Cell Towers Shut Down in San Francisco

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by wrettcaughn, Aug 13, 2011.

Aug 13, 2011
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    BART Police Shut Down Cell Towers to Block Demonstration


    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Transit officials said Friday that they blocked cellphone reception in San Francisco train stations for three hours to disrupt planned demonstrations over a police shooting.

    Officials with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, better known as BART, said they turned off electricity to cellular towers in four stations from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. The move was made after BART learned that protesters planned to use mobile devices to coordinate a demonstration on train platforms.

    "A civil disturbance during commute times at busy downtown San Francisco stations could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions for BART customers, employees and demonstrators," BART officials said in a prepared statement.

    The statement noted that it's illegal to demonstrate on the platform or aboard the trains. BART said it has set aside special areas for demonstrations.

    The American Civil Liberties Union questioned the tactic.

    "Shutting down access to mobile phones is the wrong response to political protests," the ACLU's Rebecca Farmer said in a blog post.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation said on its website that "BART officials are showing themselves to be of a mind with the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak." Mubarak's regime cut Internet and cellphone services in the country for days early this year while trying to squelch protests demanding an end to his authoritarian rule.

    BART officials were confident the cellphone disruptions were legal. The demonstration planned Thursday failed to develop.

    "We had a commute that was safe and without disruption," said BART spokesman Jim Allison.

    The demonstrators were protesting the July 3 shooting of Charles Blair Hill by BART police who claimed Hill came at them with a knife.

    A July 11 demonstration disrupted service during the rush-hour commute, prompting the closing of BART's Civic Center station. Several arrests were made.
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    Apparently BART police have a real problem with unjustified shootings... This isn't the first time this has happened there...

    Also troubling...what if there had been an emergency during this outage?
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    Midna Banned!

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    >Right to peaceful protest
    [youtube]gvdf5n-zI14[/youtube]
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    can't really compare it to Egypt as far as scale...but it's a step in that direction...
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    dickfour Banned!

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    If you want to have a protest then have a protest. What these clowns were doing is trying to shut down the commuter rail system. That's illegal and to be honest I'm not going to feel very sympathetic toward their cause if I've been at work all day and these assholes are keeping me from picking up my child at football practice or seeing a sick family member in the hospital. Typical liberal point of view. They think they have a right to disrupt my life and the lives of others. Well they don't. It was the right call to shut cell service. If these people want to have a rally and a march no one is stopping them so the analogy to Egypt is stupid and for propaganda only because the so called protest was a complete failure
    As for there being an emergency with he cell service shut down, how come no one is asking what an emergency would have been like with no train service? Seems like a pretty obvious question doesn't it?
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    Well, here's an update...

    Apparently "Anonymous" is involved...


    would police/paramedics be taking the train to the scene?
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    dickfour Banned!

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    haven't you every heard of sick people taking public transportation to the emergency room?
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    nope, i haven't... i suppose if it was an "emergency" they'd probably call 911.

    supposedly these are supposed to be peaceful protests.
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    purplesludge anyone have any ideas for this space

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    You do realize that there too many people using the emergency room as a doctor since they can't afford regular visits and only go when something is wrong. A 911 call for an ambulance raises the cost of the trip by almost $1000 not a good idea for someone with no insurance.

    Edit: On topic I think they shouldn't protest on the platforms but the police shouldn't have stopped it by shutting down cell towers or have the power to shut down cell towers so easily.
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    dickfour Banned!

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    There's nothing peaceful about infringing on other peoples right to travel. So what's the bigger infringement on rights, not using cell service on a train or being barred from traveling at all? I'd say baring people from travel is more of a sign of totalitarian rule than shutting cell service for an hour in a train station. I think you response really speaks for it's self. That there's protesters really don't care about the welfare of people. Because if there was a real emergency on a train and it couldn't get into the station because of the protests where emergency workers could get that person out of the station and to a hospital and that person died as a result I bet none of the protesters would give a shit because they're too self absorbed to care about other people. Like I said before infringing on the rights of others is not non violent protest
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    Midna Banned!

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    >Implying that they were planning to shut down transit

    Rush hour at the train station is an amazing place to protest. So many people to see you. How do you know they were planning to keep people off the trains?
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    i'm sorry. I'm not finding that part in the story where they were planning on shutting down the train station... I'm only seeing where BART officials claimed that was their reason for disabling the towers. Nowhere did any protestor say that they were going to shut anything down.
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    Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    Protest over police shooting? That seems familiar. What happened when that happened over here... Oh... that's right it was hijacked by dumbass vandals and started a load of "riots" aka opportunisitic thievery and trouble making while the police were stretched thin and they could get away with it.

    I think that will be why they shut the towers down after what happened here last week after the peaceful portest over a police shooting. They're even talking about having powers to lockdown twitter over those riots...
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    geminisama Metsu

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    "Rabble rabble typical Liberals, rabble!"
    Yeah, you're reaching too far, trying so hard to demonize a would-be demonstration, based on your assumptions, and the justification of a group doing an arguably illegal thing.
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    gloweyjoey who??

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    I saw people climbing onto the trains and that is simply asinine. I agree with Dickfour on this one. I'm not saying they don't have the right to protest at all, but doing it on a crowded train platform is reckless and dangerous to say the least...they were climbing on the trains, seriously.

    Take the protest to the BART officials not the users of BART.

    As for cutting the cell service, I'm not sure how I feel about it morally, but it did seem to work and from an emergency standpoint, which there very well could have been because this was on a crowded train platform, the land lines still worked and there were some type of security there taking people off the tops of the trains.

    I'm remember being very little and learning not to mess around on train platforms.....

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