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As of 5:30 this afternoon, Civic Center station has been closed to both BART and Muni passengers due to a demonstration protesting the shooting by BART police of 45-year-old Charles Hill on July 3.
According to the Appeal’s Chris Roberts, about 30 minutes into the protest, which began at 4:30 today, protesters had delayed one train, causing BART to have trains pass through the station without stopping. “After about 5 minutes, BART transit workers were able to shove the protesters onto the train in order to get it going” Roberts said.
Once one East Bay-bound train inched into the station, some protesters boarded the train and began banging on the train’s windows. After about 10 minutes, safety officers and police were able to close the train’s doors and the train departed the station.
About 70 to 80 people had gathered at the station by 4:45 p.m., and BART safety officers in green vests had a notable presence on the train platform, reports Bay City News, saying “Some BART police in riot gear were also monitoring the situation and had non-lethal weapons ready.”
By 5:15 p.m. the crowd had thickened and began chanting “No justice, no peace, disband the BART police” and “Cops, pigs, murderers.”
Roberts says that SFPD is also out in force, with “cops in riot gear, dogs, and an empty Sheriff’s bus.” The bus, presumably, is for any arrestees.
Roberts says that once the station was closed, protesters dispersed, with some saying they were headed to Powell Station.
Roberts reports no arrests at Civic Center, but notes that “I don’t know what happened to the protesters on the train.”
6 PM: Roberts says that as of 6 PM, about 25 or 30 protesters had gathered near McAllister and Market, “trying to decide what to do next.” Roberts says that “not much happened at Powell” station, after some of those participating in the demonstration had discussed bringing the rally there.
“It’s pretty much over” Roberts said.
As of 6 PM, Roberts says, Civic Center station remained closed to BART and Muni. He says police do not know when the station might reopen.
6:10 PM: The SFMTA confirms that the station remains closed, saying that “Muni Metro (is) still serving Powell and Van Ness stations.”
6:35 PM: Apparently things weren’t as over as Roberts thought — according to BART, the 16th and Mission station has now been closed due to “a civil disturbance.” The did not provide additional details.
At this time, Civic Center Station remains closed “to maintain safety at an inconvenience to the elderly, the disabled” and all other customers because of the demonstrators’ actions, BART spokesperson Linton Johnson said.
“These fringe groups have apparently shown no regard for the work of their fellow citizens and, of course, the customers on the train, the elderly — all those folks who need Civic Center station open and rely on the station,” he said.
By 6 p.m., some of the group had moved to Powell Street station where they were chanting and screaming on the BART platform. At some point before then, the platform had temporarily been closed because of overcrowding related to the influx of passengers displaced from Civic Center station.
It appeared that all of the protesters boarded a Daly City-bound train at 6:17 p.m. Although some of them attempted to block the doors and prevent the train from leaving the station, the train departed a few minutes later.
Johnson said that BART police had not made any arrests as of 6 p.m.
6:47 PM: As of 6:40, the 16th Street BART station was closed, while at Civic Center station BART was once again allowing customers to disembark. Passengers were still not being allowed to board trains there.
7:26 PM: The dwindling group of demonstrators took to Market Street just
before 7 p.m. and marched from Civic Center to Powell Street, where San Francisco police officers blocked about a dozen protesters from traveling up Powell Street.
About as many police officers had formed a line to block the protesters’ path.
As of 7:15 p.m., the Powell Street station was closed to passengers who wanted to board trains. Passengers could still leave the station.
8:26 PM: BART service has returned to normal tonight, hours after it was
disrupted by protests at several San Francisco stations this evening. All BART service returned to normal by 8 p.m., BART officials said.
According to BART spokesperson Linton Johnson, BART police had not made any arrests tonight.