BART ended up shutting down four of its San Francisco stations at various times yesterday in response to protests over the shooting death of Charles Hill in July, not to mention its disabling of cell phones during a previously planned protest that never materialized.

KTVU has raw video; in this particular footage, from Civic Center Station, it looks like the number of journalists may have equaled the number of protesters.

Photos below from KQED’s Mina Kim:

Yesterday, KQED Online News Editor Lisa Pickoff-White blogged the rolling closures of stations along Market Street as police tried to stay ahead of the protesters. And the Examiner today describes the scene:

The protest began just before 5 p.m. when several dozen people convened on the platform at the Civic Center station. It remained calm for a while… The station shutdowns were triggered about half an hour later as crowds began to chant, “Disband the BART police!” Two protesters stood in the doorway of an East Bay-bound train for about a minute. As police were heading to remove them, a BART rider shoved the two people out of the doorway and the train shut its doors and departed.

Within moments, police shut down the station and ordered the protesters to disband or face arrest. As groups began to march along Market Street, BART officials shut down the Powell, Montgomery and Embarcadero stations.

For the better part of two hours, passengers were allowed to disembark trains and stations, but were not allowed to enter them, forcing commuters to seek other ways home. Full report

On KQED Radio’s Forum today, a discussion of the First Amendment issues involved in BART’s decision to disable cell phone service. Listen to that live here at 9 a.m. or to an archive of the show later in the day. KQED’s Cy Musiker discussed the issue yesterday with Professor Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law at the UCLA School of Law.

Professor Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law at the UCLA School of Law.

And here’s BART spokesman Linton Johnson defending the action on KGO yesterday:

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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