San Francisco protesters tossed scooters into the street to block tech buses for almost an hour on Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The activists, who were reportedly protesting the city's efforts to remove homeless tent camps, set off smoke bombs and carried signs saying "Techsploitation Is Toxic," and "Sweep Tech Not Tents." The protests were held at the intersection of 24th and Valencia streets.
One protester, Sam Lew, told the Chronicle that San Francisco has prioritized tech over people, "aggressively sweeping people out who are living in tents and sitting on the streets." She referenced the scooters that often block San Francisco's sidewalks.
Protester Chirag Bhakta told the San Francisco Examiner that "It's absurd scooters have more rights than the homeless do."
California State Senator
: "We have real problems in San Francisco. We will solve them *only* if we work together. Trashing scooters, blocking commuter shuttles so people can't get to work, & demonizing people because of where they work isn't how you make positive change."
We have real problems in San Francisco. We will solve them *only* if we work together. Trashing scooters, blocking commuter shuttles so people can’t get to work, & demonizing people because of where they work isn’t how you make positive change. https://t.co/GpDoZYrEVY— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) May 31, 2018
People protesting rising housing prices, gentrification and economic inequality also blocked Google shuttles in 2013 and 2014.
San Francisco's scooter craze began after three companies -- Bird, Lime and Spin -- spread hundreds of their rentable scooters across the city at the end of March, without warning residents or lawmakers. The dockless scooters are often strewn across sidewalks at bus stops, train stations and shopping areas. City lawmakers are fine-tuning a new law that regulates the scooters, which goes into effect on June 4. Companies that want to operate in San Francisco will have to apply for a permit.
The San Francisco mayor's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the protests.