BREAKING: Protesters attack Google bus in West Oakland, smashing window
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Tensions between Bay Area activists and tech institutions ratcheted up this morning when protestors attacked a Google bus in West Oakland, smashing the bus’s rear window while Google employees were inside. Local news organization KQED reports that Google has confirmed the attack.
It does seem like there is growing tension:
As the tech industry is growing in size, wealth, and power, it attracts more people to the SF Bay Area and decreases the amount of available housing. Some San Francisco and East Bay residents are getting pushed out of the cities they live in because they can no longer afford rent. Likewise, some landlords are taking advantage of a law called the Ellis Act to force long time residents out and sell the property for high rates.
Many employees who work for Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other tech companies based on the Peninsula live in San Francisco or the East Bay. They take shuttles run by the corporations from these locations down to work in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Mountain View.
As a result, the private shuttles have become a symbol of the socioeconomic conflict unfolding in the Bay Area. Protestors have blockaded tech company buses on previous instances before today, most notably a few weeks ago when a fake video went viralonline. The clip showed a supposed Google employee shouting back at protestors, “You can’t afford it? You can leave.” The man turned out to be a union organizer performing a bit of activist theater.
And it'll get worse, especially if the tech companies beef up on security. Goons with pepper spray and tasers... mix in plenty of activists willing to provoke an assault... that occupy Wall Street movement may start to spread.