After last week's Monday evening BART protest saw an uptick in attending nudists and not much else, demonstrators took an even gentler approach with their rally yesterday evening. Rather than attempting to disrupt service or rally on Market Street as they've done in previous weeks, yesterday's event saw protesters becoming passengers as they quietly rode the trains to distribute fliers describing their cause. (And paying regular fares as well.)
According to the Examiner's report from the platforms last night, even BART PD toned down their presence and opted to leave the riot gear at home this week. But the fliers were no less harsh on the transit agency's police force, calling it, "a 40 year old experiment which has proven to be a total disaster" and claiming BART Police, "murder and brutalize innocent passengers at an alarming rate. Our protests are not about a particular incident, but several decades of BART police misconduct."
Meanwhile, BART is hoping Sacramento can help them legally squash new protests with Assembly Bill 716, which would allow the agency to ban anyone who breaks the law on the transit system's property three times in a 90 day period. That would include fare cheats, vandals and protesters who block train service. While AB 716 is currently awaiting Governor Brown's signature, another bill passed last year that makes it illegal to remain on transit agency property after a station closure may also be a tool BART could use to stifle potential protests.
Yesterday's event was the eighth after the officer-involved shooting of Charles Hill on July 3rd and the sixth #OpBART event tied to the loose hacker collective Anonymous. Although some media outlets reported members of Anonymous didn't make it out to last night's protest, at least one organizer begs to differ, saying in a tweet, "We are all #Anonymous, it's the idea not the mask."