Commuter Alert: Protests underway in Oakland, BART's Montgomery Street station

Organizers demanding BART drop charges against 'Black Friday 14'

Protests are underway this morning in Oakland and at BART's Montgomery Street station, affecting rapid transit service and also leading to jam-packed traffic on freeways heading into San Francisco.

The protests started at 7 a.m. on the Montgomery BART platform. Billed as the first in a weekend-long series of direct action events culminating in a march in Oakland on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the protesters are calling for "No Business As Usual" at BART.

The protesters released demands ahead of the demonstrations, including for BART to drop all charges against the "Black Friday 14," a group

of 14 activists who were arrested for chaining themselves to a BART train at the West Oakland station on Nov. 28.

Those protests were part of a series protesting police killings of unarmed black men sparked by grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and

New York to not indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Protesters have said the Alameda County District Attorney's Office is seeking as much as $70,000 in restitution for the action, but BART officials have said they are looking into community service options in lieu of restitution.

The protesters are also calling for the disbandment of the BART police and fare discounts for low-income residents.

Organizers asked those attending to bring metal spoons but have not disclosed what purpose the spoon serves.

BART's statement indicates the transit agency will facilitate demonstrations at the BART station, but "if protesters choose potentially dangerous actions that cause major service disruptions, BART police are prepared to enforce the law and ensure public safety."

BART is recommending that commuters keep potential disruptions in mind Friday morning.

The weekend of protests is scheduled to culminate in another action at a BART station on Monday, an 11 a.m. march starting at the Fruitvale station in Oakland, where Oscar Grant III was shot and killed by a BART police officer on Jan. 1, 2009.

There will be numerous actions throughout the weekend, according to organizers.

— Bay City News Service

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10 people like this
Posted by Anarchists
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

Community service options? Are you kidding me? A more appropriate punishment would be 6 months at hard labor. Restitution would also be good, but most of these anarchists don't have a dime, so that would be like squeezing blood out of a turnip.

When are we going to realize that these demonstrators are primarily anarchists, and are all very well organized (by the likes of race hustler Al Sharpton), and well financed (by - as we learned today - the likes of communist billionaire George Soros). BTW, both Sharpton and Soros, have had HUNDREDS of visits each to the White House during Obama's presidency. That is seriously troubling.

If we had a Governor that was not a part of the conspiracy, we would have already had the National Guard assisting police in shutting down these very disruptive acts that have very little to do with free speech, and a lot to do with bring down this country and capitalism.

1 person likes this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 16, 2015 at 10:28 am

Burn baby, burn

2 people like this
Posted by Respect LAW and ORDER
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm

You are so right, Anarchists. The vail cover of BART in an attempt to legitimize the anarchy is a tragedy for our society. Always before Americans have chosen a Law and Order society over anarchy, I hope that will ultimately remain so. I know I taught my family 'RESPECT' for our of "Rule of Law' and for officers of law... until ask a question, the only response is 'yes, Officer'. Eliminates problems!

2 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Seriously, the protesters want to disband the BART PD? I've read that they want to disband other police departments as well. They say that the level of distrust is so deep between the citizens and the police in those communities that it can't be fixed.
I think they just want to be left alone to do whatever they want, and they don't want to be interfered with in the process. It's like Dad stopping you from doing what you want as a teenager. These protesters need to grow up and get a life.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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