyes of the public. You aren't protesters, you're just vandals and will be treated as such.”

Click here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article/comments/view?f=/c/a/2011/09/09/BA...

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

How do you know they were "progressive" ?
When you assume, you make an ass out of u and matlock and lucretia.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

"How do you know they were 'progressive' ?"

- Guest

Not hard to figure out. Not liberal, not moderate, not conservative. What's left?

So now we can add progressive vandalism to a long list:

Progressive anti-intellectualism, progressive anti-feminism, progressive age-ism, progressive anti-Semitism, progressive homophobia.

Time to hit the Re-Start button, wouldn't you say?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Sep. 10, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

Hiya Witchiepoo :)

Are you ok?

Time to come down hon.

Come on down sweetie.

Posted by Jacob Schraeter on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

Let's see.. protest and block peoples' commutes. Please o please I hope you do all get arrested for your cause. Makes employment background checks a snap.

Posted by Vandal protestors, jobs.. on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

Actually seems to have been worse than reported here. Check this video, BART Police press conference, they actually both arrested journalists and revoked city issued SFPD press passes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TTSjh6gyHo&feature=player_embedded

Posted by Guest on Sep. 09, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

as this relates...

my partner was assaulted on BART just last night. she was traveling with a friend from oakland to 16th street mission.

en route, my partner, who also happens to be pregnant, was stalked from car to car then struck on the head. fortunately, no injuries were sustained. the assailants followed my partner and her friend from car to car on the train, shouting and throwing things at them. at 16th street, they exited the train, and the youths continued to stalk them into the main station area.

at this point, BART police arrived on the scene. they didn't know what to do or how to handle the belligerent teenage girls. so they just stood around and let the youths shout viciously and block their victims from exiting the station. this was around the time i arrived. screaming was clearly audible from the street above (station is underground). once inside, the teens continued to erupt. one threatened to "shoot" me (among other things). BART police then accused me of "riling them up". how ridiculous.

since the police weren't doing anything, i wielded my canister of mace and escorted my partner out of the station to safety.

the police chided me for bringing mace, proclaiming it criminal. they also noted (repeatedly) that the assailants claimed my partner and her friend had kicked them. when i asked the police if they believed that to be true, they said "a judge will see those two sides of the story".

disheartening.

-09/10/11

Posted by Guest on Sep. 10, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

as this relates...

my partner was assaulted on BART just last night. she was traveling with a friend from oakland to 16th street mission.

en route, my partner, who also happens to be pregnant, was stalked from car to car by a gang of three hostile youths then struck on the head. fortunately, no injuries were sustained. the assailants followed my partner and her friend from car to car on the train, shouting and throwing things at them. at 16th street, they exited the train, and the youths continued to stalk them into the main station area.

at this point, BART police arrived on the scene. they didn't know what to do or how to handle the belligerent teenage girls. so they just stood around and let the youths shout viciously and block their victims from exiting the station. this was around the time i arrived. screaming was clearly audible from the street above (station is underground). once inside, the teens continued to erupt. one threatened to "shoot" me (among other things). BART police then accused me of "riling them up". how ridiculous.

since the police weren't doing anything, i wielded my canister of mace and escorted my partner out of the station to safety.

the police chided me for bringing mace, proclaiming it criminal. they also noted (repeatedly) that the assailants claimed my partner and her friend had kicked them. when i asked the police if they believed that to be true, they said "a judge will see those two sides of the story".

disheartening.

-09/10/11

Posted by Guest on Sep. 10, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

They are the BART Police and, unfortunately, they exist to serve and protect themselves.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

A Press Legal Defense hotline: 800-336-4243

http://youtu.be/3kYIt_9r0fU

Posted by GUEST on Sep. 12, 2011 @ 10:44 am

Isnt this a violation of Freedom Of Speech. By reading the article it claims that they were not blocking people from entering the station

Posted by Guest on Sep. 12, 2011 @ 3:15 pm