Yahoo bus blockaded, puked on in Oakland

Tech-shuttle protests appear to take a turn for the weird as a demonstrator reportedly mounts a bus and vomits down the windshield.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

As far as protest tactics go, we've heard of blockading, yelling, and even dancing -- but vomiting?

The tech bus backlash appears to have hit new levels of weird. Near an Oakland, Calif., regional BART rail station, a wily group of protesters blockaded Yahoo and Apple buses that were picking up employees en route to Silicon Valley, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

One demonstrator apparently scaled a Yahoo bus and proceeded to vomit down the windshield. It's unclear if the protester actually vomited or if it was pseudopuke; nevertheless; the windshield became covered in gross gunk.

Demonstrators also toted signs that said, "Love the Bay, Block the Bus" and "Capital is the Driver, Gentrification is the Vehicle, Techies on the Bus." Many of these scenes were captured by Twitter user The Red Son.

Tech commuter buses have become a symbol of wealth disparity and gentrification in the Bay Area, and therefore an easy target for protesters. With high-paid tech employees moving from Silicon Valley to San Francisco and Oakland, the area has experienced rising rents and home prices.

Yesterday, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors met to discuss a pilot program that would let tech buses pay the city $1 to stop at several bus stops designated for public transportation. After a nearly seven-hour public hearing, the board voted 8-2 to let the program go ahead as planned and start in July.

When contacted by CNET, a Yahoo spokesperson declined to comment on the Oakland protest but did say the company is working with the city of San Francisco to use the public transportation bus stops.

"Yahoo operates an employee shuttle service between its headquarters in Sunnyvale and a number of Bay Area cities, including San Francisco," the spokesperson said. "We are in active discussions with the City of San Francisco on this issue and plan to participate in the pilot program around company shuttle use of MUNI stops. The safety of our employees is a top priority and we look forward to engaging in a productive dialog to help bring this issue to the most ideal outcome for everyone."

Update, 5:40 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Yahoo spokesperson.