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East Bay | Police State and Prisons

Demonstration at Home of Google Developer. Google Bus Blocked in Berkeley.
by the counterforce
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 11:15 AM
"Dialectically. . .some counterforce would have had to arise"
- Thomas Pynchon, 1973

At 7am this morning, a group of people went to the home of Anthony Levandowski, a Google X developer. His house is a pompous, minimally decorated two story palace with stone lions guarding the door. After ringing his doorbell to alert him of the protest, a banner was held in front of his house that read "Google's Future Stops Here" and fliers about him were distributed around the neighborhood. The fliers detailed his work with the defense industry and his plans to develop luxury condos in Berkeley. The flier is attached below.

At one point, his neighbor emerged from her house. She said she knew about his collaboration with the military but insisted he was a "nice person." We see no contradiction here. It is very likely that this person, who develops war robots for the military and builds surveillance infrastructure, is a pleasant neighbor. But so what?

After previous actions against the Google buses, many critics insisted that the individual Google employees are not to blame. Taking this deeply to heart, we chose to block Anthony Levandowski's personal commute. We also respectfully disagree with this criticism: We don't see one action as better than the other. All of Google's employees should be prevented from getting to work. All surveillance infrastructure should be destroyed. No luxury condos should be built. No one should be displaced.

After fliering his neighborhood and blocking his driveway for approximately 45 minutes, the group went down and blocked a google bus at Ashby BART. This blockade lasted about 30 minutes and dispersed when BPD arrived. Several conversations took place with Google employees.

Luckily, the defections have already begun. Yesterday, an actually-nice person employed by Google leaked the talking points the company sent to its employees should they attend an upcoming SF City Council meeting or in the event of a bus disruption. These talking points paint Google employees as positive contributors to the neighborhoods they live in. It makes no mention to the displacement they cause, the police presence they bring with them and the large class of people working to support their out-of-touch and extravagant lifestyles: the tech support.

We will not be held hostage by Google's threat to release massive amounts of carbon should the bus service be stopped. Our problem is with Google, its pervasive surveillance capabilities utilized by the NSA, the technologies it is developing, and the gentrification its employees are causing in every city they inhabit. But our problem does not stop with Google. All of you other tech companies, all of you other developers and everyone else building the new surveillance state--We're coming for you next.

§Flier
by the counterforce Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 11:15 AM

§Anthony Levandowski home demo
by flyer page 1 Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 11:24 AM

§Anthony Levandowski home demo
by flyer page 2 Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 11:25 AM

§French translation
by Georges Sabellicus Monday Feb 17th, 2014 10:48 AM
I translate your text and the flier in french.

You can read it here: http://sniadecki.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/frisco-vs-techies/

Next step, a beautiful PDF...

And fuck the cyborgs!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Put a name on it
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 1:17 PM
Why don't you give us your names; those of you protesters? That would allow us to do some investigation into your personal lives, out you, blockade your house, etc.

Fair's fair, right? You have nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, and don't mind being judged by anonymous protesters at dawn at your homes.

Right? Riggggght.
by recently evicted
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 1:33 PM
This is an excellent action -- and the analysis of the leaflet accompanying it is excellent as well.

Except for the apparent embrace of the "armed groups" of the 1970's, who were uniformly suicidal Mao-geeks peaking on bad speedy blotter acid, and as such barking up the wrong tree.

And the last paragraph embraces the reactionary utopia of Berkeley drop-out culture ideology, which is predicated on the self-defeating illusion that this social order is unbeatable and always going to be here. You cannot opt out of this society. This society is now everywhere. This society has to be taken on and toppled everywhere by large-scale ongoing mass action, as seen in every mass revolutionary movement since 1789.

The more intelligent malefactors among the ruling elite are aware that accelerating profound social inequality is a tremendous threat to their wealth and power. THEY ARE MORE VULNERABLE THAN THE HAVE EVER BEEN BEFORE. Fine efforts like this one against this repugnant and hyper-alienated Google robot and his fellow business-creeps should be conceptualized as a contribution to this larger real-world global effort.
by JakiChan
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 3:36 PM
DO NOT USE GOOGLE. Walk your talk. No web searches. No Facebook. No emails.
by R.E.
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 3:39 PM
The bridge is that way. If you hit the water head-first, you will just bounce back to the observation deck. It will give you something to talk about with your fellow porn-consumers at the lap dancing joint.
by abolish
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 9:49 PM
You do realize that the very medium you are posting/organizing on (the Internet) was created by DARPA as well for "war".

Will you protest yourself now? Fingers crossed!
by transit worker
Tuesday Jan 21st, 2014 11:43 PM
As a bus driver - I LOVE THIS!

Fuck the google buses. Fuck the yuppies. I've lived in one place in SF that is being evicted by a land lord and have many friends that have been evicted as well. I hate what the rich are doing to the bay.

I use google to search for articles about how people are resisting google. Who gives a shit? I do the same for twitter.

Is it a contradiction? I guess, but I'm interested in using these technologies to fight against what they are doing, not keep them going. Those that seek to paint the resistance in a certain light only seek to downplay the massive anger that already exists in the bay against the rich.

KEEP IT UP COUNTER-FORCE!
by .k
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 7:18 AM
The landlords or property owners are the ultimate winners in the whole situation. People are resentful of the higher paid tech and medical workers because they drove 1 bedroom apartments to $2000, larger apartments to $3000. That means that anyone who is earning in the lower range of the spectrum within the industry $40-$80k/yr are still paying over 30% of their income on rent. Even the people with over $100k income who is still paying rent to a landlord is essentially turning over a vast chunk of their pay for inflated housing. The same is true for purchasing $700k+ 3 bedroom houses in San Jose or the Oakland Hills. The previous property owner is the one who profits from the tech worker with their in-demand skills. They will also be paying full price property taxes of $10k+ per year, while older residents are locked in at $2000k taxes under proposition 13.
If one of these workers ever was laid off because it's a fickle industry, or if there were a industry downturn in 5-10 years, they won't have that much socked away in savings (particularly if they were one of the aspirational workers who wanted a nice lifestyle but were in the lower half of the earnings range). They could easily end up exploited, by choosing to pay high prices around here.
By the way, that house doesn't look like an estate, compared to standards in other areas of the country
by .k
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 7:35 AM
another note - that house appears to be located on Ashby avenue. Regardless of the somewhat valid considerations of the ethics of google, you can't call a house on 1/8 acre that is located on a busy state highway a palace. My friends who used to code for indybay were renting a 2 bedroom further west on Ashby for something like $1000/month, and there were frequent accidents, lots of noise. It was a little pocket of affordability because most people don't want to live on Ashby avenue.
by Cyrus Farivar
( cyrus.farivar [at] arstechnica.com ) Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 7:48 AM
Cyrus Farivar here with Ars Technica.

Would love to speak with any involved in this "counterforce" group.

Email me: cyrus.farivar [at] arstechnica.com

Cheers,

Cyrus Farivar
"suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var"

Senior Business Editor, Ars Technica
http://arstechnica.com/author/cyrus-farivar/
@cfarivar
PGP: http://arstechnica.com/ars-staff-pgp-keys/
by Sane Person
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 7:50 AM
If protesters blocked my driveway, trying to "detain" me, I would drive right over them. And back up and do it again. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

These radical communist bozos need to wake up or be forcefully woken up.
by Darren
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:08 AM
Google did recently acquire Boston Dynamics but that company is based out of the Boston-area. It's extremely unlikely that the random Google developer you are attacking is involved at all with the robotics program.

Gentrification is a legitimate issue to protest here but I think you are being counterproductive when you make these random and unfounded accusations. It takes credibility away from your primary cause which should be class issues like gentrification.
by Blue Collar Worker
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:18 AM
I completely understand being upset with the way America has been progressing towards a police state. The NSA & FBI surveillance capabilities have grown to the point that our government has the power to monitor almost every part of our lives. But what is god's good name are you people doing? Your upset that certain individuals that have dedicated their lives to a craft make more money then you & because they move to where the work is its somehow their fault?? I worked on a plant floor and made 45k a year for a number of years & after seeing jobs being outsourced I forced myself to go back to school & learn programming. I worked my ass off taking night & weekend classes & studied every chance I got. I've been a developer for 3 years now & only bring home 75k but strive to learn as much as possible in order to provide a better life for my family. Fine, you don't agree with google or facebook & what they are doing. But this is America & capitalism is what's made this country so great. If you don't want to put the work in like the rest of us to learn the skills that are needed to earn the wages that are needed then MOVE! Don't expect handouts from others just because you refuse to change.

Now if you'd like to change how these companies function why not start with your elected officials? Attacking individual employees not only makes you look like bullies but its a futile attack. For every employee you block or even turn to support your cause... there are 100 others that are happy to step in & take that employees position. Finally, just grow up.... Thanks for showing that humanity can & is swirling the cosmic drain & that my grand kids will no doubt have to deal with things for years to come.
by ftlulz
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:19 AM
I have a few friends at Goog out west. It would make my day if you picketed them and put out some fliers. Ill buy the beer.
by Adam
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:44 AM
Would you prefer to have no high paying jobs? Would something like NYC in the 70's or eastern KY now be better (I am from EKY and live in NYC). Do you think people should have the right to do with their private property as they see fit. Should intimidation and fear control economics rather then free choice.
by Bob Koelle
( bobkoelle [at] yahoo.com ) Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 9:17 AM
What a strange movement, filled with so many self-contradictions! People with incomes above a certain level shouldn't seek to live in Berkeley or SF? But they are because that's called freedom, so don't build any new housing to accommodate them, then complain about gentrification? Well-paid people should live...where? Or they shouldn't be well-paid, I suppose. College and Ashby palace? Use a (non-Google) search engine to find images of "palace." A guy figures out how to improve blueprint dissemination, and that's wrong? Your misanthropy is stunning, and your followers will be few and marginal until you figure that out.

An invitation for you. I've spent my entire career in Pharma, over 20 years. If you like, please come visit my palace and protest me. You have my real name and email address - I'm not hard to find. My resume is on LinkedIn, so you can see the evil I've done. Bring donuts. I like donuts. BONUS! Many of my neighbors work at the Livermore labs, and you know what evil goes on there! Shut down the entrances to my development so they can't get to work, and really bask in the limelight!
by oops
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 10:04 AM
You uploaded your PDF upside down. You should do a Google search to figure out how to rotate it.
by josh
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 10:14 AM
y'know, it is possible to protest and be wrong. http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/white-resistance-civil-rights1.jpg
by this can't be good
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 10:26 AM
Ohio man questioned over Google Glass in theater

Federal authorities say they questioned an Ohio man they suspected of recording a movie in a theater with his Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Khaalid Walls says the man voluntarily answered questions from officers with ICE Homeland Security Investigations.

AMC says it contacted authorities after identifying someone wearing a recording device. Spokesman Ryan Noonan says the company takes movie theft seriously.

