It seems class conflict was not restricted to the times of Karl Marx. It is alive and well in today’s milieu too. This is evident from protests taking place in San Francisco against the presence of Google/Apple bus routes.
Rowdy protestors recently smashed the front screen of a Google bus carrying employees of the giant search engine. Even Apple has not been spared and its buses, which traverse the same area, have been the subject of much discontent and angry outbursts by demonstrators.
"The people outside your Google bus serve you coffee, watch your kids, have sex with you for money, make you food, and are being driven out of their neighborhoods," the flyer read. "While you guys live fat as hogs with your free 24/7 buffet, everyone else is scraping the bottom of their wallets, barely existing in this expensive world that you and your chums helped create."
The basic reason behind the resentment appears to be what the lower classes in the Bay region perceive as a grave injustice. The buses run on the same routes as the ordinary government bus stops but pay no taxes in return. And the employees they transport are taking over the neighborhood in scads leading to retaliation by the original occupiers. It is the classic tale of the rich against the poor.
"This protest is about gentrification and people being displaced," organizer Erin McElroy told the crowd. "We're not necessarily against tech. We're against tech's effect on speculation and evictions."
The vandalism is a vehement statement by the poverty-stricken residents of the locale. They genuinely feel the detrimental effects of the gentrification of their their turf by Silicon Valley personnel. The fact that the rich and influential are used to having their ways on the basis of the size of their wallets is a pet peeve of the poor.
The blockade of the buses along with the nasty behavior is a response to the massive takeover by Apple and Google staff. And the eviction of the destitute by the Silicon Valley sybarites was an act that only added insult to injury. The very people who offered services to the well-off were being forced out of their environs.
"We want to make it clear that we're not just targeting Google, we're targeting the systematic use of these shuttles and their impact on this city," said Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, who leads the housing-rights coalition Heart of the City.
Source: USA Today