7:49 PM: About two-dozen anti-BART protesters marched along San Francisco’s Market Street this evening in the fifth consecutive Monday rush-hour
demonstration organized by the hacker group “Anonymous.”
The marchers were protesting the fatal BART police shooting of Charles Hill and the decision by BART to disrupt cellphone service to thwart an Aug. 11 protest that was planned in response to the shooting.
“BART doesn’t seem to care that they kill people on a regular basis or they trample on the First Amendment,” a well-dressed protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask told a group of reporters outside the Civic Center station.
The protesters were shadowed by an equally large group of reporters and dozens of police officers as they walked briskly, chanting, “No justice, no peace; disband the BART police” and “Oscar Grant and Charles Hill – BART police, they shoot to kill.”
BART service was not affected by tonight’s protest, unlike previous protests that have shut down stations. A demonstration last Thursday organized by the group “No Justice, No BART” resulted in 25 arrests and the closure of the Powell Street station.
Tonight’s protest began at 5 p.m., and protesters were still circling the Civic Center area shortly before 7 p.m., walking mostly on the sidewalk.
Earlier in the evening, the group was briefly overshadowed when they crossed paths with two naked men on Market Street. Well-known San Francisco protester Frank Chu, of “12 galaxies” fame, trailed the demonstrators with his signature sign as they wound through the streets, stopping briefly in front of City Hall to chant.
Hill, 45, was fatally shot on the platform of the Civic Center BART station by BART police on July 3 after he allegedly wielded knives and a broken bottle as weapons during a confrontation with two officers.
Since then, protests by Anonymous and No Justice, No BART have become a weekly event. Anonymous’ Twitter page contained instructions for protesters today.
“Stand on the platforms, don’t move,” the page read. “Hold a banner saying why you are there.”
A BART spokesman has defended the agency’s decision to disrupt cellphone service, saying the action was in part a safety measure to prevent potential “chaos” on train platforms.
Melissa McRobbie/Zack Farmer, Bay City News
6:14 PM: About two dozen protesters are walking on Market Street, from Powell Street station to Civic Center station, chanting slogans such as “no justice, no peace, disband the BART police” in the fifth consecutive Monday demonstration.
The hacker group “Anonymous” planned this evening’s rally, which was scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Civic Center station. Anonymous began its weekly protests after BART shut down cellphone service in multiple downtown BART stations to thwart a planned BART protest on Aug. 11.
San Francisco police are walking alongside the demonstrators this evening, forming a barrier between the protesters and traffic on Market Street.
As of 6 p.m., no BART stations have been closed and no service delays have been reported as a result of the demonstration.