Group Already Calls for 3rd BART Protest - NBC Bay Area

Group Already Calls for 3rd BART Protest

Even as some protesters were being detained, group called for "third round of protests" next Monday at 5 p.m. outside Civic Center



    BART protests Monday lead to station closures and several arrests. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011)

    The group of protesters was small (50-200) on Monday evening, but it was enough for BART officials and police to decide to close both the Powell and Civic Center stations for most of the evening commute. 

    BART had warned passengers ahead of time that it might have to close stations and delay trains due to the scheduled protests by the group Anonymous. That warning proved true.

    BART trains went through the Civic Center station without stopping and no passengers were allowed in through the turn-styles around 5:30 p.m.  They closed the Powell station by 5:45 p.m.

    Both stations reopened by 6:20 p.m. for a short time but were closed again when protesters reappeared.  Protesters kept both stations closed for most of Monday evening as they ran back and forth between the two, according to reporters on the scene who followed them from place to place. All stations weren't reopened until 8:36 p.m.

    Prior to the first closure there were nearly as many police in riot gear as protesters in the Civic Center underground station.

    The protesters, who claim to be part of the hacker group Anonymous, said they were there for two reason. First they were protesting a deadly shooting by BART police in early July. Second, they were protesting BART's subsequent decision to shut down cell phone service to disrupt a protest planned for August 11.

    Two people were taken from the Civic Center station in handcuffs. One of those detained told Bay City News that police told him if he raised his voice he would be arrested. The man then began to chant and yell and was cuffed by officers.   

    By 6 p.m. the protesters took to the streets of San Francisco. A few dozens people walked down Market Street taking up what would have been two lanes filled with commuters.  

    Some of the protesters ended their march at 7th and Market Street near UN Plaza.  Police gave an order to disperse around 7:30 p.m. Those who did not leave were arrested.

    Many of the protesters continued to disrupt the Civic Center and Powell stations for about another hour. The protest appeared to finally end near the library with another order to disperse and more arrests just before 9 p.m.

    The initial number of arrests given by San Francisco police was 10.

    Anonymous, who is known to use OPBart to organize these protests, tweeted throughout the night and at one point appeared to admit losing control: 

    OPBart Tweeted, "Anonymous and protest organizers are asking violent demonstrators to stop. You're jeopardizing the cause ."

    The group also tweeted late Monday that they would hold another protest next Monday.  The called it a third round and said it would begin same time same place - 5 p.m. Aug. 29 outside the Civic Center station.