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BREAKING: #SF activists have blocked "Google Buses" ( tech commuter shuttles) with *scooters* to protest "techsploitation" and homeless sweeps
195 replies and sub-replies as of May 31 2018

What exactly are they protesting? How is Google providing good jobs for people responsible for homeless sweeps? This is why the average person ignores these “activists.”
these messages are always a complicated fo folks who aren't deep in it, I agree. If I am correct, their basic argument is Google buses were let off the hook by The City and impacted housing/spiked rents, now tech scooters are treated similarly, but homeless penalized
with the accusation being that tech is let off the hook because they have money and homeless are swept from camps without regard for where they go afterward, or provided enough shelter, because the city has no feeling of obligation to the poor
San Francisco is one of the most progressive cities in the country. It provides plenty of services to the poor that go unused because people don’t want to live in shelters, they prefer to live on the streets. We cannot continue to allow this.
We can’t just let people erect “camps” because they feel like it. If they feel the city doesn’t provide enough, they should protest the city not Google.
they do and have protested the city. it hasn't garnered nearly as much attention as this, which i think is why they did it
This makes people resentful and will backfire.
Purely observing, polite protests tend to be little attended and garner little attention. There's a different polite protest at City Hall every week. Do you know any of them? Heard any of their messages?
I get the message, I just disagree with it. Permanent outrage at the rich and the job creators loses its effect after a while. I’m an average working person who pays taxes. I agree with help for the poor but don’t hate the job creators.
Caption needs fixing fyi
Top caption says the protestors say homeless were treated better than scooters, the reverse of what it says in the hed
Why isn't this making the national news?
That first photo is incredible. That should be printed and hung up as the official flag of 2018 San Francisco.
not enough human feces or needles. if one of the protesters would crap on the scooters while the one in back shoots up i think you would have something
Ha! Thanks man. But *this* one has an orange smoke grenade.. (Also curious — you gettin' Let's Go Pikachu or Let's Go Evee? I might wait for someone to mod it to "Let's Go Magikarp!")
Activists block tech bus commute, say e-scooters treated better than homeless, via @FitzTheReporter
Any idea what org this is?
tfw you see tech buses blocked by scooters
Those scooters came in handy for something
The scooters are great touch, honestly.
h/t to @mhbergen who surfaced this tweetstorm in our Slack channel
Do we know how many of these protesters use smart phones? Any of them using a Google phone? That would be awesome
Dying to know how many of them have smartphones running Android.
Remember: If you buy things, you cannot be critical of those you buy from. You have to just eat that shit sandwich and smile.
I think it's more of a them not thinking about this issue critically. Tech and Google, etc. have incredible amounts of utility. And you don't have to (& absolutely SHOULDN'T) eliminate tech to reduce homelessness, or something like that - based on that absurd tagline.
I'm pretty sure they're not anprim extremists; they seem to be more upset about the mode of production and how it affects the lives of people.
What's the "mode of production" in this case? The busses?
Well, I see a few things on their signs about sweatshop labor, e-waste, exploitation... I'm pretty sure there's also the rather plain anti-gentrification message also tied to treatment of the homeless... I'd say the mode of production they're protesting is called "Capitalism".
So it's clear but sorta unclear. And broad-sweeping, not so much about SF, but Capitalism in general? Which is fine, but it makes me like them or respect their message even less.
Well, if you're *in* SF, then obviously you're going to protest there, right? And you're gonna protest capitalism by highlighting issues it's causing for you there, right? Housing problems, homelessness, and the companies in town which are contributing to sweatshops/e-waste?
I think this is where we disagree and diverge. Capitalism can help solve housing problems and homelessness. Government is in the way of us meeting the demand by artificially limiting supply, thus driving up costs and displacement. At this point, it's who you vote for.
And why is the government in the way? For the fun of it? Or are there groups of people who vote for those who oppose construction in order to prevent potential threats to their property value?
Exactly. Government is "we the people," after all. So like I said, it's who you vote for (and who is voting).
And so an electoral minority just has to take it? Or should they also protest contributing factors?
Well we don't know they're an electoral minority. Don't know their positions on zoning, housing dev, and specific policies like SB 827. And since we've seemingly agreed that zoning and voters are responsible, we still don't know if these protestors get this. I suspect they don't.
