Paul Addis and Burning Man: KDVS Radio Interview, pt 1

By: Saturday December 1, 2012 12:20 pm

On November 16, Richard Estes interviewed me on his KDVS program Speaking In Tongues about Burning Man and the recent suicide of Paul Addis. Burning Man centers around an annual festival in a temporary desert city that surrounds a human effigy. This effigy is ritually burned on Saturday night of the week-long event, but Addis was jailed for setting fire to it on the Monday before its scheduled destruction.


Late Night FDL: OpBART-5, the Evolving Aerobic Version

By: Tuesday September 13, 2011 8:00 pm

I came to San Francisco for OpBART-5 which, given the detention of journalists and students on Thursday, could have gone one of two ways: Very Badly or Okay. It was the latter, except for San Francisco Police Department Officer A. Mora striking a journalist’s camera. Twice. But San Fransisco State University student Eri Verducoza, who [...]

BART Police Arrest Journalists, Cite KGO, KTVU at BART Protest. Homeland Security Present

By: Friday September 9, 2011 7:02 am

Thursday’s No Justice No BART protest–which shut down Powell Street Station in San Francisco–turned into an ugly attack on free speech and freedom of the press when BART police arrested between 25 and 30 people, a third of whom are reported to be journalists, including seven student journalists from San Francisco State University and the Chronicle’s Vivian Ho.

Chanting Gets People Arrested at Second Round of OpBART Protests

By: Tuesday August 23, 2011 6:18 am

Opponents of the cell phone shut down by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) just over a week ago continued their protests with another round at 5 pm. Those who attempted to hold a peaceable assembly on the platform at the Civic Center station were immediately met with riot police, who had orders to not tolerate any demonstration whatsoever.

BART’s Protest Position Does Not Withstand Legal Scrutiny

By: Saturday August 20, 2011 7:00 pm

BART spokesperson Linton Johnson held a press conference to address the need to disrupt communications in advance of a lawful, peaceable assembly.

He spoke of a US Supreme Court case from 1969 that he said supported BART’s right to do so. Indeed, there could be no other case that Mr. Johnson was referring to besides Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the 1969 case that said that prior restraints upon seditious speech were valid in such narrow circumstances that the government must prove that the seditious speech was going to cause an “imminent lawless action” before a restraint on speech could stand.

No case following Brandenburg has ever held speech to constitute an “imminent lawless action.” BART, as judge, jury and executioner of free speech, is the sole body to reach that conclusion.

BART Shutdown of Cell Phone Services Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest

By: Wednesday August 17, 2011 1:59 pm

To prevent a planned protest from going “viral,” Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco shut down cell phone service at four stations on August 11. The hacktivist group Anonymous responded with plans that included a peaceful protest on August 15. Anonymous drew attention to a move that many believe has no precedent because no government agency has cut off communications out of fear that a protest might happen before.

Liveblogging the #OpBART Protest: Anonymous, Civil Rights Activists Respond to BART Censorship

By: Monday August 15, 2011 4:45 pm

The shutting down of services has sparked a legal debate that is definitely worth having. An action like this had never been taken by a government agency. On one hand, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) contend it violated citizens’ First Amendment rights. EFF Austin (not affiliated with EFF) thinks BART likely violated section 333 of the Communications Act posted a statement showing. (Users have been using Twitter to urge people to file complaints with the FCC.)

On the other hand, there are those who do not think this could be challenged in court. The ACLU condemned BART’s move but a staff attorney with the ACLU now tells Wired that there could be times when a government agency would be justified in shutting down mobile services.

Anonymous Protests BART Cell Service Shut Down: opBART Begins

By: Monday August 15, 2011 6:00 am

In reaction to BART’s shutdown of cell phone service Thursday, Anonymous has taken to the Internet and begun #opBART and #opMuBARTek (a reference to the Egyptian president’s shutting down that country’s Internet service during protests) a multi-pronged series of actions designed to protest the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s stifling of free speech. There will be [...]

Censorship & Propaganda: BART Shuts Down Cell Phone Services to Prevent a Protest That Didn’t Happen

By: Saturday August 13, 2011 12:26 pm

Four Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) stations in San Francisco had their cell phone service shut down on Thursday, August 11, to prevent a planned protest from materializing. James Allison, deputy chief communications officer for BART, reports BART staff or contractors shut down power “to the nodes and alerted the cell carriers,” including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile.

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