美国铁路部门切断火车站手机信号以阻止民众集会抗议

据新华社电 美国加利福尼亚州旧金山铁路管理部门多名官员12日承认,这一部门前一天切断多家火车站的手机信号,成功阻止民众集会抗议。

旧金山铁路管理部门一名警察7月3日开枪打死平民查尔斯·布莱尔·希尔,声称希尔曾持刀走近。不少民众当月11日在一家火车站抗议这起枪击,导致交通高峰期铁路运行中断。

铁路管理部门随后得知,民众打算8月11日在多家火车站月台集会抗议。为阻止这些人用手机互通消息,铁路管理部门当天16时至19时切断4家火车站的手机信号塔供电,使得这一范围内手机通信中断。

铁路管理部门发言人吉姆·艾利森12日说,这些人最终没能组织起抗议活动,11日铁路通勤“安全、未受干扰”。

不少民间团体批评这一做法。不过,铁路管理部门在一份声明里回应,在火车站月台上或火车车厢内示威是违法行为,铁路当局已经划出专门区域供民众示威。

http://news.yahoo.com/cellphones-blocked-sf-hinder-transit-protest-041114962.html

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Transit officials said Friday that they blocked cellphone reception in San Francisco train stations for three hours to disrupt planned demonstrations over a police shooting.

Officials with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, better known as BART, said they turned off electricity to cellular towers in four stations from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. The move was made after BART learned that protesters planned to use mobile devices to coordinate a demonstration on train platforms.

“A civil disturbance during commute times at busy downtown San Francisco stations could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions for BART customers, employees and demonstrators,” BART officials said in a prepared statement.

The statement noted that it’s illegal to demonstrate on the platform or aboard the trains. BART said it has set aside special areas for demonstrations.

The American Civil Liberties Union questioned the tactic.

“Shutting down access to mobile phones is the wrong response to political protests,” the ACLU’s Rebecca Farmer said in a blog post.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said on its website that “BART officials are showing themselves to be of a mind with the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak.” Mubarak’s regime cut Internet and cellphone services in the country for days early this year while trying to squelch protests demanding an end to his authoritarian rule.

BART officials were confident the cellphone disruptions were legal. The demonstration planned Thursday failed to develop.

“We had a commute that was safe and without disruption,” said BART spokesman Jim Allison.

The demonstrators were protesting the July 3 shooting of Charles Blair Hill by BART police who claimed Hill came at them with a knife.

A July 11 demonstration disrupted service during the rush-hour commute, prompting the closing of BART’s Civic Center station. Several arrests were made.

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