Both ICE, which investigates piracy and counterfeiting, and the Motion Picture Association of America, were involved.
by E
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 12:30 PM
Hope this encourages more whistleblowers from within Google. Well past time for techies to say what side they are on!
"Use your position in society as your starting point for your revolt against it" - indeed.
by Software Engineer Guy
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 12:34 PM
This "couterforce" guy is a complete idiot. the NSA has co-opted Google, Facebook et al, sure, and of course that's absolutely horrible. However, the tech industry as a whole (including Google) is one of the loudest voices for real NSA reform. Just because the NSA forced its way (illegally and unconstitutionally) into the servers of places like Google, Facebook, etc doesn't mean that they (Google) are active collaborators.

He should also remember what happened with SOPA (the Stop Online Privacy Act). It would have been a horrible development for 1st amendment rights, and Google was on the frontlines of raising enough awareness to get it stopped (they blacked out their own service to show people how important internet freedom is). Had Google (and others) not taken action, we'd likely be living with the Orwellian effects of SOPA right now.

But I bet this guy didn't even know about SOPA- he just wants to yell and scream about people he deems evil, without actually learning anything about the underlying issues.

Also, as someone that's been a software engineer for years (though never for Google), the vast majority of tech workers aren't rich 1-percenters- they're just people with professional jobs, at the higher end of working class salaries (yes, I said working class- tech workers work for a wage just like everybody else). And most of them (us) would absolutely agree that there needs to be more equitable housing. But you can't just ignore supply/demand dynamics. As the bay area has boomed, housing has not kept pace with job creation, leading rents to be driven up as more and more people compete for the same resources.

If you care about equitable housing, we need to increase supply. period. But I bet "counterforce" and his/her ilk are on the frontlines of opposing all such developments on general principle. These people are part of the problem, not the solution
by NealK
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 12:35 PM
A "pompous...two story palace". Really? You people need to get out more. And how many of you have slaved away in a Congolese mining pit yourselves -- the one that produces the rare elements without which the smartphones and tablets you're using to stalk the Google guy wouldn't work.

You are the equivalent of animal rights protesters clad in mink and leather.
by babiesatemydingo
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 12:46 PM
If you have a 75 grand a year programming job you're not a blue collar worker. You've also completely missed the point of this protest. If the googledrones actually would "move to where the work is", i.e. Mountain View, nobody would bother protesting their employer. But when Google encourages their drones to colonize Oakland and SF by offering free commutes to work, you can't be surprised when the folks who are getting evicted to make room for them object.
by Greta
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 12:50 PM
Fucking protest landlords you idiot! Protest the Ellis Act! This is so fucking stupid.
by Unsure If I'm OK.
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 12:58 PM
I just wonder when all this dust settles, who will be the final arbiter of who can live where. For instance if someone is a San Francisco native, but grew up in one of the outer residential neighborhoods, goes to school, gets a job and chooses to scrape out a living in an apartment downtown, well, which side of the gentrification camp are they on? Are they grandfathered in because they grew up in San Francisco? What metrics are used to decide who can live where? I would better be able to decide who I am supposed to hate if there was some algorithm. We need to factor in the start date of someone’s current living situation, who lived there before they did, did that person leave willingly, with some regret, or fighting tooth and nail.? We will need to factor in their income (duh!), perhaps their cultural bona fides (one might lose points for being white, maybe gain some for being gay?), what else? Political affiliations? Carbon footprint? Well, it might be a bit tricky to get an engineer to develop such an algorithm, one which would probably result in they themselves being purged from the Bay Area, but I can’t see navigating this quagmire without some data.
When the violent purge of the bourgeoisies occurs I wonder which side I personally will be on. Will it matter if that person’s job has only loose connection to tech? Is there an earnings threshold where living in certain neighborhoods is not OK? Who gets to decide who deserves stalking and protesting?
Obviously we are many steps away from a Soviet/Chinese style cultural purge, but I see the similarities. The ultimate endgame is to start to blame more and more of society’s ills on an imprecisely curated group of people until our anger is such that we kill them all. Get rid of the intellectual! Get rid of the Jews. Get rid of the rich. A purge is a purge.
by babiesatemydingo
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 1:12 PM
I've said this before, but programmers aren't working class. If one's "wage" (which for Google includes health insurance, free food, and free rides to work on top of salary) is high enough one has far more in common with their employer than with, say, a single mom working 70 hour weeks at three different minimum wage jobs just to make rent.

And as for Google's selfless altruism in opposing SOPA, wake me up when they lift a finger against the TPP treaty, which would basically impose SOPA by the back door. You might want to tell them to hurry it up, fast track is coming to a vote in Congress this month.
by SmartCrawler
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 1:32 PM

Yo!

For all of y'all referencing or complaining about Google Search, try using DuckDuckGo instead! It's a search engine that won't track your search patterns, is open source and non-corporate. More info here.

