The recent wave of protests against tech companies and the gentrification they have brought to the cities their employees call home has now expanded beyond the confines of the Silicon Valley.
This morning, two protestors in Seattle disrupted the routes of a handful of Microsoft’s “Connector” shuttle buses, which the company provides for its employees so that they can live where they like in Seattle and easily commute to the company’s offices in nearby Redmond.
In a post on the blog “Tides of Flame,” an anonymous writer with apparent ties to the protestors lays out the reasons for the blockade. Briefly:
“However, we are tired of falling prey to these emotions and instead make the first steps to address this very specific aspect of the Microsoft leviathan. The Connector Shuttle has directly impacted our lives and the lives of those around us. It is simultaneously a symbol of and a concrete component in the process of hyper-gentrification.”
Seattle resident Sean Maguire snapped a few pictures of the protest and was handed a flier by one of the protestors.
From this tweet, here’s the front of the flier:
And the back:
It’ll be interesting to see how the situation develops. The Seattle City Council is holding a forum later this week to discuss options for making housing more affordable, but policy ideas that come up will likely take months or years to implement. We’re keeping our eyes out for further protests in the Redmond/Seattle area — hopefully, we won’t see any stories like that Google engineer who was followed to his home in Berkeley by protestors last month.