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Another Protest Planned On SF BART Station Platform

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Another Monday means another protest at downtown San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit stations.

According to the Twitter page of the hacker group "Anonymous," Monday's protest was set to begin at 5 p.m. at the Civic Center station.

The page contains instructions for protesters.

"Stand on the platforms, don't move," the Twitter page reads. "Hold a banner saying why you are there."

Last Thursday, a protest outside the fare gates at the Powell Street station led by the group "No Justice, No BART" resulted in the closure of the station and the arrests of approximately 25 protesters by BART and San Francisco police.

Anonymous, which has organized protests both inside and outside BART stations, said their move back to the train platforms for Monday's protest is a response to Thursday's arrests.

"They are arresting us for speaking in free speech zones," the group's Twitter page reads. "So why not speak freely in areas they don't want us?"

BART spokesman Jim Allison said the protesters were arrested Thursday for blocking access to the fare gates. He said BART police will have a similar presence Monday to that of the past few weeks.

Anonymous began its weekly protests after BART shut down cellphone service in multiple downtown BART stations to thwart a planned BART protest on Aug. 11.

"No Justice, No BART," which was formed in response to the BART police shooting of Oscar Grant III on New Year's Day 2009, organized the Aug. 11 protest following the killing of Charles Hill.

Hill, 45, was fatally shot on the platform of the Civic Center BART station by BART police on July 3 after he allegedly wielded knives and a broken bottle as weapons during a confrontation with two officers.

The Department of Homeland Security, which has been involved in investigating recent cyber attacks on BART-related websites, has had officers on BART trains throughout the weekend but that was due to heightened 9/11 security, Allison said.

Monday marks the fifth consecutive Monday in which there have been protests at downtown BART stations.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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