So, the disastrous downzoning of the 1970's, designed to drive out and keep out lower income people and enrich owners is GOOD, because OF COURSE. But if companies go and attract workers with high paying jobs, then displacement gets a little TOO out of hand, so... block the buses?
Yeah, you told them! Way to argue on the internet Lee!
I may be dense but I don't get it.
Fill me in on this, please. How was downzoning (reducing the number of inhabitable units per block?) implemented in the 70's? [Please don't say "Google It" if you simply don't know] Is this something to do with flight to the suburbs in that era?
just a general fight against new housing - especially multifamily housing
He and Dan White both voted for the 1978 downzonings (Sep 19)
And the ridiculous negative hyperbole around SB 827 further proves this point.
second question: Did downzoning actually induce people to move out of SF in the 70's?
It's been a slow burn but has picked up the pace drastically in the last 15 years. Notice that San Francisco has been getting whiter and richer while thousands are evicted or priced out every year. Only the wealthy or those with connections can move here now, which is a disaster.
I won't say Google it but at least Bing a zoning map of San Francisco. My jaw hit the ground when I saw it.
You're referring to how most of SF is zoned for single-unit homes? Was that plan enacted in the 70's as part of the downzoning?…
Yep; it was a general movement very much supported by the hippies and homeowners alike, still is, if you check out, say, the Nextdoor scene in The Castro
There's a Sunset District Facebook group that goes absolutely bonkers whenever someone posts about rents or landlords or #sb827. The vitriol runs high for those discussions.
SF population was already in decline during the 50s-70s due to other reasons (loss of jobs, flight to the suburbs.) Oakland and other cities too. In that context downzoning was arguably rational or at least not malicious
it caused prices to rise, and drove displacement. The black community in SF was growing until the mid 70's, when population started declining swiftly. Same dynamics can be seen in a lot of cities.
wow you really nailed it, great imitation of what an idiot's take on this would sound like
displacement isn't a "little TOO out of hand". also props for writing the smuggest tweet of all time
When will soaring rents in Dublin generate this?
...Google sending the "Project Loon" attack blimps in to disperse protesters. (You didn't really think they were for WiFi did you?)
What a shit hole
love seeing young white people that grew up in Indiana but now live in the Mission protesting
This is now MY evergreen tweet: How to win friends and influence people.
Bored Millennials. Perhaps it was wrong to give them such privileged lives.
the snake has begun to eats its tail
SF should start paying these people Guaranteed Basic Income so they can devote themselves full time to protesting, and scooters.
All hail the children of Atom!!!!
but electric scooters reduce cars/ubers and are better for the environment.. ??
We can have electric scooters that aren't necessarily owned by some startup and littered on our sidewalks. It's less that scooter that is the problem than it is the model of their use/abuse. When it isn't your property, you tend to treat it poorly, which has social costs
The auto and oil industry probably put the scooters out there so you could obsess on the Nth degree perfection of scooter rollout and continue to ignore the cars
I can assure you I don't ignore the cars. I ride a bike to work and am a significant supporter of the SFBC. But good deflection, Trump Jr. People who don't own the scooters themselves don't know how to use them properly. I also work downtown. Techbros on scooters on sidewalks.
So you're saying that people who buy their own scooter from eBay get more education about scooter laws in SF/California than those who use an app? That's demonstrably false.
People who use rental scooters don't know the norms of bike lane use. They leave them in the middle of sidewalks. Broken ones litter alleyways. But the worst thing is using them on the sidewalk. It's unconscionable, yet ubiquitous.
Scooter users ride on the sidewalk because they deem it too dangerous to be on the street with cars. Scooter users park on the sidewalk because all the street parking space is dedicated to cars. The real enemy and abuser of public space is cars, not scooters.
This. And what’s baffling and saddening to me is that people see someone on a scooter or a scooter on the sidewalk and go “BAD BAD” without assessing that the scooter has replaced something SUBSTANTIALLY worse! But we’re numb to cars so we are blinded.
You assertion that everyone on a scooter would otherwise be in a car is absurd. I'm all for expanding bike/scooter lanes and even exclusive use streets. Cars at least are registered and owners pay into the system. They also pay to park. So that's not a good argument either.
