Protesters disrupt service at BART stations


Protesters disrupt service at BART stations

Several BART stations were closed temporarily this morning after disruptions by protesters heading to a San Francisco demonstration against immigration enforcement actions.

BART Police worked to restore order after large numbers of protesters were reported to have jumped fare gates.

The incidents began around 9:15 a.m. in what appeared to be a coordinated disruption. The stations that were temporarily closed included Richmond, West Oakland, Coliseum/Oakland Airport and Fruitvale. Service to all stations was restored by 11:45 a.m. 

The protesters were heading to a midday demonstration in San Francisco against recent arrests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

BART officials cautioned that, "as long as sporadic protesting affects the safety of our passengers, BART may need to close stations as necessary today."

Separate from the immigration protest, crowds were expected in San Francisco today for the end-of-month Critical Mass bicycle gathering and for Halloween events, including a free city-sponsored, family-friendly Halloween Festival near AT&T Park. BART was running on a regular weekday schedule on Friday, with no extended hours for Halloween, so passengers were advised to check schedules to make sure they made the last train for their station.