Political Activists May Be Banned From San Francisco’s Public Transportation System

Political Activists May be Banned from San Francisco’s Public Transportation System (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 30, 2013):

This article seems innocuous enough…until you keep reading.  At first it appears entirely reasonable that the BART system (Bay Area Rapid Transit) might look to ban riders for a year who act violently while using the service. However; as is becoming increasingly typical these days, what sounds reasonable at first tends to be awful upon deeper inspection.

For example, according to ABC News in San Francisco:

AB 716 won’t only target violent behavior. It can be applied to protestors who have been arrested during free-speech movements.

I mean this is beyond outlandish and absolutely unacceptable in a free society. It seems to open up a Pandora’s box to punish anyone who publicly expresses dissent against the oligarch controlled society we live in.  Why should anyone who gets into trouble at a protest have their right to public transportation stripped?  It’s one thing if BART wants to ban someone for a year if they cause problems on the BART system itself, it is a whole other issue to ban them from it because of protest activity that has nothing to do with the public transportation system.  If this report is accurate, it is an awful development and a surreptitious attack on free speech.

From ABC News:

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) – BART is rolling out a new plan that will allow it to ban passengers who don’t behave. The process started more than a year ago, when state legislators passed a law giving BART that power.

BART already has something called a “stay-away” order that the transit agency can issue, but that needs to go through local prosecutors’ offices and can take a long time. This new plan gives BART the power to make a decision and act right away.

“Not only is this for someone that is going to come and start a fight with a passenger or one of our frontline employees. It is also for those who are urinating on our system, graffiti, trying to sell drugs on our system. It’s everything that is going to make the BART environment safer,” said Trost.

If someone commits a violent criminal act, such as hitting a station agent, they can be banned right away. The new law requires a little more tolerance for the lesser offences.

“Repeat offenders who come onto our system and commit certain offenses more than three times in a 90 day period will now get cracked down on. They are going to be issued a prohibition order,” said Trost.

AB 716 won’t only target violent behavior. It can be applied to protestors who have been arrested during free-speech movements.

Another question that must be asked is how are they going to identify and stop those that are banned from entering without some seriously heavy duty police state technology in place?  Is the cost to privacy and civil rights really worth it to the citizens of the Bay Area?

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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