Monday night BART protest saw no arrests, station closures

No arrests were made Monday during a BART protest that took place at 5 p.m. at Civic Center BART station.

This is the fifth protest known as “OpBART” which is in resistance of the alleged BART police brutality and First Amendment rights violations organized by hacker group Anonymous.

A protester gives San Francisco police officers the peace sign during a demonstration against BART on Sept. 12, 2011. Photo by Erik Verduzco.

Protesters assert that no one person led the protest and that every individual plays an equally important role in its execution.

“There are no leaders in Anonymous,” said a 26-year-old local protester who would not disclose his real name. “The people who give direction to the protest are the people who take initiative.”

The group claims that they will continue to protest every Monday until their demands are met.

Protests initially began in response to the fatal shooting of Charles Hill earlier this summer.

Anonymous became involved when BART officials shut down cell phone service on Aug. 11 in response to a protest. The group encouraged protesters to express their freedom of speech in a peaceful manner.

A 23-year-old SF State graduate and protester who wishes not to disclose her real name said explained that she was present to bring attention to issues she felt passionate about.

“Anytime that we are out on the streets we are raising awareness to police brutality, “ said the protester. “We may be annoying people, but they’re also paying attention to the issues that we are trying to give focus to, like the BART shootings.”

Protesters started marching from the Civic Center station to the Montgomery BART station and back several times for nearly three hours. A protester jokingly referred to the demonstration as the “Anonymous fitness program.”

The demonstration took place with few incidents. No arrests were made and at no point did BART or Muni opt to cease normal operation of trains or buses.

Protestors cite only one incident of police-civilian contact when a photographer’s camera was swatted by an onlooking officer.

Xpress photographer, Erik Verduzco was recording a video of an SFPD officer handing out water bottles to other officers when the officer smacked his camera.

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The protest lasted until roughly 8:45 p.m., as demonstrators dispersed with final promises to return.

Re-visit the Monday evening protest below with step-by-step coverage of events that took place over the course of the entire demonstration.