Group Plans Fruitvale BART Disruption To Protest Grant Death

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Monday March 02, 2009 - 07:25:00 PM

A group calling itself No Justice No BART (NJNB) has called for a disruption of service Thursday during the afternoon rush hour at the Fruitvale BART Station to further its demands for justice in the death of Hayward resident Oscar Grant.  

The 22-year-old Grant was shot and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle as Grant lay unarmed and on his stomach on the Fruitvale BART platform in the early morning hours of New Years Day. Mehserle, who has since resigned from the BART Police Department, has been arrested and charged with murder in the Grant case, and the death has caused a growing protest movement in the East Bay. 

NJNB members have been active in many of the protests and meetings in the aftermath of Grant’s death. 

On its flyer advertising the disruption, NJNB demands the firing of BART Police Chief Gary Gee as well as the firing of BART Police Officer Tony Pirone, who was seen on a widely distributed video punching Grant in the face shortly before Grant was shot and killed. Last month, in a presentation before the BART Board of Directors announcing plans for the disruption, NJNB organizing committee member Christopher Cantor also called for abolishing the BART Police Force, telling board members that “you’re going to have to [do it] in the end.” 

While the group did not specify how it intended the disruption to take place, Cantor told the BART board last month that direct action could take place on the platform, on BART trains, and on the BART tracks.