On the morning of Monday, July 16, a San Francisco-based activist group plans on staging a protest with the stated goal of disrupting Muni service.
The action, organized by the Humanist Workers For Revolutionary Socialism, commemorates the death of 19-year old Kenneth Harding, who was killed during a shootout with SFPD officers at a Muni station in the Bayview last year.
"On the 1 year anniversary of Kenneth Harding Jr.'s murder by SFPD, Ms. Denika Chatman, mother of Kenneth Harding Jr., is demanding justice," the group wrote in Facebook post announcing next week's protest. "She has issued a call to all decent people in the Bay Area, especially the black and brown communities and trade unionists working in transit, to shut down Muni on July 16th, 2012."
The protesters are scheduled to meet at 6 a.m. at the intersection of Market and 14th streets. Monday's demonstration is part of weekend of events commemorating Harding's death, including a community meeting in the Bayiew and a free hip hop show at City College of San Francisco's Mission campus.
Harding, a convicted pimp who was a person of interest in a fatal Seattle shooting at the time of his death, was confronted by police after he neglected to pay his $2 Muni fare. Harding immediately fled on foot and engaged in a firefight with SFPD officers when, authorities claim, he accidentally shot himself in the head. Some witnesses on the scene have disputed the veracity of the authorities' account of the events.
Muni officials have said they are aware of the planned protest and are working to keep service running without interruption.
The group's call for Muni's unionized workers to participate in the shutdown appears to have fallen on deaf ears. "Our No. 1 priority is to provide safe and reliable transportation for the residents of San Francisco and its visitors," Transportation Workers Union Local 250-A spokesman Ron Austin told the San Francisco Examiner. "So when the sun rises on Monday, we'll be out there working."
Monday's planned event isn't the first protest against the way SFPD handled Harding's death. Days after the shooting took place, a large group of demonstrators wound their way through the Mission and Castro neighborhoods in a march that ended with police arresting 43 demonstrators.
Check out this slideshow of photos from other San Francisco protests: