What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

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What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby Jim1348 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:16 pm

In light of recent protests around the United States, including shutting down an Interstate Trunk Highway here in Minnesota, what would be the likely response if protesters decided to shut down a railroad for a day or two? It seems like the typical response here is to not arrest and allow the protesters to shut things down. Politically, that is probably the best response. This morning I heard that a woman went into labor because of the traffic delay due to protests.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby edbear » Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:45 pm

If they caused a Class I some grief, besides local law enforcement, the Feds would probably become involved.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby SemperFidelis » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:09 pm

As much as I empathize with the protesters (the ones who are conducting themselves in a peaceful manner) and thier plight, it is a federal crime to interfere with interstate commerce and were such a crime to be committed, I believe it should be handled in a very firm manner.

I'm a bleeding heart generally speakng, so I'm not usually on the side of quashing peaceful protests (though in my opinion the most right wing amongst us should be just as supportive of the right to protest against the government but are not in this case due to other [I'm being polite here] reasons that have more to do with who is protesting rather than thier G-d and Constitution given right to do so) however, were someone to impede a rail line, bus line, airport runway, seaport or other transportation facility they are violating the rights of other people to travel, receive the goods they need etc., so I'd be in support of thier removal. In my opinion, the police should handle any such situaion very carefully and the protesters should be sure to carry as many video cameras as possible, though even proof sometimes doesn't help when it is the rights of certain people who are violated.

But anyway, off the high horse I like riding so much, federal crimes that cause others to not be able to excersize thier rights should not long be tolerated and any people who would hypothetcally commit such a crime should be asked to leave and then, if they don't do so peacefully, they should be removed with as little force as possible.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby RussNelson » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:27 am

Train's coming. You guys better get off the tracks, because the train isn't going to be able to stop in time.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:13 pm

That would be the worst thing that could happen -- it would all be the fault of the mean, wicked, nasty, heartless railroad. There is a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning that a group of protesters sat down in front of an Amtrak train in Berkeley, Calif., (where else?), apparently dispersing peaceably after a brief period. Possibly they had the sense (if that's the word) to sit down during the station stop and not rely on their ability to stop a moving train by standing in front of it.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby MattW » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:06 pm

ExCon90 wrote:That would be the worst thing that could happen -- it would all be the fault of the mean, wicked, nasty, heartless railroad. There is a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning that a group of protesters sat down in front of an Amtrak train in Berkeley, Calif., (where else?), apparently dispersing peaceably after a brief period. Possibly they had the sense (if that's the word) to sit down during the station stop and not rely on their ability to stop a moving train by standing in front of it.

That's not what happened at all. I won't rehash the details, but they stopped the train dead in its tracks for hours.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby litz » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:20 pm

I could certainly forsee it happening ... and possibly stalling traffic for a short period ...

but realize ... we're talking interstate commerce here.

The Feds are not going to take that lightly, should it endure for a considerable amount of time.

And the consequences to the protesters for disruption of said interstate commerce could well be severe, and at the federal level.

(it is functionally equivalent to blocking a runway at an airport)
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:02 pm

MattW, is that incident reported on some source I can access? I'd like to know how they stopped the train without getting hurt, and whether they dispersed peaceably or it got ugly. The wire-service story I saw had almost no information. If it was a Capital Corridor or San Joaquin train it must have messed up equipment turns for the rest of the day.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby litz » Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:12 pm

You can find info about the Amtrak stoppages via google ("amtrak california protest" is a good set of keywords)

They have sat on the tracks, stopping trains (presumably word was advanced to the railroad advising them of the obstruction before they ran anyone over), as well as occupied stations resulting in the train crossing through rather than stopping at that station.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:54 pm

Thanks for the pointer -- I never thought of Google. It's certainly interference with interstate commerce, but the local authorities are actually quite limited in what they can do about it unless a number of those arrested get sentences that make their knees buckle. What I suspect is that most of them will be let go after a talking-to and will be quite proud of themselves.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby Lincoln78 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:41 am

Hopefully the protesters have learned something from past events..

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/0 ... d-protest/

I remember seeing the event on tv news.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby sd80mac » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:33 pm

Jim1348 wrote:In light of recent protests around the United States, including shutting down an Interstate Trunk Highway here in Minnesota, what would be the likely response if protesters decided to shut down a railroad for a day or two? It seems like the typical response here is to not arrest and allow the protesters to shut things down. Politically, that is probably the best response. This morning I heard that a woman went into labor because of the traffic delay due to protests.



Have you seen the video in Mexico where protesters stood up in middle of gauge not too long ago?? one person had set table across the track..

The train came to stop and waited for a while. Then it started to move forward real slowly... the protesters scrambled off the tracks. and table became scrap metal..
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby BR&P » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:35 pm

They have a constitutional right to protest, but that does not give them the right to ignore other laws. Picket the terminal, rally in the park, fine. I may not agree but if it's legal, that's permitted.

But when they trespass on railroad property, when the interfere with commerce, when they do any other action which violates the law, they should be arrested and face the legal system. Sadly, in today's USA that will likely involve the judge shaking his finger at them, saying "naughty, don't do it again" and letting them go. If they would take some of the repeat offenders and lock them up for 6 months, and fine them to the max allowed, it might get their attention. But I'm not holding my breath.
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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:14 am

E. FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS INTERFERENCE WITH INTERSTATE COMMERCE BY THREATS

1. 18 USC - 1951 - Interference with commerce by threats or violence
(a)Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: What If Protesters Shut Down A Class I Railroad?

Postby sd80mac » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:46 pm

Here's the youtube that I was telling you about...

Enjoying watching the video of IDIOTS...

https://youtu.be/Qd2sYDnw0K0
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