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Another Day, Another Google Bus Protest
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Katy Steinmetz via Twitter | January 21, 2014
Wake us when it's over.
If it's a weekday, it must be time for anti-gentrification activists to stand in front of the Google bus again. That's what it feels like today as the third disruption of the South-Bay-bound shuttles unfolds near Market and Mission. And weren't those company-approved talking points supposed to put a stop to this stuff?
According to reports from the scene, the protestors are demanding "payment of back fines, EIR, nexus study/impact fee, tax, [and] rejecting [the] pilot [program to legitimize the shuttles]." Estimates put the crowd at its peak at around 100, which is larger than previous actions. After blocking the buses, protestors marched to City Hall, along the way stopping to highlight what they called the problem of evictions and displacement.
In other words, as we've said before, because the buses are just a symbol of the larger concerns of the activists, they aren't taking yes for an answer. The protests come on the morning of a preliminary vote by a city committee on an MTA-directed pilot program, which would charge tecj firms for use of public bus stops and regulate their activities.
Ironically, by snarling traffic, the protests delayed public Muni bus lines, including the 5, 6, 9, 71, and the F. Although recent protests in Oakland turned violent, there has been no indication that similar tactics have been used.