in the Mission District blocked tech buses for nearly an hour Thursday
morning in San Francisco, tossing scooters into the street to waylay the
activists, blocking buses at the intersection of 24th and Valencia
streets, set off smoke bombs, chanted “we are unstoppable, another world
is possible,” and carried signs that read “Techsploitation Is Toxic,”
and “Sweep Tech Not Tents,” in reference to the
city’s recent efforts to clear homeless encampments.
Lew, 23, said she grew up in the Richmond District and has experienced
firsthand how the influx of tech workers has gentrified her neighborhood
and displaced residents across San Francisco.
city has been very aggressively sweeping people out who are living in
tents and sitting on the streets. It’s very very clear that we are prioritizing
technology over human beings,” she said, referring to the scooters
frequently abandoned to block sidewalks on city streets.
Senator Scott Wiener discussed the protest on social media and said
activists and tech employees need to work together.
have real problems in San Francisco. We will solve them *only* if we
work together,” Wiener tweeted. “Trashing scooters, blocking commuter
shuttles so people can’t get to work, & demonizing people because of
where they work isn’t how you make positive change.”
isn’t the first time activists
have targeted Google shuttles.
2013 and 2014, people protesting soaring
housing prices, gentrification and economic inequality stood in the way
of the tech buses to disrupt service.
Cutler, a human rights organizer for the Coalition on Homelessness, said
technology companies, like Google, have a responsibility to communities
where their employees live.
wealth and power they can make a lot of change,” she said. “Our city
right now is dominated by greed and people are suffering and dying
because of that.”