SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A group of several dozen protesters briefly blocked two tech employee shuttle buses at Market and Eighth streets in San Francisco Tuesday morning as the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency was set to vote on new pilot program for employer-run transit using the city’s public bus stops.
As of 10 a.m., the buses had been allowed to leave and the protesters had marched up Market Street to the offices of the San Francisco Association of Realtors at Grove and Franklin streets.
Approximately 75 people were participating in the protest. The group said the buses are symbolic of a City Hall-assisted, Silicon Valley buyout of San Francisco real estate. The protesters are asking that high-tech companies be taxed to help pay for construction of affordable housing.
“This is ground zero for the battle of renters in San Francisco,” a woman yelled through a bullhorn while gesturing at the building.
Other protesters played musical instruments including drums, a saxophone, a trombone and a clarinet. The crowd chanted, “What do we want? Stop the evictions!”
Bernal Heights resident Amanda Ream, 38, said she was participating in Tuesday’s protest because she wants San Francisco to “maintain the diversity and culture that I love about it.”
Protester Barry Hermanson, 62, a homeowner in the Sunset District, said, “The eviction crisis is out of hand…The gentrification in this city is incredible.”
Hermanson said he is running for Congress, in part because he says he is concerned about a lack of affordable housing.
The group protested outside the Realtors’ office for about 10 minutes before heading back toward Civic Center.