BART protesters and the transit agency took an alternate route Monday evening during yet another demonstration.
Instead of blocking fare gates and disrupting traffic on Market Street, about a dozen protesters silently handed out literature directly to passengers on trains during the evening commute.
BART police, meanwhile, had a limited number of officers on station platforms and no cops were dressed in SWAT gear, as they had been for previous demonstrations.
Christopher Cantor, aka Krystof Lopaur of the group No Justice, No BART, said the transit agency is “uniquely stupid” for changing its tactics.
“That’s exactly why BART shouldn’t have weapons,” he said. “They backpedal and dig themselves deeper.”
The literature handed out to passengers explained the protesters’ position. The small sheet said the BART police force should be disbanded.
“The BART Police Department is a 40 year old experiment which has proven to be a total disaster,” the flier said.
“They murder and brutalize innocent passengers at an alarming rate. … Our protests are not about a particular incident, but several decades of BART police misconduct.”
BART officials could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
This is the eighth protest against the BART police since the officer-involved killing of transient Charles Hill at the Civic Center station July 3. It is the sixth consecutive Monday protest loosely organized by the online hacker group Anonymous.
Demonstrations are meant to target police brutality, specifically the shootings of Hill and Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day 2009. Anonymous became involved when BART management decided to shut down cellphone service in downtown San Francisco stations to deter a protest in mid-July.
During Monday’s protest, which lasted roughly 90 minutes, no BART service was disrupted.
Though the number of protesters participating each Monday is dwindling from a peak of nearly 100, many returning demonstrators said they will continue to hand out literature each Monday until something is done with BART police.
“I’ll continue as long as I’m not alone,” said Mario Fernandez. “I first came [to protest] for censorship, but it is definitely bigger; police violence is getting out of hand.”