I'm hardly numb to cars. Scooters on the sidewalk are awful and dangerous. Its only a matter of time before some old lady gets killed. There are ways to encourage scooter use that isn't reliant on abusing public spaces and sidewalks. I promise. The model sucks.
"Its only a matter of time before some old lady gets killed." 88% of pedestrians killed by cars in 2016 were 60+ (14 people) Let's focus on the vehicles already killing many pedestrians every year (a large portion of them being "old ladies") before worrying about hypotheticals.
I'm with you 100% on cars. Stop deflecting though. The model these startups are using is unsustainable and dangerous and promotes careless use. There are far better ways to promote alt-transport than dumping scooters on sidewalks. Let's subsidize scooter and ebike purchases,
"Let's subsidize scooter and ebike purchases" Nice in theory, but the reasons it won't work in practice is exactly the same reasons bike share and scooter share took off: theft and maintenance. Much more efficient to solve in bulk than one-off, and makes usage worry-free.
I own my bike. I have a good lock and pay for maintenance. The theft and maintenance costs for these techbro corps are far higher than they are for private ownership. These speculatively funded, money losing enterprises exist to drive out competition.
I'd listen to this argument if these companies could show their model is sustainable. Instead they spend and spend and lose money to corner a market, and only then will the pricing reflect actual costs and not VC subsidies.
I have zero problem with VC companies pouring private money down a cesspool but providing a public good. Call it “wealth transfer”
No it isn't. It is called predatory pricing. Companies aren't in the business of losing money forever. Just long enough to monopolize markets and drive out competition. Just wait until Uber's endless flow of speculative capital dries up a bit. We'll see what the actual prices are
Wait, your issue is with the lack of competition now? Then I assume you'd prefer unregulated scooters and dockless bike share allowed to compete fairly, rather than the SFMTA-granted monopolies we have with Jump and the scooter co's?
There was just an article how Scoot tried to play fairly on launching an electric bike share and was barred by the city because they already granted Jump the monopoly. So much for VC money driving out competition when you've got SFMTA regulations to do it for you 🙄
unregulated means it isn't competing fairly with regulated transport. See e.g. Uber. You're all over the place. See ya.
Do you work for one of these companies?
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 the best you can do is fish for an ad hominem?
Yes, that's the best I can do. I'm just trying to understand why you would paint predatory pricing practices of VC subsidized business as a mere "wealth transfer." Anyway, fuck cars. Have a nice day.
The scooters also shine a light on another car issue. They’re popular because cars - esp in the Uber age - have pretty much destroyed MUNI making the scooters attractive. Banning scooters will not fix MUNI, it will drive more Uber use
I don't want to ban scooters. I want them to be registered. I want them not to be left in the middle of sidewalk. I want whoever owns them to pay the city for their use of public resources. Let's regulate uber, let's revive predatory pricing liability in the Sherman Act too!
And better, let's make car ownership prohibitively expensive in this city- raise parking and registration fees. Create a london style congestion tax downtown. Eliminate on street car parking for bikes and scooters. Dumping corporate owned scooters on the street still sucks!
My point is this - as long as you are wasting your time hand wringing over scooters you are giving cover to pols like Peskin who have zero interest in cracking down on cars. Net negative and it’s not close
That's silly, brocious. I can waste my time criticising this scooter model AND give lots of money to the SFBC and the politicians they support. And I do. I hate cars as much as you do, if not more. I shout "death to Uber" at least three times a day on my commute.
You do all that. I’m on the board of SCBC and in the trenches on all this crap and spilt literal blood in SF for a lot of the stuff you take for granted brocious
I use electric scooters (carefully and in bike lanes) to get accross town for faster and cheaper than any other way possible, especially during rush hour. Either way, civil and discourse is good, if we can remain courteous and respectful to one another.
Definitely not faster than my bike. If you use them every day then you are in the minority of their users who understand at least some of the norms of commuting in bike lanes. The throw away rental model encourages novices who don't bother to understand such norms.
I don't use them every day as I usually walk. But it sure is a convenient, inexpensive and environment friendly way to get around. Cheers and go Warriors!