by Agnieszka Fitz
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 1:44 PM
It is interesting to observe this tried and true technique of persecution at work in the United States. It was exactly this behavior that made my family flee Poland (both Germans and Russians, depending on the year) and what was then Czechoslovakia. They begin by trying to make people uncomfortable enough that they leave. This is how the fascists begin. Now, to think that one could live in the U.S. and encounter the same behavior, for being a technology worker. The fascists are always with us, in various forms, but if nothing else history makes it easy to recognize them. Whether it is a Jew, a Pole, or anyone else whom you believe does not deserve the right to live and move freely in this world, you are on the wrong side of history.
by Calm Down
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 1:47 PM
Many of the people who work for Google can't afford to live in Mountain View, (because believe it or not they don't all make the wages you are suggesting, many of them are heads of a family of 4 with one income and don't hit the $70,000 or $80,000 mark that I have seen thrown around here.) Someone suggested that all the people who work for Google should just live in Mountain View…no. Not possible. It's not large enough and it's too costly. That's why they live other places and in and effort to make work life better for their employees and have MANY fewer cars on the road they provided shuttles. Anytime a place becomes more desirable to live it costs more to live there. Sorry, San Francisco. I was born and raised in California. I pay a lot of money to live here and I love living here. So I f*cking pay for it and it sucks sometimes. But that's how the world works. It isn't Google. Google isn't out to get you. Just like it's not out to get Africa by bringing high speed internet to developing countries there:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57613289-93/googles-project-link-builds-high-speed-networks-in-africa/
and they aren't out to get the multiple charities that they donate to. They aren't going to start a war. Calm down.
by Hobobiker
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 1:50 PM
"You're not pissed because you have it so bad, you're mad others have it so so good."
This uproar over techies taking over is the silliest thing to hit the bay area since the summer of love. Maybe if you didn't waste your time over BS your lives might be better...
by Globe Trotter
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 2:21 PM
Wow, "Counterforce," you've managed to get an overwhelmingly negative reaction (judging by the comments) on what should be a sympathetic demographic that reads Indybay. That's pretty hard to do. I'm well aware of the social inequalities of global capitalism, and - unlike you - I've spent years traveling and working in developing countries amongst the real working poor in eastern Europe, China, South America, and Africa.

Your ignorance is stunning and your invocation of Congolese and Chinese workers, as well as Google's janitorial staff, shameful. If you're really trying to have a Berkeley-style '60s protest movement, do it right. This "action" is a farce and dishonor to true protesters of years past that fought for meaningful change. You're pitting some false, idealized, romantic version of "protest" that has never existed against an all-powerful futuristic enemy that will never exist (certainly not in the way you imagine it).

I encourage you to find a way to improve the greedy, materialistic system and society we all live in. Your first step should be to shut up, look inward, realize that you know very little about this man you're harassing and even less about the "system," and educate yourself so that you can make a real difference. Until then, you will continue to be an embarrassing caricature of protest.
by USS_MICHELLEBACHMANN
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 2:38 PM
Oh god, the irony of San Franciscans complaining about anybody being "out of touch." Also, one of the most affluent cities in America complaining about gentrification.

It doesn't matter that tech workers shouldn't be considered "working class," because none of the people complaining about tech workers are "working class." You know why? Because San Francisco is entirely unlivable on a working class salary.

If you're all so concerned about the plight of the working class, why did you stomp down the strikers trying to make a living wage running your BART? Those are working class people. You, angry protestor, are not, and you have no right to complain about 'gentrification.'

I hate tech culture as much as the next person, but get a grip. Your city has always been for the "elite," don't pretend it's ever been anything else. This is peak hypocrisy for SF, which is quite an accomplishment.
by RK
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 2:52 PM
I'm laughing at "The People's Struggle" while I work from home to automate you all out of your jobs.
I bet you didn't think about this 20 years ago when you picked on me because I wasn't as smooth or socially hip as you and didn't go around with a copy of Lenin's "What is to be done" stuffed in my back pocket while smoking filterless Galois in the right punk bars. No, instead spent most of my days and nights in front of a computer.

Well, look who's in charge now! This is the big reveal and the revenge of every weird, queer, gawky uncool geek you ever laughed at and kicked the crap out of come back to bite you where it really counts long after you forgot about us.
Not quite the revolution you were expecting was it ?
Maybe if you're lucky, I'll let you get me some fries with that...
by SF Native sick of the left & it's tantrums
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 2:55 PM
I am extremely sick of the left in SF, in the Bay Area. While I am all for green, I am sick of this kind of bullying and left the left ages ago. The left in SF & the BA are really reminiscent of Soviet style or even 3rd Reich style tactics, like this one. Plus, the SFBA left is FILLED with unemployed trust funders who are actually living off their parent/s paychecks.

I'm hoping that many in the Bay Area, specifically the 44,000 SF tech workers, and the rest of the tech workers come join the Republican Party. Yes, join the Republican Party. There are MANY of us that are green, pro-choice and are FISCAL conservatives sick of the left which seems to hate Jews as well (like their forebears, NAZIs, USSR, Cuba, etc)

Please join us at
http://www.facebook.com/groups/californiastatepolitics/
by BayAreaFTW
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 3:34 PM

It is entirely legitimate to:

  • Protest skyrocketing housing prices
  • Demand private industry pay appropriately for use of public infrastructure (e.g. use of public bus stops)
  • Take your gripes to city hall/the ballot box/Congress

However, you lose your argument immediately when:

  • You block transportation for your protest
  • You deface public property for your protest
  • You stalk, threaten, and villify your neighbors and fellow citizens in the name of your protest
  • You spread fear, lies, and misinformation in an attempt to boost your cause
  • You blame employees of tech companies, rather than the political environment that created housing shortages in the first place
  • You protest construction of new housing, becoming the cause of your own problem
  • You demand that your legitimately employed neighbors and fellow citizens be run out of town and otherwise persecuted in the name of your cause

Take the protest to city hall. Petition companies and cities to do the right thing. Get your word out that rent is out of control. But for the love of all that is good in this world, please don't alienate and persecute the people who are just trying to get to work every day. Be civil. Your fight isn't with these employees; it's with your politicians and urban developers. When you block these busses, chant for your neighbors to be exiled, and threaten and intimidate your fellow citizens, you lose any hope at legitimacy. You lose.

