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No BART Service Delays After Protest

Four San Francisco stations were closed because of protesting, but service remained on time in Berkeley.

[UPDATE 7:40 p.m.] All BART stations are now open, according to 511.org. No delays are reported.

[Update 7:10 p.m.] Civic Center and Montgomery BART and Muni stations are open again, according to 511.org. BART riders may exit Powell station, but they may not enter.

Embarcadero BART station is now closed. Mission Loc@l reports that hundreds of passengers are stranded at the station.

BART service in Berkeley appears unaffected.

[Update 6:10 p.m.] In San Francisco, the Civic Center, Powell and Montgomery BART and Muni stations were closed after protesters gathered at the stations, according to 511.org.

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"Anonymous," a protest group that hacked a BART website on Sunday, is planning a protest at Civic Center BART station on Monday at 5 p.m.

Communicating via Twitter, the group has said more than 100 people will be protesting at the BART station on Monday evening.

The group's ire was sparked when BART cut off cell phone service inside of its downtown San Francisco stations last Thursday, suspecting demonstrators against the July 3 shooting of Charles Hill would be using cell phones to organize a protest. No protest materialized. Anonymous has since hacked the MyBART promotional website and obtained the user information of 2,400 of its 55,000 members, according to a notice BART emailed to its members.

The group posted user information it obtained on the internet. "We apologize to any citizen that has his information published, but you should go to BART and ask them why your information wasn't secure with them," Anonymous wrote on its website.

BART advises MyBART members to change any passwords associated with their accounts. It also advised to use 511.org for travel information if BART.gov is hacked.

On Monday morning, Downtown Berkeley BART Station was as busy as ever. Few commuters with destinations around the East Bay worried they would be affected by protesting, or even knew there could be protesting that day. Employees at the Peet's Coffee and Tea inside the station planned to commute home either well before or after the scheduled protest time, just in case.

Rowan Thunder, however, who often plays the penny whistle at Downtown Berkeley BART, was not happy about the potential protest at Civic Center station. "Thankfully I'm only taking [BART] back to North Berkeley," she said. "But I like to play at Civic Center, and there's totally no chance of playing there today."

Thunder said the Powell and Civic Center stations are the best to perform at, and protests are bad for business. "They negatively impact the chance of getting money into my hat," she said.

While no one liked the possibility of having their commute disrupted by a protest, commuters were not sure BART was justified in shutting off riders cell phone service in stations last week. "I understand them wanting to stop the protest, but that's not cool," said Alessandro Avila, commuting into Downtown Berkeley. "I'm not a political science major, but I would think that right [to communicate] would be protected."

It is unclear whether BART may distrupt cell phone service again at the time of Monday's scheduled protest. "The top priority for us is the safety of our passengers," said BART Deputy Chief Communications Officer Jim Allison. "We'll be taking steps to try to make sure our customers get home safely."

Bay City News contributed to this article.

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