FCC to probe BART for cutting off cell phone service

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 0:18 EDT
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The Federal Communications Commission will investigate the San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) decision last week to shut down cell phone service for three hours at its train stations to disrupt a planned protest.

“Any time communications services are interrupted, we seek to assess the situation,” FCC spokesman Neil Grace wrote in an e-mail Monday. “We are continuing to collect information about BART’s actions and will be taking steps to hear from stakeholders about the important issues those actions raised, including protecting public safety and ensuring the availability of communications networks.”

BART shut off cell phone service to ensure the safety of everyone at its stations.

“Paid areas of BART stations are reserved for ticketed passengers who are boarding, exiting or waiting for BART cars and trains, or for authorized BART personnel,” BART said in a statement. “No person shall conduct or participate in assemblies or demonstrations or engage in other expressive activities in the paid areas of BART stations, including BART cars and trains and BART station platforms.”

The group No Justice, No BART had called for the protest following a string of killings by BART police.

“We are fighting for justice for Charles Hill, Oscar Grant, Fred Collins, Bruce Seward, Jerrold Hall, Robert Greer, and all victims of BART police violence and murder,” the group said. “We demand that BART disband its murderous, inept, corrupt police department.”

Members of the hacktivist group “Anonymous” and other demonstrators converged on BART stations Monday to protest against the cell phone service shut down and the police shootings.

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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