back to article Puking! protester! forces! Yahoo! 'techie! scum!' to! ride! vile! bile! barf! bus! to! work!

Gangs of protesters halted Silicon Valley commuter buses in Oakland, California, this morning – with one group calling itself The Red Son swarming over a Yahoo! coach and one member throwing up over the windscreen. The protest was staged outside the MacArthur Bay Area Rapid Transport station. It's claimed about 50 people …


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  1. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "simply market forces in action"

    Ah, aka "Fuck you, poor people, I'm alright..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "simply market forces in action"

      Oddly enough , money does tend to trickle down from employers to the community since guess what - people often spend their money near where they live! And as far as I can see its not the companies raising rents and kicking people out but the landlords in the area. Why arn't these right-on trustafarians picketing their offices rather than the offices of companies providing much needed employement?

      Seems like the usual shallow simplistic left wing protest politics in action to me - pick on big corps because its easier than actually thinking about the issues. All it'll achieve is people driving to work instead of taking the bus. As for being sick over the bus , thats got to be the most juvenile protest action I've seen in many years. If these idiots want to be taken even slightly seriously they'll need to grow up first.

      1. jason 7

        Re: "simply market forces in action"

        But which community?

        The original poor impoverished one or the new fluid well-paid one?

        You know things have changed when you see a jar of mustard for £6.00 and increased use of French words outside of shop fronts.

      2. Lamont Cranston

        Re: "simply market forces in action"

        I'd agree that it's the landlords who are to blame, for upping their rents, but I don't see the "trickle down" argument.

        If you're living in rented accomodation, and earning minimum wage from Starbucks, when the rent goes up, you'll be out on your ear. Starbucks might do very well out of selling lattes to the incoming "techie scum", but I doubt that they'll be "trickling down" the profits to you.

        Maybe the protesters are picking on the big corps, because the big corps have the resources necessary to behave in a socially responsible fashion? They could picket the landlords, but I doubt they'll give them back their houses.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "simply market forces in action"

          >Maybe the protesters are picking on the big corps, because the big corps have the resources

          >necessary to behave in a socially responsible fashion?

          Sorry , what does "behave in a socially responsible fashion" mean in English? Isn't providing jobs in a recession enough or are you expecting companies to become sort of social security department too now? Are they supposed to house their staff or what exactly?

          Tell me, were you a student? If you were did you give a damn or even think about you and your fellow students need for accommodation near your college putting up rents for locals? No, I bet you didn't.

        2. Richard Jones 1

          Re: "simply market forces in action"

          Without the as you so quaintly put it the 'techie scum' who would even use the Starbucks at which so many impoverished people would not otherwise be able to work? I just love the trendy use of 'gentrification' to imply a slur. I assume that letting a place decline with low rents no jobs and no maintenance, rats and whatever, perhaps a side order of so called gang culture is what some crave, should that be called crapification?

          Frankly I have seen some pre-gentrification areas though I tended to only go to them once to pass quickly and did not dare go back. The idea that they were wonderful and better before they were gentrified is frankly nuts. OK, I have not been to San Francisco for well over 30 years and yes there were some very rough areas then, with shooting and knifing a hot 'sport'. Every city has its run down awful areas, (though those in Japan appeared far safer than almost any others I have ever visited) and I have seen a lot of places in a lot of countries over many years.

          Did I find those that were being freshly crapified so great? No I did not. One I lived in during the late 40s/ early 50s is a case in point. Once a pleasant area, much of it is now being bulldozed in an effort to de-crapify it and hopefully make it habitable once more.

      3. Graham Marsden
        Thumb Down

        @boltar - Re: "simply market forces in action"

        > money does tend to trickle down from employers to the community

        Ah, sounds like the usual simplistic self-justifying, self-congratuatory, self-deluding right-wing politics in action to me.

        "The peasants are getting the crumbs that drop from our tables, they should be happy with our generosity", you say, because it's easier than thinking about the people who are actually affected.

      4. Anonymous Coward

        Re: "simply market forces in action"

        "As for being sick over the bus , thats got to be the most juvenile protest action I've seen in many years. If these idiots want to be taken even slightly seriously they'll need to grow up first."

        On the other hand, I admire the protestor's ability to puke on demand. If I was dumb enough to want to do that, I'd probably end up being sick over my hand trying to get it to come out.

  2. Brad Ackerman

    Free market? If only

    Rents are rising because that's exactly what the city government wants. If they eliminated rent control and allowed housing to actually be built, prices would fall, but that would annoy the rich people who can afford to buy the Board of Supervisors.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free market? If only

      The city government definitely benefits from rents going up, but rent control and limits on construction are separate issues. San Francisco is pretty much built up. There's not a lot of empty space for new construction, unless you're thinking that eliminating rent control is a way to evict more people, demolish existing buildings, and then replace them with new, higher-density apartments. The going rate on those (e.g., Mission Bay) is around a million dollars for a small apartment. So, unless the new landlords are going to rent at a loss, that won't address the problem of affordable housing.