by The Coyote
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 3:40 PM
You really are a bunch of silly rabbits. You've managed to harass a single individual and do nothing more than identify your group as a bunch of contemptuous children. You're an embarrassment to actual activists.
by Priced_out_of_the_market
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 3:48 PM
These dumbass protestors have picked the wrong target. It's the landlords who choose to raise rents through the roof, and even worse—randomly evict tenants in order to do so. Why do they do that? Because they can. There are too damned many people and not enough damned housing around here. This is not to be blamed on a few hundred Google programmers—it's the fault of every last one of the over 7 million people who choose to live in the bay area, regardless of how much they earn. This random dude they've decided to target is probably just happy to have a job in this shitty economy, let alone one that helps him avoid commuting by car. Excessive inequality sucks and I'd love to see it go away, but picking on random people because you assume they make more money than you only makes you look like envious little fucks. They probably already know this though, which is why they dress up their protest with all that loony conspiracy theory bullshit, as if to add credibility to their misdirected rage.
by Me
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 4:08 PM
You used the Google 'surveillance state' to research a Google employee and even use a Google Street View image of his house, which looks like a smallish proto-suburban house from any larger city's older neighborhoods, and call it a pompous palace? That's all pretty funny, but then you mention how you get the cops called on you and go on to decry the police presence that the people you're protesting are generating, which really cements it in my mind: you're doing some kind of live parody show! That's a neat idea, I guess, but I'd hate to have it going on in my neighborhood.
by babiesatemydingo
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 4:36 PM
...who else could equate a low key home demo with the Cultural Revolution? I can only imagine the howls if somebody had pulled a newspaper box into the street.

A few more points:

- The guy they were protesting worked on Google's robotic self-driving car and is also a real estate developer, hardly a just random googledrone.

- Yes, it's a little late to be protesting gentrification in Berkeley and many parts of SF, but protesters can still act in solidarity with Oakland, where rents are still low enough to be semi-affordable.

- All the low-paid shit jobs at Google are done by contractors, not employees. Contractors aren't allowed to ride the buses, so yes, all actual employees of Google really can afford to live in Mountain View. So by all means protest landlords and the Ellis Act, but googledrones and appledrones don't get a free pass.

-No, you don't have the right to do whatever you want with your property. It's not OK to hit somebody in the head just because you own the club you do it with.

- "Legitimacy" doesn't mean a thing to somebody looking at an eviction notice. Restricting actions to purely symbolic feel-good exercises like letters to the editor or whatever is a sure recipe for winning the argument and losing the fight. The four "illegitimate" protests to date have already moved the SF government to start charging Google for the use of their bus stops. It's time to put more pressure on.
by MK
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 4:40 PM
I'm reading this and wondering if it is a joke... This "demonstration" and accompanying treatise seems more like a Cointelpro play to generate some outrage at the outrage. It has zero credibility. Either modern Cointelpro, or someone in Berkeley just doesn't like the idea of Garden Village.

Some quick thoughts on the silliness of the pamphlet:

Foxconn is owned in part by the Chinese Military. It is the fruits of the cultural revolution, slavery born by communist ideology. Kill off the educated people, destroy history, and be left with a bunch of poor, frightened, dumb folks to do mindless work. Reading this, the author of the pamphlet seems to want a little cultural revolution of his/her own. Its a message I'm sure all the over-educated folks in Berkeley are just all ears for.

Oh yea, Google does little business with Foxconn... Apple (Google's competitor) is essentially Foxconn's partner. Nearly all Apple products come lovingly crafted from the bones of Foxconn's child "employees". Apple is the only reason why anyone knows what Foxconn is. If you don't like Foxconn, don't buy Apple products. Picketing Google employees is just stupid.

As for the internet and Google... the bulk of the evidence shows the world is a better, weirder place for the internet, not worse. Irony here is I doubt anyone outside of a small enclave in Berkeley would have even seen this pamphlet had it not been for companies like Google. But then the whole pamphlet is an irony....

If one is paranoid about the NSA and the internet, then how about protesting that? That is at least worth protesting about. If one is looking for to assign corporate blame for NSA spying, then companies headquartered in the Beltway, not Bay Area, are the place to protest.

And unless Garden Village is going to be an NSA spying cell, why not let the people grow a few veggies on their roof. Last I heard, green roofing is a good thing.
by jody
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 5:12 PM
Since when is it okay to protest and intimidate someone? What's next? Gonna burn crosses on the lawns of Google employees? What is it you hate more? Their success or your failure?
by asldkfj
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 5:16 PM
Next up: The Night of the Broken Google Glasses
by Feeling sorry for you
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 5:28 PM
You are fascists, as simple as that. If Google employees want to live in Berkeley, they have every right to in a free society. And anyone trying to stop them by force or intimidation is a fascist.
by Tired of delusional angry idiots
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 5:32 PM
Wow. With rapists, murderers, crooked politicians, people building actual war machines, and leaders of genocides, THIS is your public enemy #1. A guy that's helping to build a driverless car? Are you fucking kidding me?
by Justin Raimondo
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 6:18 PM
what a disgusting campaign by intellectually bankrupt "leftists" who are ruining what was once a great place to live. I lived in SF for FORTY-ONE YEARS and I am so glad to be gone -- because, you know, San Francisco is gone. Thanks to the Trotskyite Trust Funders and their PC BS.
by Concerned Berkeleyan
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 6:20 PM
Condo project

Micro-units? We have standards!
rooftop farm? useless.
Car sharing to reduce parking? pompous jerks
ample bike parking? who do they think they are..
by Wayne Lambright
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 6:48 PM
Give the man with an Awesome job a break and focus on our corrupt government.

