Reset San Francisco Founder Phil Ting Releases Statement on BART’s Decision to Shut Down Cell Phone Service
Ting says, “The decision to cut off cell service in order to prevent the protests violates fundamental principles of our democracy.”
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) August 13, 2011
Reset San Francisco founder and mayoral candidate Phil Ting said today that the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s decision Thursday night to shut down cell phone service in order to prevent a possible protest violates fundamental principles of our democracy ““ and that censorship should never become a public safety tool.
Ting, who is the elected Assessor-Recorder of San Francisco, released the following statement on http://www.ResetSanFrancisco.org:
Censorship Is Not a Public Safety Strategy
“The news from BART keeps getting worse and worse. We learned this morning that not only did BART turn off cell signals in its Civic Center, Powell Street and 16th Street Stations on Thursday evening to try and prevent a protest the decision was made at the very highest staff level of the agency.
“Censorship is not, and should never be, a public safety strategy. We take BART leadership at their word about motives; they say they were worried about a crush of passengers and protesters on a dangerously crowded platform.
“But the proper response to such a concern was to send BART police, and SFPD if necessary, to safeguard passengers and protesters. The decision to cut off cell service in order to prevent the protests violates fundamental principles of our democracy.
“At Reset San Francisco, our view is that the more voices heard, the more vigorous our democracy. Peaceful protest is a way people who are not being heard can be heard ““ and that feedback, as uncomfortable as it can make the politicians, is absolutely necessary to improve government.
“Of course we must promote peaceful protest, not dangerous actions like rushing a crowded train platform. But we don’t enforce laws by violating our most fundamental principles of free speech. Censorship is not, and must not become, a public safety tool.
“Across the world, pro-democracy protestors are using social media to spark peaceful protests. And across the world, governments that fear their own citizens are trying to block the Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and SMS texts that give everyday people a new power to be heard.
It is sad that in our own city, and from one of our own government agencies, censorship was used to block protest.
“We need to make sure this never happens again. Please be heard on this important issue. Here are the names of all the BART Board of Directors and an email address to contact them. Indicate whether you are contacting the full Board or an individual Board Director. I know many of them are as appalled by this as we are. But please email them now ““ and give them the support and strength they need to stop the policy of censorship immediately.”
Paid for by Phil Ting for Mayor 2011.
601 Van Ness Ave., #E229, San Francisco, CA 94104 – FPPC ID# 1334205
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/8/prweb8718128.htm