      As one of the other commenters pointed out, the larger issue is that the quality of life in the greater Bay Area cities leaves so much to be desired. The transportation system is such utter shite, that many people don't want to live in the awful suburbs around San Francisco. Indeed, when you consider the options, it makes sense that young, single software engineers would want to pay extra to live in the city.

      It is more than a bit strange to see them so fired up to "invent the future", while the place that they live has pathetic infrastructure mired so far in the past.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Free market? If only

      Not to mention that general government / municiplities etc want house prices to rise continuously as that keeps inflation going and will keep people feeling rich, both of which mean more spending and more taxes. The 'problem' here is that the benefits of inflation accrue to the better-off, hence increasing inequality

  3. Nate Amsden

    i don't know about the protesters

    but I sort of feel sorry for the employees. I mean it must feel like they are cattle that are being herded(that's how I'd feel at least). I walk by Youtube every day on my walk to work and I see the google buses.

    To be totally honest it literally took me over a year before I realized what they were. The buses say stuff like "GBUS TO MTV", when I saw MTV I thought of the tv station and was just totally confused. It was only recently that I realized mountain view (doh). I'm sure a lot of them are paid well(I'm paid alright, underpaid to be sure but the quality of life currently is the best I've ever had at a company so I'd trade $$ for that without blinking an eye), but I've always hated the prospect of being a number at a company. So I've worked mostly for smaller companies where I'm much less likely to be a member of the herd(assuming I ever have been).

    But I see the cattle outside youtube herding onto the busses (I tend to wander in to the office around noon so I don't always see a lot of cattle). Sometimes I see one of those google mapping vehicles too, those look pretty funky with the spinning shit on top.

    some of my co-workers have 45-60+ minute commutes in the bay area here, I just can't imagine that myself, mine is about 20 minutes walking door to door(used to be 10mins until they moved to a new office almost 2 years ago), and I don't have to put up with high density overcrowded crap like SFO(ugh, I can't stand SFO, or any big crowded city really).

    Still not as good as one job though where I was literally across the street, with a window view of my apartment building from my desk at work(unfortunately my apartment was on the other side of the building so attempts to connect to my personal wifi from the office failed). Some of my co-workers actually parked farther away than I lived because it was cheaper than paying for on site parking. If the management at that company didn't go to absolute shit I'd probably still be there.

    1. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: i don't know about the protesters

      (unfortunately my apartment was on the other side of the building so attempts to connect to my personal wifi from the office failed)

      Sounds like you needed a coffee tin wifi antenna.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i don't know about the protesters

      "Still not as good as one job though where I was literally across the street, with a window view of my apartment building from my desk at work"

      At my first IT job back in the 90s the company was located on the edge of the housing estate where we rented our first home. 3 minutes from front door to desk! Home for lunch, head back after Neighbours finished.

    3. Wilseus

      Re: i don't know about the protesters

      "I walk by Youtube every day on my walk to work"

      I didn't think anyone walked anywhere in the 'States :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: i don't know about the protesters

        New York and San Francisco we walk a lot. The rest of the US - not so much.

  4. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Blame Mountain View

    It's interesting to me that San Francisco city government gets all the blame for the terrible state of transit in the Bay Area, when the suburban/commercial sprawl of Silicon Valley is largely to blame. Cities (and I use the word advisedly) like Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, etc. have restricted zoning so that the only possible construction is comparatively low-density, ensuring that housing prices remain high and traffic remains awful. If one wants a certain sort of amenity, for example great food, clubs, or a decent a bar scene, one has to go to San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkeley; there's simply none to be found in points south. Having a higher population density, especially of young, single people, would stand a better chance of creating a market for such things and thus encouraging people to live closer to their work. As it is, if Silicon Valley workers want to have fun after hours, they pretty much have to live far from work or commute to where the fun is. San Francisco's politicians should lean on the other cities throughout the Bay Area to step up and make themselves enjoyable to live in.

    1. Nate Amsden

      Re: Blame Mountain View

      I suppose I'm in the minority but I avoid SFO/Oakland/Berkley. I've been to Berkley once in the last 3 years. I've never stopped in Oakland (driven past it on I-80 while headed north), and SFO well I like to tell people I've spent more time in Seattle than SFO since I moved (back) to California almost 3 years ago now (the amount of time spent in SFO in the past 3 years for me probably 6 hours - I avoid most areas of Seattle as well only one area I go to for my favorite bar Cowgirls Inc - tried for two years to find a replacement for that in the bay area (I'd even go to SFO for it) without any luck).

      Food I am not picky(most of it tastes the same for me from a $5 steak at sizzler to a $50 steak at a fancy joint not that I am a steak person just using that as a reference), drinks I drink jack+coke, not complicated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blame Mountain View

        Please tell us more about your fascinating life and taste for chain food restaurants.

  5. Andy Mac
    Paris Hilton

    "Die Techie Scum"... followed by a hashtag?

    1. Fluffy Bunny

      They really aren't deep thinkers, are they?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Die Techie Scum

      Am I the only person who for a split second thought it was some new German term?

      1. hplasm

        Re: Die Techie Scum

        Ha- beat me to it- German techno Band...

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Follow the money....again

    Let's see...

    Get the techies out. Let those neighborhoods settle back down such that the poor can afford to live there. That equals lower property values and lower property taxes. Also equals probably higher crime rate. The city/county make less money.


    Encourage the techies and thus property prices/values and following along property taxes rise. The city/county makes more money. Toss in the money Google is tossing for public transportation.

    If you were a city father, taxpayer, which would you rather see?

    The only problem is what do with all the "poor" people.... ship them to LA maybe? <--bad joke but it illustrates the problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money....again

      That's all well and good , but you're thinking it through. Protestors don't like to do that - its hard. Its much easier to piss about in silly costumes, make a lot of noise and inconvenience people while feeling all smug and self righteous and delude yourself that you've actually Done Something.

  7. jake Silver badge

    Daft thing is ...

    Rent on a small, nice(ish) 2br/1bath, no garage, in a converted Victorian on either side of the Bay Bridge is enough to pay the mortgage on a 3br/1bath/attached garage on a 0.25 lot in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale ... WITHOUT THE FUCKING COMMUTE!

    What the hell are these idiots taking the bus thinking? Talk about a waste of time and money! Buy a fucking house, you clueless-about-real-life-morons! Why did we invent all this technology, anyway? So the idiots could be exposed to all and sundry? Can we spay/neuter them, thus protecting the human herd into the future?


    1. Valeyard

      Re: Daft thing is ...

      but you have to factor in where are they going to keep their acres of vegetable fields, cattle fields, barns etc.

      You could advise them on that Jake

      Interestingly "why invent all this technology?" - but half your posts (not the EOF ones) are literally the most luddite 'the good life' hippy nonsense I've ever read, where you're asking "WHY did we invent all this technology?" meaning an entirely different thing.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Daft thing is ...

        The acreage came after working for a while. I'm retired.

        My advice to the renting kids is an 0.25 acre lot in suburbia. It's cost effective in the Bay Area for the yuppies who can afford to rent a small, decent apartment in San Francisco or Oakland.

        My neo-luddite life isn't butterflies, rainbows & my little poney. It's 24/7/365.25 of mud, blood, piss, shit and everything else that goes along with ranching. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

        My ruminative "why bother invent tech" commentardary should be obvious.

        1. Valeyard

          Re: Daft thing is ...

          I wanna be just like you when I grow up


        2. Tel Starr

          Re: Daft thing is ...


          Given how much time you say your spending on Goat Simulator I'm surprised you've got time to post here.

  8. localzuk


    I'm of the mind that "gentrification" is nonsense. People are moving to the area, and bringing money with them. This means new services will appear, it means improvements to the city through higher tax income. It means reduced crime (going by other areas).

    It isn't some form of giant conspiracy. If you want that good life too? Get trained, get working. Cities do not just sit still. If you sit still, you end up like Detroit. I'm pretty sure Detroit would love some tech "gentrification"...

    1. jason 7

      Re: Whining

      From what I saw on CH4 news a few weeks ago the issue is a lot of people have lived in rented accommodation in those areas for years. Some of them for generations. So what you have now is many poor elderly people who were getting by, now having to move out of the place they called home for 65 years. That hurts.

      One long established community is being pushed out to make way for another that could just change or disappear at the whim of some Tech CEO or public taste and trends.

      1. localzuk

        Re: Whining

        I'm afraid that's progress though isn't it? If we're going to live in a capitalist society, we have to expect that things can and will change rapidly at any point.

        If people want to live in a place their whole lives, the only real way of doing that is by owning it. Or by living in a rent controlled domicile. You can't expect to live in a normal rented place you're entire life anywhere really. All it takes is the old owner to sell up to someone wanting to build a new place, or change it in some way.

        You also can't isolate the tech sector for this sort of thing, it has happened continually for hundreds of years. Cities grow because public tastes and trends change.

  9. Crazy Operations Guy

    Why do companies love the Bay Area anyway?

    What is so special about the Bay Area that tech companies flock there like moths around a flame?