While billionaires are stealing well, billions we are distracted with people who make 250K a year, some awesome people at that who have change the landscape of the globe when it comes to finding information.

A better use of everybody's time is that we stop our police state and our two class justice system, where some have immunity.
by Kevin Keating
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 7:01 PM
You anti-Google people are doing a fine thing -- keep at it. As it says in the old working class anthem, "Tho' cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we'll keep the red (perhaps black?) flag flying here..."

Your Pynchon reference rocks and is fully appropriate. Based on what's found in his latest novel "Bleeding Edge" it's clear that this fine US novelist is on the same side as you against capitalism and its ever-more pathological information technology "revolution."
by bpnath
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:07 PM
How can a home be both pompous and minimally decorated?
Oh, I get it, kinda like the inside of your head I suppose. ;)

In any case, the self serving agenda here is completely transparent and utterly sickening.
I consider myself a lefty, and all for social reform -- but this is just misdirected, hateful, uniformed, bigoted nonsense.
by John Skookum
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:26 PM
All is unfolding as desired. 98% of the people who read about this will shake their heads at the special kind of foolishness that characterizes the fringes of the Left, especially in the Bay Area.

Keep it up, useful idiots! You are playing directly into the hands of right wingers like me who really, truly are your enemies.
by An anti-gentrification person
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 8:30 PM
See anti-capitalist song lyrics, above. KEEP AT IT, ANTI-GOOGLE PEOPLE!
by greg
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 9:23 PM
What do they want?
To make it illegal for people to work at Google?
For a low maximum wage so no one can own a home?
Make condos illegal? Live in tents?
Do they have a Las Vegas ascetic and are against homes that are plain?
I get that they are anti-bus and think that everyone should own a car (are they employed by the automotive industry?)
Maybe they think there are too many people in Berkely? Perhaps a few decimations will satisfy them? Randomly choose the "volunteers"?
Maybe they just don't like the letter G?
by Bob Koelle
( bobkoelle [at] yahoo.com ) Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 11:24 PM
What exactly is the problem with the property being developed? Do you prefer derelict intersections? The project sounds like a Berkeley wet dream. And attacking Cal as being some kind of occupying entity is just nuts. When "babiesatemydingo" becomes god, will s/he seek to put Berkeley, Oakland and whatever "genuine" parts of SF that remain under glass? Will tech workers be tattooed so that we know they're not allowed outside Mountainview?
And how about someone who also thinks this protest is goofy, but says he hates techies as much as the next person? Why? OK, I admit to getting a rash from all the hipsterism in Mikkeller, but they sure still have superb beer.
I'd love to have a meet-up with someone in this group, so I can discuss with them their vision of what should be done with tech workers. And since I've previously invited them to my home to protest, perhaps we will.
Seriously, let's get together to really improve people's lives. Let's work for real universal healthcare or figure out how to end dynastic wealth concentration, and stop picking on some dude with a good job.
by an enemy of capitalism
Wednesday Jan 22nd, 2014 11:54 PM
Why are all these pro-capitalism types now going into high dudgeon on a fairly obscure left-wing protester-oriented web site? I really don't see the logic here. Why don't you dudes all go make the scene with Glen Beck or something.

The feedback here proves that if you do what's right, you are going to provoke plenty of negative response.
by isn't upside down
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 12:14 AM
The pdf is set so that it lines up properly when printed. It's not upside down, I'm pretty sure. Silly trolls!

Also, the irony of the streetview picture is probably on purpose ... duh
by Supporter of Truths
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 1:21 AM
--- Why are all these pro-capitalism types now going into high dudgeon on a fairly obscure left-wing protester-oriented web site? I really don't see the logic here. Why don't you dudes all go make the scene with Glen Beck or something. ---

Had it ever occurred to you that the actions by the protesters actually offended some of the people here, who quite possibly also have tech jobs, who could see this happening to them and becoming confused and frustrated because - guess what? - same side. That logic seems pretty solid to me. The logic that doesn't make sense to me is saying you can't find the logic in something and instead of discussing the correct logic you make a sarcastic comment.


--- The feedback here proves that if you do what's right, you are going to provoke plenty of negative response. ---

Most people I've encountered on this earth respect people who do what's right. Rarely do I encounter negative comments when I myself do something that's right and I've never responded negatively to someone who just did the right thing.

With all of that said, hatred blinds you, and if you truly hate what google is doing and their employees' encroachment, than it makes a lot of sense why no logic was discussed.
by Martha Lee
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 6:06 AM
I saw an article, located at:
http://somosnark.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/is-it-just-a-misunderstanding-to-think-that-google-is-evil/

which lists each of the charges against Google from around the web. You might want to show this list to each Google staffer to make sure they understand the evil that they do.

Additionally, why don't you follow each Google staffer home, as they get off the Google bus or Google boat, with your cell phone camera recording them, all the way, so they know what the intrusive surveillance and privacy-rape is that Google does. If they try to file charges on you, then you file charges on them for illegaly surveilling you, violating your rights and doing the bad things on the list on that link.

Google has clearly hired some bloggers to say that the protesters are "a small fringe group" but the truth about Google is louder than the PR spin that Google is trying to shill out. The public is sick of being tricked and abused by Google and their Brogrammer buddies.
by Sigh
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 8:10 AM
>> "The feedback here proves that if you do what's right, you are going to provoke plenty of negative response."