We should be *encouraging* novices to use our bike infrastructure. It should be *designed* for novices. Maybe you should re-examine who you think our bike lanes are for.
Everyday he rides the tour de fuck you!
Everyone is a novice at some point. But it seems to me the people who ride these scooters have no interest in learning and abiding by the norms, like novice bike riders do. I presume it has to do with the fact that they are more practical for short trips of a few blocks.
If -as you suspect - they don’t know the norms - that means they were driving before. I’ll take that trade any day. Totally worth it.
You presumption that the people on scooters would be in cars seems a bit off. I'm sure it's true to some extent. But from my observation, most are short trips mostly downtown. There aren't many scooters on commuter routes west of Van Ness. Some, but not many.
No, I have an electric assist bike that I own and take care of and park in appropriate places.
"When it isn't your property, you tend to treat it poorly, which has social costs" You're referring to the people throwing scooters into the bay, or breaking them and throwing them in trash cans? Or maybe the people who spray painted "Fuck Off" on the side of a bus?
You do have a way with deflection. Are you relate to Trump. No, I'm obviously talking about the people who use the scooters, not protest them.
Deflection?? you mentioned how people treat others' property with disrespect, in response to a post about how people piled scooters in the middle of the street and spray painted a bus. So you were actually trying to deflect from that topic and make this about something else then?
The people using the scooters for their intended purpose. Anyway, this argument is so weak it doesn't merit a response. Those are protestors.
Way to stick it to the........wait, who are u sticking it to?
Sign should read: low density zoning is toxic 💁
Better: 4 trillion dollars of fiat capital injected into the banking system since 2009 is toxic. $50 billion a year in speculative capital from the banks to the VCs to startups, Google equity inflation and the pockets of tech bros has landed on our necks.
Oh no! 😱 other people are making more money than I am for providing services that I use. Never mind the multiplier effect.
The money they make is just trickle down fiat capital from the Fed, having had to flood the system when Republicans refused more stimulus. I don't want to live in a city of all tech bros and no artists teachers and union members. Move to the Valley, tech bro.
Yup. The Fed just gave them free money...that's exactly how quantitative easing / monetary policy works. Are you like, a Jill stein fan or something? 🤔
I have a J.D. Ph.D in econ from Chicago, you fucking tool. Yes, that is exactly how QE (and buying troubled assets from banks) works. It drives down interest rates such that anyone with assets, like VCs had access to incredibly cheap capital, which they showered on speculation
I don't care who you are. Saying the Fed utilized quantitive easing just to "stimulate speculative investment" is ridiculous.
In what way?
I never said that was their intent, wanker. That's just the reality of how devaluing currency works. The Fed's hands were tied in a shaky economy. Republicans refused to allow the gov to spend on more stimulus and inject $ directly, so Feds lowered interest rates to near zero.
When the Fed lowers interest rates to near zero and makes the cost of borrowing money practically zero, it benefits first the people who actually get to borrow money at those very low rates -i.e. the wealthy, the investing ruling class. It is just subtler trickle down economics
So basically you're saying that it's working to produce investment. Kinda like the whole point.
What was your economic focus in again?
Your mother. And behavioral law and economics.
In summary. Fuck tech bros and their tech busses and their speculative capital. Long live the artists and teachers and weirdos of SF. Move to the valley and live your true life as a corporate cog.
👆I'm angry, sanctimonious, illogical, and I want what I want.
Damn... you savaged him...
Yes, that's the point. But when there are too few decision makers controlling too much capital, it allows for massive speculation ("I only need 1 unicorn from by 20 $10 million investments!) and has distorting effects on communities where it is concentrated and creates bubbles.
There's no intent. It's just how monetary policy works. And when there are fewer people controlling more and more money, it has the exacerbating effect of creating asset bubbles in lazy rich people investments like the stock market and real estate.
There are two corporations in my building that employ hundreds of bourgeois tech workers each, both lose $20-30 million a quarter. The premiums for tech equity have redefined speculative equibilbriums. Facebook Google and Apple aren't even in the top 10 in corp revenue
But are 3 of the top 5 most valuable companies in the world. And what do you think is causing the absurd real estate bubble that is destroying our communities? Tech money. Speculative capital that has trickled down from banks.
