The activist group Anonymous planned to hold another live demonstration the evening of Monday, Aug. 22, at the Civic Center in San Francisco to protest Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)’s decision to turn off underground cellular service on Aug. 11 to thwart protest organizers.
This would be the second live action Anonymous has taken against Bay Area Rapid Transit, the agency that operates and manages 104 total miles of electric rail service in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The protesters were demonstrating Aug. 11 over the shooting deaths of two men by BART police — one in July and another incident in 2009.
A post last week to Twitter account @OpBART told followers to “Buy two Guy Fawk masks for Monday's protests. One to wear, one to give away.” Anonymous participants have worn white Guy Fawkes masks in past demonstrations, inspired by the one worn by the main character — an anti-government freedom fighter — in the film V for Vendetta and the graphic novel of the same name.
Anonymous’ first demonstration of about 100 people on Aug. 15 forced BART personnel and San Francisco police to shut down underground stations for hours. In separate incidents, Anonymous members have also taken credit for the hacking and defacement of the Mybart.org website on Aug. 14, and the release and disclosure of personal and log-in information of users. Anonymous also with the Aug. 17 leaking of the personal information of the personal data of BART police officers.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said shutting down cellular service during the Aug. 11 demonstration was his idea. The decision was approved by police and lawyers, but a member of BART’s board of directors said that the board wasn’t consulted before the decision was made. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has written BART and the FCC, claiming that the decisions violated civil liberties and was unconstitutional.