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No Justice No BART Takes Over BART Board Meeting, Oakland, 4/9/09: audio
by dave id
Friday Apr 10th, 2009 12:35 AM
No Justice No BART is an ad hoc alliance of family members of victims of BART police actions on January 1st, community members, and activists working together to confront BART until demands are met for justice for Oscar Grant and the wider community. On Thursday, April 9th, shortly after a scheduled BART Board meeting began, NJNB demonstrators asserted their collective standing, having turned in over 20 speaker cards for public comment, and assumed control of the agenda for the meeting, which previously had been set to cover the raising of BART fares and the reducing of train service later this year. Demonstrators rose from their chairs and gathered around the speakers' podium, taking turns voicing their objections to the lack of accountability and the apparent cover-up attempts at BART regarding the murder of Oscar Grant. BART's many failures were recounted, including the offensive claims in a recent court filing that exonerated Johannes Mehserle's fellow officers as having been afraid of Oscar Grant and that the murder was merely a "tragic accident." Demands included the firing of General Manager Dorothy Dugger, BART Police Chief Gary Gee, and BART police officer Tony Pirone. Additionally, NJNB calls for an independent investigation into the actions of all officers on the Fruitvale station platform on January 1st and the firing of any found to have committed wrongdoing.

After numerous speakers, NJNB was negotiating with the BART Board over their broken promise to hold public meetings at times convenient for working people in Oakland. As April 25th was being discussed as the date for the first justice for Oscar Grant public hearing, at a venue in East Oakland suggested by NJNB, a single demonstrator threw red paint onto Dorothy Dugger bringing the meeting to a close as police ushered everyone out of the room. Eventually, people were allowed back into the room for two brief public comments and then the meeting went into a closed non-public session.

Full audio of meeting:
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bartboardmeeting_040909_1.mp3 34.4MB

(audio 1:40:14)

NJNB April 9th Board meeting announcement: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/07/18586880.php
§Brief public comment before meeting went into closed session
by dave id Friday Apr 10th, 2009 12:35 AM
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bartboardmeeting_040909_2.mp3 1.9MB

(audio 5:36)
from the NJNB website:

No Justice No BART responds to events at April 9th, 2009 BART Board Meeting
(April 9th, 2009) Oakland, CA. At 10:00 am this morning, community members organized by the No Justice No BART campaign were engaged in a productive dialogue with the BART Board of Directors. We were moving towards calendaring and collaborating on a previously agreed upon public forum to address the New Year’s Day shooting of Oscar Grant III and the future of the BART police department. We were specifically emphasizing an accessible meeting, as their meetings thus far have been at times and locations that are almost impossible for working people to attend.

In the midst of this process, the meeting was interrupted by the independent actions of an attendee upset over the shooting of Oscar Grant. We recognize the immense frustration about BART’s response to the shooting, and also recognize that tensions in the room and emotions in the community run high. At the same time, we deeply regret the incident that occurred. This disruption was in no way a goal for today’s meeting, and we are upset that it interrupted our dialogue. We feel it went against the collective understanding and intention that we had established as a group prior to the meeting, which was to reach common ground with the BART Board on our demand to move forward with public community meetings.

No Justice No BART regrets today’s unfortunate incident and does not condone this action. We look forward to continuing our principled dialogue and negotiation with the BART Board, while working together towards our shared goal of holding public forums in the community.

# # #
§Photos and more reports
by dave id Saturday Apr 11th, 2009 9:42 PM
Photos and more reports can be found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/10/18587569.php, including a report that covers later parts of the meeting: "Huge Racial and Gender Disparity in BART's Contracts; More on 4/9/09 Board Meeting..."

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Scott Mace
Saturday Apr 11th, 2009 11:30 AM
Since January 1, 2009, I have independently recorded the audio for each BART board meeting for the public, and published it at http://bartvoices.blogspot.com/

For more than two years, BART board member Bob Franklin has been asking BART staff to make meeting audio available on the BART Web site. BART staff has not made this a priority, thus the need for me and others to record and post this audio. BART currently makes tapes of meetings available to the public, but they are exorbitantly priced.

While efforts continue to prod BART staff into publishing the audio itself, I will continue to record and post board meeting audio. http://bartvoices.blogspot.com/ also has BART board meeting audio from various meetings from 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as many BART bicycle accessibility task force meetings.

In the case of the April 9 BART board meeting, after its closed session the BART board did re-enter into public session in the afternoon to tackle more of its agenda, specifically the availability and utilization study that impacts BART's efforts to hire more minorities and women.

You can listen to this audio at http://bartvoices.blogspot.com/2009/04/bart-board-meeting-4909.html. I was able to capture the audio from BART's own sound system so earlier parts of the meeting are recorded in better quality audio than Indybay's recording.

Scott Mace
by dave id
Saturday Apr 11th, 2009 11:40 PM
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bartvoices_040909.mp3 36.6MB

This audio was recorded by Scott Mace of http://bartvoices.blogspot.com from the soundboard at the Board meeting. It's significantly higher quality than the microphone version above. The only downside is if a speaker at the meeting, including Board members, did not speak into a mic, or one that is turned on, you might hear moments of silence sporadically in this recording.

Thank you, Scott. I likely won't bother to record audio at future meetings knowing that you are on the case.

Scott dutifully records entire BART meetings as a public service, but the audio here is just the excerpt from the No Justice No BART portion of the meeting.

For the entire audio of the meeting, please see (or listen) here: