The tech-shuttle protests are growing wilder and stranger.
This morning, a group of hoodie-wearing protesters clambered onto a Yahoo shuttle at the MacArthur BART stop in Oakland and at least one of them vomited onto its windshield. Other vans were brought in to take Sunnyvale-bound workers to the office. Yahoo confirmed the vomit incident to Re/code, but offered no further comment.
Today’s street action took a decidedly more aggressive tone than yesterday’s protests, when dancers in full-body Google-colored spandex and stilts lined up and did the can-can. Their anger may have stemmed from the fact that anti-shuttle proponents lost last night in their efforts to stop the Wi-Fi enabled commuter coaches from using public bus stops.
After six hours of hearings with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (which the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ellen Huet and the SF Bay Guardian’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez colorfully live-tweeted), the program will continue as planned: It starts in July, and will allow companies to pay the city $1 per stop.
Images from today:
Yesterday, protesters rehearsed:
And they went out dressed in clown-like spandex costumes. One protester wore stilts and a surveillance camera.
The appeal to stop the program was struck down 8-2, but the hearings themselves were something of a spectacle.
Shuttle protesters have been somewhat dormant since last December, when they began blocking buses and even smashed through a Google-shuttle window with banners bemoaning gentrification and rising rents. In January, the Board of Supervisors approved a relatively relaxed plan to let tech shuttles pay a small fee to use regular bus stops. But anger toward the shuttle system, symbolic of the tech industry’s growing presence in San Francisco, has been picking up steam again since February.
This appears to be the first time that protesters have used self-induced vomiting as a tactic.