Created by Pando.com
For the last few years, Google employees were the envy of seniors like me who had careers in very traditional offices. We never heard of companies that offered the benefits that Google provided: three free meals a day from an international cafe, meditation areas, a game room, TV viewing spaces, ping pong, a never ending list of perks.
All that envy went out the window recently when we heard that anti-Google activists were out in force in the Bay Area to protest the way rich Silicon Valley tech companies like Google have displaced low- and middle-income workers. Since 2011, rents in many Silicon Valley neighborhoods have increased by 40 percent thanks to the kids from tech companies who can afford the fancy new condos and homes real estate developers are building for them.
Not everyone who lives in Northern California makes the same salaries as those at Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Oracle, and scores of other tech companies. Calling themselves the Counterforce, the protestors are also against what the government is doing with our personal data, surveillance, control, and automation.
Google was one of the first to be targeted because the company just rolled out a bunch of new luxury, Wi-Fi enabled buses to shuttle workers from San Francisco to Mountain View, headquarters of Google. Activists claim Google buses are picking up workers at city bus stops, disrupting the already busy public transportation vehicles.
A group of protestors even showed up at the Berkeley home of Google developer Anthony Levandowski, preventing him for 45 minutes from getting to work. He is the engineer who is developing the self-driving car. Protestors held signs that said “Google’s Future Stops Here.”
Whose future are the protestors going to try to stop next and in what city? This could escalate.