Thomas Fallows is a Google e-commerce product manager, and he works on Google Shopping Express, the same-day delivery service that is the search giant’s would-be competitor to Amazon.
Last weekend, anarchists picketed his house.
They yelled into the intercom of his apartment building, leafleted his neighbours’ cars, and held up a banner outside his home that said, “GTFO! Row Ur Arse Back 2 Harvard!”
It was not pleasant, according to a video of the demonstration (below).
It all happened because Fallows allegedly evicted tenants from four buildings that he owns in the Bay Area, according to the protestors. We can’t verify independently whether that is true, but activists who oppose the way wealthy tech workers have gentrified San Francisco have documented evictions by tech employee landlords before. In fact, creating a database of evictions is part of their “thing.”
The event was part of a string of demonstrations by people who believe that tech companies like Google and Facebook, whose corporate headquarters’ are south of the city in Silicon Valley, are causing real estate prices to skyrocket in San Francisco partly because they provide private express bus services for their commuters. Those buses allow wealthy tech staff to live in San Francisco because it’s convenient. They might have lived in the ‘burbs if the buses didn’t exist.
The good news for Fallows is that on June 8 only three people turned up at his Pierce Street building to harass him. One man shouted into his apartment intercom:
“Hey there Thomas, we just stopped by to let you know that you’re a greedy piece of s— and you probably should stop doing what you’re doing. You have way to much money than you know what to do with and people are pretty angry, so were letting people know where you live and what you’re responsible for.”
The protestors published this explanation of their acts (along with copious references to Thomas Piketty’s “Capital In The Twenty-First Century”):
Thomas Fallows is a man who has used the Ellis Act to evict the occupants of four buildings filled with dozens of people and their lives. He caught our attention by not only being a Google employee but also for being a stark example of the entitled and greedy tech-entrepreneurs inhabiting San Francisco.
We reached out to Fallows but did not immediately get a response.
The anarchists — who included Erin McElroy, whom Business Insider profiled recently — used this photo of Fallows (below) from his Google+ page, in an attempt to portray him as someone “having a real good time” while tenants are evicted. The photo is labelled “Oktoberfest,” and in fairness to Fallows it in no way demonstrates any ill intent. It simply seems to show Fallows drinking a beer in 2008.
It’s surprising the anarchists didn’t use this photo, which shows Fallows smiling as a lion eats a zebra. The protesters have, after all, described Fallows as “predatory.” Fallows’ Google+ caption is, “Lion: 1. Zebra: 0.”
Here is the video: