Google's Mountain View headquarters comes into the spotlight as residents protest the gentrification of the San Francisco area and rising income inequality. (UPI/Robert Galbraith/Pool) | License Photo
Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A Google bus for employees to commute from San Francisco to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. was stopped by a group of protesters concerned about gentrification in the area.
The protest was led by the San Francisco Displacement and Neighborhood Impact Agency, and started with a man getting off the bus, pretending to yell at the protesters saying, "This is a city for people who can afford it. You can't afford it? You can leave."
It soon became clear that the man was part of the demonstration as well.
"Rents and evictions are on the rise. Tech-fueled real estate speculation is the culprit," stated leaflets handed out at the protests.
One of the complaints protesters had was that the Google commuting bus used San Francisco muni bus stops without paying the city. They added that if Google was fined, they would have to return $1 billion to the city which could fund eviction defense, transit improvements and affordable housing initiatives.
The $1 billion amount might be out of line, but while the Google bus itself might not be harmful to the community, it has become a growing symbol of the city's rising income inequality, and the fact that only wealthier employees of flourishing tech companies are able to afford the area.
[Wall Street Journal]