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BART Communications Chief: We Could Shut It Down Again

Majortek’s Eric Rassmussen scored an impromptu interview with Linton Johnson, Chief Communications Officer for BART as he checked out the preparations for today’s Anonymous-organized protest at the entrance of the Civic Center BART Station in downtown San Francisco; a widely publicized reaction to BART shutting off cellphone service last Thursday. And wow, Johnson acts like he’s the one to decide when things

get out of hand.

Considering the protest is designed to be outside the BART station, there seems to be no reason to shut off cellphone service inside the station! Here’s what Linton Johnson told Majortek.

How do you plan on avoiding a similar situation from that of last week?
As long as people don’t become unruly, there won’t be any problems.
I’m talking specifically about turning off cell service.
Right, as long as the protest doesn’t get out of hand, we won’t have to do that again.
I want to let you know that the intention to have a peaceful demonstration.
My question is, what needs to occur before you shut off service?
I can’t tell you that.
My question is, what it the threshold?
I can’t tell you that.
You don’t know or you can’t?
I won’t.
Can the police tell me?
You can ask, but I don’t think there are any guidelines set in place…

At what point do they not have a right to protest?
Once they step inside the Fare Gates.
And then?
I have another interview to do.
Thank you Mr. Johnson

Johnson gave an interview to KRON too. In it he said that we have

a Constitutional right to safety.

And repeatedly that phrase repeatedly. What!? Not when I did a Google search on the Constitution. But we do have a Constitutional right to free speech and freedom of association, as in association by phone and text.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.