A group of protestors, angered by rising rents and neighborhood gentrification, blocked a parked Google bus filled with workers from departing from the corner of 24th and Mission this morning. Bearing mock traffic signs that said "Two-Tiered System" and "Illegal Use of Public Infrastructure," what appeared to be a dozen neon-vested activists stood in front and behind the bus, preventing it from leaving. According to reports from the scene, the bus departed after half an hour.
According to a flyer handed out by protestors at the scene and their website, the activists—who called themselves the "San Francisco Displacement and Neighborhood Impact Agency"—demanded that tech firms pay $1 billion to the city for what they call "illegal" use of MUNI bus stops. Those funds, they went on to say, could be used to fund affordable housing, eviction defense, and a halt to Ellis Act evictions.
From inside the bus, one woman took to Twitter to express her displeasure:
@FashionistaLab: thank-you protesters, for delaying my commute by 30 minutes. that's really going to solve a lot of problems! #googlebus #undersiege
@FashionistaLab: my #googlebus is still under siege. I agree that there are a lot of probs w/ housing & displacement in SF, but we are not the source of it.
@FashionistaLab: @thepearshape they're protesting people who work at Google and live in the Mission? Not sure.
@FashionistaLab: I agree with you that SF isn't for sale, but don't hate on me for my job. You think I LIKE commuting to Mountain View? this protest is dumb.
@FashionistaLab: Some people on this Google bus are/were sympathetic to your cause, but way to paint a broad brush and demonize innocent people.
@FashionistaLab: My Google Bus is currently under siege by protesters at 24th and Valencia. Hey protesters: it's not nice to hijack ppl on their way to work!
Check back for further updates as the story develops.