San Francisco's well-off class of computer programmers got an earful about the city's growing wealth divide at a Google event on Wednesday.
During Google I/O, where Google rounds up developers and shows off the company's new products and software, a protestor jumped up and interrupted an engineer's presentation on new Android features.
Holding up a cloth that seemed to read "DEVELOP A CONSCIENCE: STOP JACK HALPRIN FROM EVICTING SF TEACHERS," the woman called attention to Google lawyer Jack Halprin, who has been under fire for attempting to evict tenants -- including at least two teachers -- last April from a seven-unit building he owns in the city's quickly gentrifying Mission District.
"'Battery Saver' is really great if you're about to embark on a long hike or, say, a long protest, and you want the battery to last even longer," David Burke, the Google engineer on stage, joked as the protester yelled.
— Adriana Lee (@adra_la) June 25, 2014
San Franciscans who work outside tech have been pinched by rising rents as more high-income engineers move into the city. Activists protesting the city's income inequality have held demonstrations at bus stops for Google's shuttle service and at the homes of employees. The building Halprin owns has also been the site of protests this year.
According to Mashable, a male protester also piped up during the conference. "You all work for a company that is going to build machines that kill people!" he reportedly said.
Google protester at #GoogleIO screaming: “You all work for a company that is going to build machines that kill people!”
— Mashable (@mashable) June 25, 2014
Activists also gathered outside the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, where the Google event is being held.
Inside Google I/O people are cheering for Google. Outside Google I/O people are cheering against Google. pic.twitter.com/eV281IgErF
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) June 25, 2014
The audience of developers cheered after the female protestor was seemingly removed from the event.