    These companies could save truck-loads of cash by moving somewhere else where they don't have to pay their employees quite so much. I understand that a lot of their employees are graduates of the nearby universities, but they could easily relocate them to Portland, pay them $30k less each year and pay for moving expenses, all with both parties having more money in their pockets at the end of the year.

    The rent is ridiculous in the Bay Area, I paid the same amount for a tiny studio (~500 Sqft) in SF as I did for a 3-bedroom place (~2000 sqft) in Downtown Seattle.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Why do companies love the Bay Area anyway?

      The weather.

      Redwood City's motto: "Weather The Best By Government Test".

      Honest to gawd/ess, and no bullshit, there is simply no place in the entire United States that has better weather than the SF Bay Area.

  10. Ben Rosenthal

    Dirty savages.

    It's no wonder they can't get proper jobs!

  11. Scroticus Canis

    Low tech Lycra?

    One has to wonder what low-tech hand-loom the prancing protest idiots used to produce their Lycra costumes with? Expect the balloons were also hand formed from raw latex carried by runners from the Amazon in calabashes and immaculately hand inscribed.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange thing is...

    Tom Perkins seems like a very nice chap in person. I visited him a couple of times at his house in Sussex and he was always a generous and interesting host. Unfortunately I couldn't go to the Maltese Falcon launch - he gave out some very nice "crew" jackets.

  13. caffeine addict

    It's stuff like this that makes me wonder why Google hasn't bought up a huge chunk of land and created its own model town, like Foxxcon or the old Sunlight and Cadbury company towns.

    Space to do what they want, and to play with their new toys in public without anyone complaining. It would be like Eureka but with less time travel. Hopefully.

    1. Justicesays

      Obligatory Niven reference

      Probably more Googles style.

      Based on these reported behaviours, probably not long before similar events to the novel occur.

      How long before a protester gets shot for doing (or appearing to do) something potentially lethal.

  14. Wilseus

    It's comforting to know that dickheads like these "protesters" aren't confined to the UK.

  15. Michael 28

    This may only be temporary.

    Was thinking of the Simpson's episode "You only move twice".

    Offshore Lair may still be under construction : Wonder if it'll be MUCH bigger than the Texas Towers?

  16. Annakan

    "Perkins said the situation in the Bay Area was simply market forces in action, and argued San Francisco should get used to being a suburb of Silicon Valley. The octogenarian multimillionaire advised Google and others to hang tough and keep the buses running. "

    Since it is "simply market force in action" everyone should bow and accept it and even thinking to do something about it is anathema...

    We are so far in madness it is not even called madness anymore.

    1. dave harnet

      I'm curious to hear why these particular market forces are bad and what steps you would suggest to counteract them?

      A nearby company is providing thousands of good jobs.

      They are encouraging employees to leave their cars at home.

      It's an atrocity. If California can't forgive them (and they shouldn't) I'll grudgingly invite google to move to Limerick. Things have been _too_ good since Dell left and half the town lost their jobs.

  17. Steve 114

    Changed Days

    My GGGF wintered twice in 'Saint Francisco', difficult mooring but they were generously entertained by the Spanish monks who were the only residents. Being a good Brit horseman, despite his RN avocation, he taught the monks how to hunt. 'Indians' often escaped from compulsory bible classes, and had to be humanely caught before their tribes exterminated them as tainted. Things sound different thereabouts nowadays?

    1. Nuke

      @Steve 114 - Re: Changed Days

      Wrote :- "My GGGF wintered twice in 'Saint Francisco' ..."

      I started reading this thinking you meant your great-great-girlfriend - WTF? Girlfriend's great-grandmother, or previous-girlfriend-but-two.

  18. Robert Moore

    What they never take into account

    They want these people to ride the regular buses, figuring that this will bring more money into the regular transit service, but it just won't happen.

    Let's assume someone making $150K a year. They will probably take the Google provided luxury bus to work. Why not, it is easy, quick, and you can even get some work done. (Or watch some cat videos.)

    Now let's take that same person, and eliminate the Google bus. Will they take the crowded bus with no internet access, no direct route so it takes an extra 30 minutes each way, some smelly homeless guy stinking up the place?

    Of course not, he/she will drive to work instead.

    I know because I drove to work instead of taking the bus for these exact reasons. I doubt I am unique.

  19. AbeSapian


    I was in the midst of po' folk and riffraff. It was disgusting. I burned my clothes.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tough choice

    All this will do it change those who use these shuttles to use cars. Then instead of worrying about buses, the protesters will just have to worry about pollution and traffic instead.

    Silicon Valley contributes billions to the Bay area, do the protesters not want that money going into improving the region?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tough choice

      "improving the region"

      So then why are Google and Apple using offshore shell companies to dodge paying taxes?

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