Last month the agency closed a different station in advance of an anti-Israel protest.
Sound Transit Spokesman John Gallagher told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, "The station was closed at the request of law enforcement. We reopened it when authorities felt it was safe again to do so."
Earlier this week, activists began circulating a flier calling for “Sound Transit: End The Genocide.”
The activists targeted the Chinatown International District Station and marched outside of the Union Station Great Hall, which is also Sound Transit’s Headquarters, to “…denounce the links between the publicly-funded Sound Transit and multinational conglomerate, Siemens, who works to enhance Israeli occupation and colonisation in Palestine.”
The flier was posted by multiple anti-Israel and pro-Hamas groups including The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) which according to the Anti Defamation League (ADL) is an “anti-Zionist activist organization with chapters across the US and Canada that has expressed support for terrorism against Israel and frequently engages in inflammatory rhetoric about Zionism, including calls to stigmatize and ban Zionists from community spaces.”
The ADL reported that in May 2022, “…the group posted a photo on Instagram promoting a book by U.S.-designated terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).”
“In October 2018, the group dedicated murals in the Bay Area, one of which features both PFLP leader Leila Khaled and USPCN (mentioned below) Chicago founding member Rasmea Odeh (convicted for her role in the murder of two Hebrew University students in 1969). In May 2018, the group issued a statement declaring they ‘salute our youth in the streets who continue to throw rocks, light Molotov cocktails, burn tires.’”
The group was joined by various other organizations including communist, and Marxist activists promoting anti-capitalism messaging.
The closure lasted for more than an hour and shuttle buses replaced the 1 Line between Pioneer Square Station and Stadium Station during the closure.
Last month, Sound Transit faced massive backlash for pre-emptively closing another light rail station in Seattle due to anti-Israel activists' plans to march on the station and “Shut it down for Palestine.”
At the time, Gallagher told Hoffman, “Multiple options were considered, but the potential safety hazard created by anyone accessing the tracks or tunnel with an intent to disrupt service was deemed too great to merit anything less than closing the station.”
Gallagher added, “Closing the station in advance of a planned protest does not infringe upon the rights of protestors as they have no legal rights as it relates to accessing the transit system and potentially occupying it with an intent to disrupt operations. We thank our passengers for their patience. We understand that this station closure compounds an already difficult time due to the planned disruption.”
The action came mere weeks after anti-Israel activists blockaded the I-5 freeway running through Seattle, trapping motorists and at least two ambulances for almost 6 hours.
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