April Fools Day in San Francisco: Acrobats block Google bus

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Acrobats and a fake Google executive turned out at 24th and Valencia streets this morning for a Google bus blockade
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

“Everyone say, GMuni!”

Activist “Judith Hart,” clad in corporate attire and donning thick glasses without lenses, called into a microphone as she stood on the sidewalk next to a stationary Google bus. She was there as part of a tech bus blockade staged near 24th and Valencia streets this morning (Tue/1), around 9am.

“GMuni!” The crowd chanted.

“GMuni!” Hart repeated.

“GMuni!!!” Came the enthusiastic response.

Some acrobats stood in the street nearby, blocking the bus with dance-like motions. Occasionally leaning on the front of the bus for support, they lifted yoga balls high into the air while the Google shuttle remained parked with passengers aboard, awaiting departure.

The April Fools Day bus blockade – staged by Heart of the City, a group that has blocked corporate tech shuttles several times now – was more absurdist street theatre than protest.

The prank was to hand out “GMuni” bus passes to anyone wishing to board the Google bus. Hart posed as a Google executive launching a new program to provide free transit to all. But when one of the activists tried to climb aboard, waving the pass issued by the activists, the bus driver blocked him from entering, saying it was a private bus and nobody had informed him of this new program.

Eventually, a police officer arrived and asked activists to move to the sidewalk. They complied, but when the bus drove off, it had some signs affixed to the front that activists had placed there.

The street theatre protest was meant to draw attention to today’s scheduled Board of Supervisors vote to determine whether to approve an appeal of a Metropolitan Transportation Agency pilot program to allow private shuttles to stop in Muni bus zones for a fee of $1 per stop.

The Board is scheduled to vote at 3pm this afternoon. To have your say, go to San Francisco City Hall.

Comments

We must organize to prevent it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 11:49 am

Embarassing. I always thought these protesters were clowns, now I know they literally are.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:03 pm
Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

haha you sound so beige...

Posted by Veti on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

You have to be careful about this.

Yes, it is a lot of fun but the concept of targeting and harassing people who are peacefully going to work is reminiscent of some of the ugliest incidents of modern history.

Incidentally, their jobs include things like providing revenue to support web sites, including the one you are reading now. And their bosses are paying the Muni fares for low income youth for 2 years.

So all told, I think I would rather have the Google people than the protesters.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

All this rain and not a water cannon to be found

Posted by Claptrap on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

At some point, these losers are going to get slapped down very badly.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

is violence.

If someone walked by and told them to get a job it would have been akin to the holocaust.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

and that is where you are very wrong.... we can bring the city to its knees, its been done before and will be again

Posted by Veti on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

When was it done before?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

And if it ever happened, it would be over something a lot more significant than a few people taking a bus to work.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2014 @ 5:49 am

Why is it that a Google bus using a public bus stop is a threat to the well being of the city but protesters blocking 24th and Valencia is a heroic act of street theater?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

do not believe that the law, let alone the norms of civil behavior, apply to them.

That is why they never see the double standards that are blatantly obvious to the vast majority of us.

It explains why someone like Steven will demand zero tolerance be applied to landlords, businesses, the police etc. while deeming it perfectly OK for occupy protesters to squat, trespass and vandalize property.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

and don't care that she follows the letter of the law, while progressive in SF don't care that she doesn't follow the letter of the law, but care that unPC types do.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

because it looked like they were headed south and I needed a ride. The driver yelled and punched me in the face - don't they understand all property is communal and since they have a car they need to share it with the less fortunate?

I'm considering suing.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

The progressive movement will gladly back your suit! Provided of course that the driver either works in tech, makes more than 100K a year, is a landlord (unless he's a progressive *cough Bruce Brugmann/Chris Daly cough*), or is a cop. Oh yeah. He also can only be white or Asian.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

shuttles. Gee, what an ugly, stupid, entitled bunch of parasites and losers.

The sooner they get displaced, the better.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

meeting or even watching one on Gov TV.

It's the same set of "usual suspect" whiners and losers every time. Worthless. Normal people wouldn't attend and cannot attend.

The supes just roll their eyes through the public comment section, and meetings would be 90% shorter if we just lost the losers.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

no mind. Deciding public policy on the basis of who has the most free time and who is the biggest busybody would not be prudent governance.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

But Greenhouse Gases are OK if they're Politically Correct!

Posted by Mike Modern on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

So Counterproductive

Don't these protesters understand how badly they are hurting their cause? I seems like they don't want to bring about positive change; they just want to see themselves on TV.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

From the article: "staged by Heart of the City, a group that has blocked corporate tech shuttles several times now – was more absurdist street theatre than protest.

That just about covers it. They don't accomplishing anything. This is just a self-congratulatory-pat-on-the-back that says: "See? Look at us. We care. Look at how we're such good people because we're protesting buses. Newspeople come interview us and take our picture so we'll be on the news. Then we can tell all our friends so they can see us on TV and tell us how cool, creative, and caring we are."

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

Eight to two, with only the hopeless Avalos and Campos opposing.

The city is changing and the old lefties' days are numbered. Envy is out of fashion these days.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2014 @ 5:51 am

Anyone else notice the irony in these idiots protesting Google buses blocking Muni bus stops, but their protest is actually forcing the Google bus to stay there, which in turn makes the Muni buses have to go around?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2014 @ 11:58 am

But then neither is wanting more cars on city streets.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

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