Protest Re-Test: Anonymous Prepares For More BART Protests

The Anonymous protesters say they will be returning to the breach and will disrupt BART service in downtown San Francisco this Thursday during the evening rush hour. The plan is simple, but the rationale is incomprehensible.

BART protesters vowed to block the fare gate exits at the Powell Street Station Thursday in a direct confrontation with transit district officials.

A handful of demonstrators gathered in front of the Civic Center fare gates Monday to detail their plans for Thursday's planned protest.

By shutting down the fare gates at 5 p.m. Thursday, the protesters hope to force BART officials to open the emergency gates and let passengers at the station leave without paying their fares, said Krystof Lopaur, an organizer for No Justice, No BART.

If BART officials refuse to open the fare gates for the protests, as they would after a baseball game, then it will prove that their main concern isn't public safety, but blocking the protest, Lopaur said.

That's right! If you don't release trapped commuters, then you must hate free speech and civil rights! Wow, how will BART officials cut through this Gordian Knot? Uh, can I suggest arresting these idiots and actually charging them with a crime that will keep them in jail for more than two hours?

(btw, I don't get this idea that BART should open the fare gates "as they would after a baseball game." BART doesn't go anywhere near the SF ballpark. As for Oakland's baseball stadium, I've taken BART to A's games several times and never gone through an open fare gate).

As I've explained before, these repetitive protests arise from the shooting of a drunken bum who committed suicide by BART cop back in July. But, the protests really took on a life of their own when BART officials turned off the wi-fi in some stations after it became clear that protesters were coordinating their actions - which included climbing on trains and blocking doors - via Blackberry and Facebook. Turns out that there is a constitutional right to wi-fi access in public transportation systems, even when the "speech" at issue is criminal. Thanks for the update, guys.

These are some of the least attractive, least sympathetic protesters I've even seen. Their cause is not just. Indeed, it's ridiculous. Yet, no one seems able to stop them. They announced their latest action at a BART station, for Heaven's sake! I know San Franciscans are supposed to be liberal, but I can guarantee that nobody will mind if, just this once, these protesters get a whiff of grapeshot, or the 21st century equivalent.

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