OAKLAND -- A window was smashed and tires were slashed after a group of protesters surrounded and temporarily blocked corporate shuttle buses for tech workers Friday, according to a spokesman with an industry group.
Rufus Jeffris with the Bay Area Council said Twitter posts and photos corroborated reports by Google employees of a shattered window on a bus that was picking up the tech workers at Seventh and Adeline streets near the West Oakland BART Station. Oakland police, however, said they had not received any complaint related to vandalism.
A flier posted to Twitter by a Google employee centered on the issue of working-class residents being displaced by tech workers as rents rise, a common theme of recent protests centered around employee busses run by Google, Apple and other big tech firms.
No one was arrested.
Jeffris said protesters also blocked buses at the MacArthur BART station and at the 24th and Mission BART station. No vandalism was reported at either of those stations.
Several protests have taken place in recent weeks in San Francisco, bringing attention not only to the issues of housing availability and pricing, but also noting the ways that an influx of tech workers may be changing the character of a historically diverse city. Some protesters have also noted that the privately run buses often pick up workers using public bus stops without being cited by police; San Francisco officials have announced a plan to have bus operators pay the city for the privilege of using the bus stops.
Representatives from Google and Apple did not respond to calls for comment.
Jeffris said the vandalism in Oakland, however, added a "new twist" to the message protesters were trying to convey and that it did raise concerns about employees' safety.
"While it is up to the individual employers to determine what steps need to be taken to protect their employees, we will certainly be meeting with them to see what may need to be done," Jeffris said.
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