At least 40 arrested during BART protest, 3rd protest called for Monday 

San Francisco police said about 40 people were arrested during Monday evening’s BART protest, which shut down two downtown San Francisco BART stations at several points throughout the roving demonstration.

Protesters gathered on the Civic Center BART platform at 5 p.m. The protesters chose the platform to gather because Charles Hill was killed there by a BART police officer on July 3, after Hill allegedly attacked the officer with a knife. The shooting set off a string of protests that have shut down San Francisco BART stations three times since then.

San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said dispersal orders were given several times throughout the protest which started at the Civic Center and made its way east on Market Street and back toward the Civic Center throughout the evening.

Two people were arrested shortly after the protest began after disobeying dispersal orders, Esparza said.

At Fourth and Market streets one person was arrested on suspicion of igniting a flammable substance and when demonstrators marched to the first block of Grove Street, at least 35 others were arrested, Esparza said.

All protesters were arrested on suspicion of failing to disperse upon command of a traffic officer and pedestrian in the roadway, Esparza said.

Police also recovered a hammer from the demonstration.

Police said their goal is to accommodate demonstrators and allow them their constitutional right to protest while protecting lives.

Previous BART shut downs stemmed from the July officer-involved shooting. On Aug. 11, BART said it had intelligence that a disruptive protest was being planned and shut down cellphone service in several stations to prevent protesters from communicating in stations and tunnels.

That protest failed to materialize, leading BART spokesman Linton Johnson to declare the precaution was successful in disrupting the protest.

But blocking cellphone service angered the hacker protest group “Anonymous,” who has been behind many of the protests. The group called on their loose collective of members to hack BART websites, flood BART offices with emails, faxes and phone calls, and had called for another protest on Aug. 15.

Anonymous has established the hashtag #opBART on Twitter, on which the group called for a third protest Monday, Aug. 29 at the same time and location as Monday’s protest, which affected commuters, BART and Muni riders for the second week in a row.

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