Protesters say no stops for Google

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Protesters say no stops for Google




Kris Stewart,
Online and Social Media Editor

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International Worker’s Day is traditionally a day set aside to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of workers throughout the world. Throughout the years this day has turned into a day of revolution. East Bay residents used this day, also known as “May Day” to express their thoughts on a variety of topics including police brutality.

As early as 7:30 a.m., a handful of Bay Area inhabitants gathered in Oakland at the BART station on 14th and MacArthur Boulevard to take stand against gentrification, more specifically tech start ups such as Google and Facebook.

According to their event listing:

The rich have begun colonizing North Oakland, West Oakland, and Downtown. Their tech buses, their pricey cafes, and their luxury apartments have begun to appear with alarming frequency. This May Day, we will deliver a simple message to these colonizers during their morning commute.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, gentrification is a term used to describe the process of wealthier people moving into an impoverished urban community, which increases rent prices and property value, and drives low income residents out of the area to find a more affordable residence.

Protestors stood outside of the BART station to block Google shuttle buses from picking up their employees.

“They don’t do anything for the local community. They don’t supply or give back to the local community,” said Cleo, one of the protest organizers. “They want to change it and they want to replace it and they wanna make it over and that’s including the people too. They wanna make over the people that were originally here first which means moving them out and displacing them from their homes.”

Pullquote Photo

It’s not fair to the people that have been living here their whole lives.”

— Lily

In addition to signs held by demonstrators, a table was placed on the sidewalk with a book called “Offline: Information about Technology“, filled with information regarding the tech industry, written by an anonymous party. The book discusses the author’s experience living in Seattle, Washington, home of Amazon and describes affects the company had on the city as the it became the mogul it is today.

“Whole blocks were bulldozed, ugly high-rise apartment buildings quickly replacing them,” the book read. “The poor and precarious, disproportionately black and brow, were edged out of their neighborhoods, forced by rising housing prices to the literal periphery of the city.”

Among the handful in attendance was Lily, a 16 year old student enrolled in the Woolman Semester School in Nevada City. Lily said that they’ve been learning about social issues and gentrification in class. Lily, along with other students, decided to take a trip to Oakland to participate in the protests.

“I use Google all the time but I think it’s just not right to be in a situation like this where they have people going out of the city not supporting the public transportation system,” said Lily. “It’s not fair to the people that have been living here their whole lives.”