The revolution has begun, comrades. Over in the city's tony Mission District at 24th and Valencia, a group of protesters braved the chill to block a Google Bus from moving its merry band of makers. The private bus was blocked after it tried using a public bus stop to pick up employees.
According to reporter Joe Fitz Rodriguez, who snapped this superb shot, "the protesters broke up just as the cops came. There were fireworks though."
As most of you know by now, San Francisco is going through an eviction crisis of epic proportions. So much so that Supervisor David Campos introduced anti-eviction legislation that would provide "incentives against the Ellis Act" to landlords. The Google buses have become a signifier of the economic disparity and class warfare bombarding the city's predominantly Latino neighborhood. (In May of this year, protesters attacked a Google bus piñata at an anti-gentrification rally.) On the flip side, this gesture from Google, to ship their employees to and from the Mountain View campus via private bus, reduces the impact the workforce has on local sustainability — i.e., the release of CO2 and other vehicular emissions into the atmosphere.
This morning's protest comes on the heels of a damning NYT piece on San Francisco's dysfunctional transit system in comparison to the city's rising elitism.
We'll update as soon as we know more. Until then, check out these photos from today's Google bus blocking in the Mission.
Uh oh ~ people blocked one of the #google buses in the mission this morning: pic.twitter.com/deZkGDPfKF— Ian Alan Paul (@IanAlanPaul) December 9, 2013
Another sign at Google bus protest: "TWO-TIER SYSTEM." Riders inside, bus at a Muni stop. pic.twitter.com/T8bb6EJNiE— Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet) December 9, 2013
UPDATE: Rodriguez captured video of a showdown between an alleged Google employee and a protester. It gets ugly.
UPDATE II: Turns out the Google employee vs. protester brouhaha was staged!