Protesters Block Muni, Commuting Chaos Has Begun (Updated)

Categories: Public Transit
harding protest.jpg
Suzanne Stathatos
Update (5 p.m.): The much -anticipated rally is finally happening. About 15 demonstrators have gathered at the Third Street Muni stop, where they are listening to music and rapping in between a few speeches. It seems rather tame, from what we can tell. Paul Rose, spokesman for Muni, says all trains are moving through Third Street with no problems or delays.

Update (1:28 p.m.): Spokesman Rose tells us that the agency is turning trains around at Third and Evans streets, and instead running shuttles from Third and Marin to Bayshore Boulevard and Sunnydale. "This is in anticipation of potential large crowds expected," Rose says. Protesters are planning to rally at the Third Street location sometime between now and 5 p.m.

Update (12:55 p.m.): Either protesters have gotten tired, or this is the calm before the storm. Muni officials say trains are back on track and on time. What's more, there's no signs of protesters anywhere. Demonstrators had talked about holding a noon rally at Third and Palou in the Bayview, but when SF Weekly went out there, it was rather quiet. Of course, the day is young.

Update (9:45 a.m.) Muni officials report heavy congestion along transit lines. Crews are working hard to make this Monday less hellish for passengers.

Update (9 a.m.): Protesters are now standing in front of the Muni headquarters. Nothing is disrupted as of now, except for Muni employees trying to get in and and out of the building.

Update (8 a.m.): Protesters have cleared the Church Street station and are now marching to Van Ness Avenue and Market Street. The N and the J lines are back on track for now; however, expect delays in both directions, says Rose. Protesters are also blocking the 101 offramp at Octavia and Market.

Original story (7:40 a.m.) As promised, protesters have reportedly blocked Muni trains, creating what is probably going to be the start of a nightmarish Monday commute.

According to the SFMTA, protesters blocked the N and J lines at Church and Duboce around 7 a.m. The transit agency is sending in shuttles to assist the unfortunate commuters who are stranded.

Here's some other advice from Muni for those of you who don't feel like waiting for shuttles:

Muni protest.png
SF Appeal is reporting that more protesters are on their way, with big plans to shut down trains in the Mission and Financial districts. The protests are being organized to mark the first anniversary of the shooting death of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding, who was chased down by police after not paying his Muni fare in the Bayview.

Marco Scott, Harding's uncle, tells the Appeal that today's action is meant to be a peaceful protest against police brutality. Although some might say that creating a transit meltdown is hardly peaceful.

"We want to honor [Harding] and our other fallen children that have been killed by police brutality -- we're here to make a statement," Scott tells the Appeal.


Live video from your iPhone using UstreamHe also said protesters will convene at Third and Palou streets around noon for a memorial for Harding.

We put in a call to Muni officials. No word back yet, as we are sure they are scrambling to prepare for what's to come.

We'll keep you posted on transit problems and protests. Check back for updates. 

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8 comments
Sherminater
Sherminater

Take responsibility. For your own action and your own children The child Pimp suspected murder...Protest This

Nick Aster
Nick Aster

Ride the T? haha.  Why, when walking is twice as fast? :-)

____
____

It's a truly sad, a farce really, from the backs of Rosa Parks, Brown, King during the civil rights movement, protest have gone from meaningful and powerful to one for a fare-evading, rapists, killer who shot himself.  What have they come down to?  What do they aspire to?  What does it speak of the people? 

Reallyswell
Reallyswell

Jeez, according to some individuals, everything in our society is just swell, why would anyone want to complain, we can all just sit back and relax.  No problems here.

Joey Tsang
Joey Tsang

 With the amount of fare evasion on the T, if people even have a clipper card, they sure as hell are not evading the fare, cuz most people on the T would never even bother to get a clipper card, since they've been evading the fare for as long as they've been riding Muni and they have no intention to pay unless they're caught empty-handed. Hence, there is no point for cops to carry around a clipper reader to ride the T when a simple check to see if they have a transfer can suffice. Ride the T for once and check out why they call it the Free Train. 

Realist
Realist

These parasites want to "honor" Harding? Jesus H. So they approve of pedophilic pimps and murderers? Somebody shoot them, too, please. And don't forget to record it! Love them videos!

Common Sense
Common Sense

Yes, it is misdirected anger.  Kenneth Harding, pulled a gun out on the police and mistakenly shot himself--why would any sane person be mad at the muni or the police over this? 

Mario Tanev
Mario Tanev

Stop the misinformation. It's a misdirected anger, since the incident involved SFPD, not Muni personnel. Many people think it was fare inspection, but it was really SFPD using "fare inspection" as a pretext for enforcing general security. They don't even have Clipper readers to confirm whether the rider has actually tagged. Muni had absolutely no input in the matter - the SFPD has full jurisdiction aboard Muni. I happen to think that SFPD is doing a poor job providing security in the city, and provoking incidents is going in the wrong direction. There is no evidence that the deceased would have hurt anyone on Muni were he not in fear of being caught violating a warrant. But SFPD is not getting this message via this protest, it's Muni riders and drivers that are affected.

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