Excellent logic. I'm sure the Westboro Baptist Church people tell themselves the same thing.
by babiesatemydingo
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 8:28 AM
... will s/he seek to have developers, landlords, and billion dollar tech companies turn working class neighborhoods into playgrounds for rich yuppies by evicting their current residents? Wait, that's already happening -- ALL HAIL THE SUPREME BOB!!!
by Andy Summers
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 9:49 AM
Tell these people who say: "Ohhh it was a bad creepy thing those protesters did" to read a newspaper. Google's own policy says "Google is their employees" and Google is doing crimes.

All the protesters did was stand in front of a brogrammers home while the brogrammer and his friends go INSIDE of our homes, inside of our children's lives and inside our society and steal our personal information to use to trick us into buying crap. Which one of these things is NOT OK?
by Looking Around
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 2:04 PM
Protesters show up at the doorstep of Google self-driving car engineer
http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/01/protestors-show-up-at-the-doorstep-of-google-self-driving-car-engineer/


Activists target Google employee at his Berkeley home
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/01/22/activists-target-google-employee-berkeley-resident/

A neighbor of Levandowski’s, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she found one of the flyers on her car Tuesday morning. After reading it, she walked up the street and removed many of the flyers from neighbors’ cars. She said she did not believe any neighbor should be treated to what she described as “vigilante justice.” “The fact that the writer did not identify him or herself warranted my anonymous countermeasure,” she said.


San Francisco Protesters Stalked A Google Employee At His Home And Blocked Him In (GOOG)
http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/San-Francisco-Protesters-Stalked-A-Google-5165891.php


Protesters Blockade Single Google Employee's Commute In Berkeley
http://sfist.com/2014/01/22/protesters_with_mixed_messages_bloc.php


'Google Bus' protests escalate as activists target employee's home
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-bus-protests-escalate-as-activists-target-employees-home-20140122,0,7115989.story
http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-bus-protests-escalate-as-activists-target-employees-home-20140122,0,4528880.story

The tech protests get personal — and ugly
http://www.salon.com/the_tech_protests_get_personal_and_ugly
by An anti-gentrification person
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 2:32 PM
Andrew Leonard is congenitally incapable of marshaling an argument that isn't knee-jerk pro-capitalism and pro-dot-comodification of just about everything. He is not remotely up to the intellectual level of his pops, who used to write in Harpers, among other places. Andrew Leonard is a non-stop piece of garbage.
by Sean Hollister
( sean [at] theverge.com ) Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 5:55 PM
I'd love to interview The Counterforce and other demonstrators for a possible piece in The Verge. I'm not looking to ridicule, condemn, uplift, or speculate, I just want to understand how this Google developer was picked and what the aims of this demonstration were.

You can reach me at sean [at] theverge.com.

Thank you!
by Anonymous Coward
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 8:00 PM
All the low-paid shit jobs at Google are done by contractors, not employees. Contractors aren't allowed to ride the buses, so yes, all actual employees of Google really can afford to live in Mountain View. So by all means protest landlords and the Ellis Act, but googledrones and appledrones don't get a free pass.
Gawker, who I trust more than you, claims contractors can ride the bus for $15 / week. That's only $1.50 each way, cheaper than BART or AC Transit.
by Lolo
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 8:39 PM
I am as anti-gentrification as they come. As, a long time San Francisco resident of nearly 20 years who despairs at the changes the tech companies and their workers are wreaking on the city, I Am generally on your side. However, your actions are better than the most expensive PR to bring support to the the tech workers and scorn to our cause. Please hear this: you are doing it wrong. These types of actions make you look crazy. They discredit the legitimacy of the movement. Please stop.
by babiesatemydingo
Thursday Jan 23rd, 2014 9:43 PM

"Gawker, who I trust more than you, claims contractors can ride the bus for $15 / week. That's only $1.50 each way, cheaper than BART or AC Transit."

Not the yellow badge folks, the ones who presumably also make the least. The film referenced in the link is here.

by The Dude
Friday Jan 24th, 2014 11:49 AM
Clearly, these people are Microsoft plants, and I for one, as a professional political consultant, am very impressed.
by Un-abides
Friday Jan 24th, 2014 2:05 PM
Yeah, and the cyber-weenies posting sounds of cyber-martyrdom here are posting from their cyber-devices while slurping frappuchinos at the Google campus.
by Softie
Friday Jan 24th, 2014 5:38 PM
keep these immigrants out!!!
by for real
Saturday Jan 25th, 2014 1:22 PM
they even made ads for microsoft:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk4YqCuXKiQ

and this one too for X box

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjujNOnL6ys

and then this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhHCDh1zjn8

i think yer on to something

Google's founding billonaire says Google protestors waging "Nazi Holocaust" against tech elite.


In the news today, Tom Perkins, the founding billionaire of Google and architect of privacy harvesting monetization has published an article in the national press saying that those who are protesting him and the Silicon valley billioniare elite are "Nazi's" copying the Nazi Holocaust and using it against billionaires.

His company: Kleiner Perkins, is behind most of the Silicon Valley privacy abuse companies and is famous for their "blow job or no job" abuse of women workers as sex objects, made famous in Ellen Pao's well known sexual harrassment lawsuit against them. Now you can see where' these guys minds are at.

Was he using reverse psychology, when, in fact, it seems the billionaires want the poor and medium class wiped out of the Bay Area?

So are the Google protestors going to go to his house? (And Khosla and Doerr and the other Kleiner Perkins manipulators)? That might get to the root of the problem.


