Protesters delayed five light-rail lines and the 22 Fillmore bus this morning when they temporarily blocked the Duboce Triangle tunnel, according to John Haley, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s director of transit.
The affected lines are currently operating and are catching up with their schedules, Haley said.
As of 9 a.m., a group that had shrunk to two dozen protesters stood in front of the SFMTA’s downtown headquarters, while disrupted Muni lines had resumed. Commuters should still expect delays inbound and outbound due to heavy congestion, according to SFMTA’s Twitter account.
Earlier in the morning, about 40 protesters blocked the Church Street underground rail entrance at the intersection of Church and Duboce, preventing trains from entering and leaving the tunnel.
The N line then switched from an inbound to an outbound train at Church and Market streets, and the J line switched from an inbound to an outbound train at Duboce and Fillmore. Transfers were available via the Church station, and bus shuttles were sent to alleviate the situation.
The 49 and 47 lines, which were blocked from traveling southbound at Van Ness Avenue and Hayes Street, have been cleared and southbound service has resumed. Protesters also briefly blocked the offramp from Highway 101 at Octavia and Market streets.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Kenneth Harding Jr., a 19-year-old man who died in an encounter with police after failing to pay his Muni fare.
Police say that Harding died of a self-inflected gunshot wound sustained while he was shooting at officers. Initially no gun was recovered, but investigators located it days later, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Protesters directed their anger toward police officers who followed them as they marched.
They chanted slogans such as “F*** the police” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
Khalid Shakur of Oakland said the group chose to disrupt the commute in an effort to raise awareness about their cause.
“It’s about money,” he said of targeting Muni. “Once you affect the money, they take you seriously.”
On its Facebook page, one group wrote the following:
On July 16th, it’ll be 1 year after the SFPD murdered Kenneth Harding Jr. over a $2 Muni fare. The city, SFMTA and the SFPD are stonewalling on the investigation and aren’t releasing videos they confiscated. The family of Kenneth need answers. They shot him the back but can’t look us in the eye? Kenneth Harding didn’t have to die.
When we have family emergencies, we SHUT DOWN our work and take care of our loved ones. Shutting it down is normal. Sweeping it under the rug and going about business as usual is not normal. Do any of our city leaders care? So on Monday July 16th at 6am we going to start the Shutdown Movement and SHUT IT DOWN.
CourtneyOccupy is livestreaming the protest: