No Justice No Peace!
BART Police Protest - SF - July 11, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011 protest of BART Police murders of Oscar Grant and Charles Hill.
When I got to BART after work Monday, I heard the trains were being held up due to "civil unrest" at Civic Center station. Intrigued, I headed for Civic Center.
When I arrived, I found a small protest march heading back toward toward downtown. Motorcycle and riot cops outnumbered the 50 or so marchers, and kept trying to corral us. But the protesters mingled with rush hour traffic and evaded arrest.
After running from yet another police cordon, the marchers headed to Powell Street BART, where we mixed with the lines of tourists waiting for the cable cars. A hundred riot cops surrounded the cable car area, but there was no way to sort out protesters and tourists, so finally they settled in and guarded the BART station. I left about 7:30pm as the protest seemed to be winding down.
Photos of BART Police Protest via iPhone by Luke Hauser
Thwarted in my attempt to commute home, I joined the march on Market Street. I wondered about the etiquette of photographing a protest that police were monitoring so closely, but others were stepping out of the march to photograph, so I pulled out the trusty RQ iPhone and started snapping.
On up Market Street, the main commercial throrughfare through downtown SF. By this time, police (who outnumbered the 50 protesters 2-to-1) had panicked and closed Civic Center and 16th Street-Mission stations. Protesters marched toward downtown with the aim of closing Powell Station, a main tourist hub.
Bus outbound, protesters inbound.
The march was triggered in part by BART police murders of two young men - Oscar Grant and Charles Hill.
A few protesters had their faces covered Black Bloc-style, but most were open-faced. Most protesters seemed to be college aged or a bit older.
On toward Powell Street. Police tried several times to corral the march, but since we were mingling with rush hour traffic and pedestrians, it was difficult to isolate the protesters.
Police finally conceded and closed Powell Street BART Station. Despite our almost complete lack of leaflets or signs, commuters seemed to know what the protest was about and did not seem too upset at the delay. As police lined up near the Powell Street tourist hub, the world-famous cable cars also ground to a halt.
Protesters faced off and chanted at the police.
Protesters chant for police and tourists. Tourists took the opportunity to photograph the general chaos.
Another phalanx of police arrived and tried to surround the protestres, but the tourists refused to give up their places in the cable car line, and the police had to settle for standing in a line and looking official.
A rare leaflet is shared with passersby.
General chaos at Powell Street.
Chaos at Powell Street tourist hub.
Luke Hauser (aka George Franklin) is a freelance parajournalist in the service of the Goddess and planetary revolution. His photo-filled book Direct Action is an historical novel about Bay Area protests.
Photos ©2011 by RQ. Please do not copy, reproduce, fold, spindle, mutilate, or otherwise use them without written permission (which we are usually glad to offer). Thanks!