Websearch "Kleiner Perkins nazi tom perkins" for more.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/technology/lawsuit-against-kleiner-perkins-is-shaking-silicon-valley.html

http://www.inquisitr.com/1109260/capitalist-thomas-perkins-says-the-rich-are-persecuted-like-jews-in-nazi-germany/

by Sarah Port
Monday Jan 27th, 2014 11:24 AM
Print signs in Big Block Helvetica Capital Letters on your inkjet printer and post them everywhere:
POST Signs:

Google = Human Rights Abuse


STOP GOOGLE
by Some engineer
Monday Jan 27th, 2014 12:01 PM
Of course tech companies raise important policy issues, but harassing middle class engineers is just bananas.
Vote for a city tax, rent control, or extend the BART if that helps. Engineers that choose to live in Berkeley are likely liberal also, and would be willing to donate to your cause.
We need to work together for a better world.
by Silicon Valley resident
Monday Jan 27th, 2014 12:19 PM
I especially like:
" At one point, his neighbor emerged from her house. She said she knew about his collaboration with the military but insisted he was a "nice person." We see no contradiction here. It is very likely that this person, who develops war robots for the military and builds surveillance infrastructure, is a pleasant neighbor. But so what? "

It is interesting the way people "pass the buck" on this issue. Don't 'harass' engineers or the 'middle class.' Dont block google buses because they're 'green eco blah blahs' theres this whole 'we didnt do it, someone else did' mentality that techies LOVE to push around the table.

at the end of the day, it boils down to this: if you work for Google or other high profile tech firms that KNOWINGLY support mass death and war and work side-by-side with the NSA, then you are going to have to put up with some 'harassment' and 'protest' and 'civil disobedience.'

Dont like it? Then stop working for the bad guys.
by Some engineer
Monday Jan 27th, 2014 1:02 PM
I'm not so sure a campaign of harassment is going to help your cause. But that's your call.
I don't answer to you. Your elected representatives do. What do you specifically want? Get enough people to vote for it.
by Rory Carroll
( rory.carroll [at] theguardian.com ) Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 4:58 PM
To the group Counterforce,

I'm a journalist with the (UK) Guardian and will be in the bay area until February 2 doing a story about tech-driven gentrification and tensions. I would like to interview one of your members to include your take. Please email me so we can discuss interview options. Thanks for your attention.

Rory Carroll
by Queen Mab
Wednesday Jan 29th, 2014 10:23 PM
For the class war, this is a meager action. For the cultural battle, for the social revolution, this is no small event and there will be plenty more. Just because this guy is only "middle class" doesnt mean he isnt a worthy target. Big Tech or Big Data arent just any ole sector of capital. There is a particular kind of exploitation and control, a particular cultural battle to be fought. Like the particular violence of the military industry, the sickening factory farms, tha pharmaceuticals who market mind altering drugs directly to children, the education industry that enslaves us with debt, the banks who force people onto the streets every day. This guy is no waged drone, he is one of the "imagineers" who wholeheartedly support the coming of a bland, "secure" dystopia. Fuck him and his would-be defenders.
by **student activist!!**
( bewiley [at] davidson.edu ) Tuesday Feb 11th, 2014 12:08 PM
Hey counterforce,

I'm a sociology and computer science student, and system fighter, really interested in learning more/getting involved. This action is unreal. If you could email me to start a conversation I'd be thrilled.

My email is bewiley [at] davidson.edu. The mail is managed on my college's servers but I have in the past worked for the IT department there, for a year, and I can guarantee my inbox won't be searched, if this is a worry.

Really psyched/hoping to hear back. Thanks!
by Paula Webber
Wednesday Feb 12th, 2014 8:33 PM
PUT GOOGLE OUT OF BUSINESS! HERE'S HOW:


The goal should be to put Google out of business. They lied to the public, they tricked the public, they manipulated the trust of the public. They deserve bankruptcy.

You need to get everybody to cancel any Google accounts they have. Start, or support, open-source replacement companies for everything that Google does. Create email trees internationally to tell everybody to "get off Google". Cut off Google's source of ad funding by letting every advertiser know that putting their ads on a Google owned service will be the kiss of death for their brand.

Pass this on.

That oughta do it!
by Mike
Friday Feb 14th, 2014 11:06 PM
"Cut off Google's source of ad funding by letting every advertiser know that putting their ads on a Google owned service will be the kiss of death for their brand."---Paula Webber

I agree, but getting people do that is a major challenge.

Locally:

Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and the San Francisco Bay Guardian help Google make money?
http://www.pinkbarrio.com/blog/articles/rainbow-grocery-and-sfbg-help-google-make-money/

Who is still using Facetweet?
http://www.pinkbarrio.com/blog/articles/who-is-still-using-facetweet/

by Cindy Hawthorne
Saturday Feb 22nd, 2014 7:47 PM
You ungrateful little hippie pricks

Tim Draper and I, Tom Perkins, built and financed the factories where you work. We made it so easy for you. All you need to do is get to the factory or the office on time and push the buttons we tell you to push, or sell the web ads we tell you to sell or fill in data on forms on the computers. This is all work that monkey's or robots could do if they could. We made it so easy for you and you spit in our faces. We hand you jobs and you tell us that we are evil.

You are lying about the recession still going on. I have seen the pictures of the Walmart employee protesters and they are all fat. Where are they getting all the money for all that food if they are supposed to be so poor? Kleiner Perkins and my other holdings are doing great. If you want to be part of the upside then stop creating downsides and whining about your "equalities". If you want the big bucks go to Standford or CAL and get the big education. You have no ambition if you just want to hold up signs at some employees house. If you have the balls then I dare you to hold up signs in front of my house or the front door of Google or the other job creators!

THOMAS PERKINS