Also ridiculous. You're mad at the tech companies for creating jobs and bringing in gobs of investment. And not the cities for their shitting zoning laws - the real issue here. You're not the arbiter of where these people get to live or work.
$15-20 billion of VC cash/year for the last 8 years has flowed into SF to fund speculative startups (saying nothing of the VC capital that flowed into the valley and the rest of the bay area, or of the speculative capital that went directly into inflating stocks and real estate)
Take your "multiplier effect" to Detroit. Or Mountain View. I hear Google is building its own private city in San Jose. Move there, Brocious.
Rent-seeking tech bros wants your city to be less beautiful and far less livable so he can use it as a bedroom community for his corporate d-bag job! News at 11.
Yay! Move to Detroit, Google.
I like #SF but now it's a scooter planet.
It's better than walking
They should have piled up cars instead to make a bolder statement.
Work from home folks. 🙄
We have these lil devils in DC too. The first day they were introduced, a lot of them wound up in the Potomac.
I see them all the time on the metro platforms lol
To be sure, Google is working to build a bunch of housing in Mountain View, San Jose, and Sunnyvale so they're already working to reduce their workforce population in San Francisco.
wrong ! the other way around ! its moving more and more from south bay-peninsula to city itself !
u will see more of the white doble decker buses, not less !
I keep trying to figure out the message the protesters are trying to send. I'm assuming they're opposed to buses/scooters as a replacement for single-occupancy vehicles as an urban mode of transport?
They re talking about city hall reactions to scooters V homeless. They feel even though some in the city were sharply against scooters, that city hall treated them with kid gloves compared to the homeless
also: how about paying the existing gvmt transit system to pay for a new bus route, instead of running your own buses?
What city government would run a bus from SF to Mountain View? Even if there were a regional one, it would probably just go between downtowns, lengthening commutes by an hour each way for many. That's a good way to push more people into single-occupancy vehicles.
i'm sure we can be reasonable and put a stop on the google campus, there's clearly a need for such
And at various stops in SF? How many years would such an arrangement have taken to materialize, if it ever did? Today to bus from mission to Google is 2.5-3h, $9+, and 3-4 transfers, each way. I doubt any legs have wifi. This is not a tenable goal.
Is this like a real service the city provides?
No, not yet.
Sarcasm? You can't be serious.
They're protesting gentrification my dude
keep trying, Dale
Dear Protesters.. Get a fucking job.
I'm curious what that new word "techsploitation" means.
The crazies are always wordsmithing to attract attention to yet another SJW “issue”.
They’re dressed up like the guilty remnant. Were they smoking?
Who would have thought that Google would be attacked by the morons they empower!?!?
"empower" how exactly
Empowered by using Google groups, Gmail, Twitter, Instagram, etc on their Android or Apple phones to organize the protest. Do you think they used flyers and a phone tree?
Let's be honest, Google is a liberal company that props up these left-wing jerk offs through its policies and decision making. Naturally, chickens always come home to roost and I'm humored that these dbags are attacking Google. Maybe Google should learn you can't win w/ the left.
But they COULD have used a phone tree. Reminds me of the time I drove to the "No Blood for Oil" protest 30 years ago and couldn't find a parking spot. (D'oh!) Been car-free ever since.
This like a block from my apt lol.
What does Google have to do with the scooters? This is just an unholy mess of protesting unrelated issues. These idiots don't have any more claim to the city than anyone else who lives in SF.
Dunno, feel like if they worked and then donated the money they made to their cause it would be more effective than having a party then patting yourself on the back like you did something. This is what people do when they do something for themselves and not their cause.
Lol ah yes, donate to any of the many anti capitalist 501c3s
I want to live in a town where my biggest issue is with those darned Google Buses. #
What am I missing here? Thanks.
Yeah better to hame slums, tents, and heroin shooting centers
at least those scooters are good for something?
Please run them over
What exactly was the point of this protest
they should be robbing the people on them buses tbh
This is the same state that regularly votes to increase taxes on everything. CA's high personal income tax would have a need to attract businesses that can pay these high salaries to support state funding. It's an over simplification to just say "Google is bad".