Protesters consider planning weekly BART protests

Lilian Kim Image
ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Friday, January 16, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Many BART riders were late to work Friday as protesters disrupted service during the morning commute.

There's now there's talk of making the #bartfriday a weekly thing and that's not sitting well with the riding public.

They banged their metal spoons and blocked train doors.

During the height of the morning rush hour, protesters held up service at the Montgomery, Powell and Embarcadero stations. Bart police arrested two people but overall organizers say mission accomplished.

PHOTOS: Protesters disrupt the morning BART commute

"By closing the stations we were able to disrupt business as usual," organizer Alai Freeman said.

Protesters organized this morning's demonstration as part of their demand that charges be dropped against the so-called Black Friday 14, a group who chained themselves to BART trains in November.

And now, there's the threat that these disruptions could be a regular event.

BART is well aware of that possibility and says it's prepared for the long-term, which involves its officers and staffers who volunteer to help out during demonstrations.

"BART Police and the operations department will do whatever it takes to keep people safe and you know we'll just take it as it goes along but we do have long-term planning in place," BART spokesperson Jim Allison said.

VIDEO: BART ridership down Friday due to protest

BART has been through this before. Four years ago, the hacker group Anonymous spearheaded a protest every Monday that lasted for about a month. Riders said they'd be upset if protesters continue to disrupt service like they did this morning.

Maybe a bunch of protesters should protest against the protesters," BART rider Charles Morales said. "You know, maybe they should go to their communities and protest outside their jobs and find out where they live, protest outside their homes and see how it disrupts their lives."

"It would be a huge worry to get to work on time," said Grace, a BART rider. "Not a lot of my workers do because they live in the city so it's going to make me look real bad."

In the meantime, BART riders can only hope that the protesters' threat is an empty one.

PHOTOS: Protesters shut down West Oakland BART station in November, 2014

For full coverage on the protests against police brutality, click here.