#opBART Second Protest: Arrests Made, Journalists Detained, Police Use Batons on Protesters


OpBART began the week with another protest at San Francisco BART stations and being taken offline to protest the shut off cellphone service on BART out of fear of a demonstration against the shooting of a homeless man by BART police, the second fatal shooting by BART officers in two years. There was a high turn out of both BART police and SFPD in riot gear, and from photos and video there appeared to be five officers to every protester.

According to SF Appeal, the majority of protestors did not wear Guy Fawkes masks, though some were barely clad. Civic Street Station was closed, and police arrested a man and a  woman at the Civic Center station.

San Francisco Bay Guardian reported:

As a few protesters began to gather, surrounded by dozens of riot police and media, a uniformed BART police officer told a young African American man he would be arrested if he raised his voice. Chanting began in response among the small pack of protesters, and the man was promptly arrested by BART police.

As he was being led off the platform by police, a woman who stood in the center of the platform began verbally engaging a BART officer, saying, “BART police need to be reformed. Make BART Safe. Make BART safe.” She was apparently arrested for nothing more then her words. Deputy BART Police Chief Daniel Hartwig said he could not provide any information about what the arrestees would be charged with.

The SFBG video of arrest is here.

The crowd, estimated between 80-100, outnumbered by police, moved up and down Market Street. Powell Street Station was opened and closed then opened again. The Ferry Building was closed to prevent protesters from entering.  Firecrackers were thrown at the police, and some hooligans pounded on the windows of closed shops. Protesters keep in touch via Twitter.

The crowd chanted

Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!

as they stood  in front the cops. The photo above, of her friend risking a photo, was taken by Vivian Ho who posted it to the #opBART twitter feed. Other video of march here and here.

Some tweets included


4th and Market. Group trying to start fire. Throwing Firecrackers at Police and Crowd? #OPBART-RadioRelay

Garbage cans were knocked over, and trash was thrown. #opBART twitter and Mission Local reported eight arrests. One commuter was briefly detained after he went after a protester, per SFAppeal. He was not arrested.
IndyBay’s twitter feed reported 30 arrests/detentions, including at least one reporter, at 8:43pm local time, and confirmed by the SF Examiner’s twitter feed. One of those arrested  around 8:45pm was Mission Local blogger Helene Goupil. Mission Local provided live feed to this protest and last week’s. UPDATE: Mission Local’s Helen Groupil was “detained.” She tweeted at midnight:

Thx for the tweets everyone, I was able to show police my business card and was let go #opbart #mlnow
Others arrestees reported via Twitter that they were booked and released.
The journalists tweeted that they were released after showing police their webpages:
This one’s simple: Last week Bay Area Rapid Transit shut off cell service to stifle protests of a killing by transit police.  We’ve seen officials across the globe threaten and take similar actions: from dictators trying to cling to power in the Middle East, to Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, to Joe Lieberman and his Internet Kill Switch legislation.
It’s time to draw a line in the sand: Please sign our petition condemning BART, encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to investigate, and warning other public agencies that we won’t tolerate censorship.
AT 9pm, this was posted to #YourAnonNews and #opBART which also warned against a tweeter under the handle of Nov5 who was acting as an agent provocateur on the Twitter feed. Protesters were also urged to move away from anyone acting disruptively.
Most were cited for failing to disperse or illegally blocking traffic. Police spokesman Albie Esparza said no vandalism was reported in connection with the demonstration, but police did confiscate a hammer from one demonstrator.
Anonymous promises more protests on Monday August 29 beginning at 5pm.
photo 1: VivianHo, via  Twitter to #opBART.
photo 2: Anon Medics! Jay@pghTiger via Twitpics
video 1: Mission Local
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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.