Mission Protesters Take On Cops, Cafes, Luxury Apartments

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Anti-cop activists caught up with the Mission gentrification debate Wednesday — with approximately 60 to 70 protesters marching down Mission Street, delaying Muni instead of a tech bus, chanting “Unite the block against the cops!” and  “Shoot the cops, tear up coffee shops!” At one point, they yelled directly at apartment residents watching the protest from their balconies: “We know where you live and we will burn this place to the ground!”

Some others flung f-bombs at passersby (some people returned the verbal assault) in the rollicking ramble escorted by dozens of cops on foot, motorcycle and in patrol cars and paddy wagons. San Francisco police told Mission Local Wednesday night that there were no reports of vandalism or physical violence.

The protest — organized by street posters and on the web — targeted the amplified presence of San Francisco beat cops around the 16th Street BART plaza in recent months, part of an ongoing effort to clean up the area beleaguered with crime and transients.

Police have been targeting the plaza for several years, and nearby merchants and community members have continually called for greater surveillance. For more than a year, a group of merchants and nearby residents has been working with police and elected officials to diminish the number of incidents at the plaza.

Mission District Police Captain Bob Moser recently told the San Francisco Business Times that the foot patrols have helped curb crime in the plaza. Moser also commented on the plan for a 10-story apartment building across the street: “If a development were to bring more people out who use the plaza for positive uses, as opposed to negative uses, that could have a great impact.”

Protesters on Wednesday argued the cops are only there to protect the gentrifiers coming into the neighborhood — and that the police presence only displaces crime to surrounding streets. At a fall meeting of concerned neighbors, businesses and elected officials, police and others were well aware of the problem of simply moving crime to neighboring streets and were trying to come up with longer term solutions. 

The crowd Wednesday was mixed in race and age and many told Mission Local they lived in the Mission.

“Cops have turned a blind eye for years to all of the activity from people milling around transit stations,” said Diamond Dave, 76, who hosts a show on Mutiny Radio, while walking with the crowd of about 70 protesters down Mission. “Now, they are cracking down on people, and I think that has been propelled by this wave of new wealth to the neighborhood.”

“This enhanced police presence is a symbol of gentrification,” said Eddie Falcon, a veteran and local activist, through a megaphone to the protesters at a rally in the 24th Street BART Station plaza before they walked into the street. “These plazas used to be a community space, a place for people with nowhere else to go, and now they are vacant except for cops and yuppies.” Falcon went on to claim that new residents of the Mission are ignorant of its cultural significance and history, trashing local eateries like Tacolicious and “Gracias Mama-f—kin-whatever.”

Many carried signs urging for an end to evictions, high rents or new condo development, with individual protesters adding in more provocative digs along the way like “Shoot the cops!” and “We hate you!!”

“Some of these chants are silly, I know, but the things that are going on in this neighborhood are not by accident or aberration,” said a woman protester in her 60s who declined to give her name because she says she’s facing eviction. “The cops are not incidental; they are part of an infrastructure to protect the ‘new’ Mission.”

While the cops remained stoic to the taunts, the protesters didn’t go without challengers. One man walked out of the Goodwill at 19th Street with his wife and young son, and yelled “Yay, gentrification!” and got some f-bombs lobbed at him in return, which set off a series of profane exchanges not safe for this family website.

Mission Local caught up with him. The man said he is a landlord, a 54-year-old Missionite of 25 years, and would only identify himself as David.

“I believe in free speech and demonstration and all of that,” he said. “But when people are yelling for us to ‘kill the cops,’ that just isn’t ok. If the cops weren’t here, they wouldn’t be able to do this.”

“People hate who I am because I am supposedly this evil, rich guy who is ruining people’s lives and evicting them,” he continued, “but I am just someone who planned and worked. I’m not like these people, who are all probably into drugs and alcohol. But you know what?” — he said with a comic aside holding up his bag of clothes — “We all live here, and we all shop at Goodwill.”

The message grew even more antagonistic when the crowd stopped in front of the new gleaming Vara apartment complex at 15th and Mission. A few of the new residents came out on their balconies to see what was going on with bewilderment and mild amusement — and a half dozen recorded the spectacle with smartphones.

They immediately became the target of the crowd’s class warfare.

“We hate you and the Mission hates you!” the crowd chanted in unison. “We know where you live and we will burn this place to the ground!”

“What did I do?” a young woman yelled back from above the building’s garage. “I just moved here; I don’t know what’s going on!”

 “Go home!” a protester shouted.

 “But I am home.”

Undeterred by the woman’s unarguable logic, the crowd then headed to 16th Street BART plaza for coffee to the accompaniment of a protester beating drum sticks on a bench.

189 Comments

  1. poor.ass.millionaire

    Pure entertainment! Bunch of angry white peeps referencing Zapatista. And not realizing that although they may have moved into the mish 10+ years ago, they are the progenitors of the face of gentrification. Their stupidity is only matched by their self absorption. And, priceless in its irony.

  2. This is only gonna continue unless city official step up and stop these evictions of residents!!!

    • “We know where you live and we will burn this place to the ground!”

      Time to rehouse these criminals in prisons….

      • John

        Protests have to be approved by SFPD beforehand or else those protesting are breaking the law. Was this “protest” pro-approved? If not, yes, they can all be arrested and fined or imprisoned.

        Likewise the dumb bus protests.

        It might be time for a little tough love on those louts. They are such a tiny fringe minority that they hardly matter but obstructing traffic and insulting the public should still not be tolerated.

        • two beers

          I hate it when people exercise their 1st Amendment rights. Our founding fathers didn’t fight and die so that hooded hippies can enjoy free speech; they fought and died so that 1% of the population could earn 93% of the profits! USA #1!

          • John

            The city has laws which prohibit protests and assemblies that exceed a certain size. In those case, a permit is required.

            If such rules were unconstitutional, don’t you think that someone might have raised that objection already?

            Your rights are not unfettered and, when they rise to the level of obstructing free movement or incorporate hate speech, then you will quickly discover that the constitution also grant government considerable powers of arrest and prosecution.

          • ThatGuy

            Two beers: you’re forgetting the fact that their now threatening violence and crime against us. That’s stepping over the line. That’s no longer free speech.

            Don’t fuck with me or my family.

  3. HoofHearted

    These guys are hilarious. I’m always a fan of live comedy.

  4. Tom

    The faster we can rip off the bandaid and evict these entitle criminals the better. This is exactly why gentrification must happen- because we don’t need drug dealers and cop killers in the mission.

  5. Creeps like these give gentification a GOOD name….

  6. Shelia Centra

    The 16th and Mission BART station is a cesspool. It is a scary unpleasant place for all. Young, old, black, white, rich, poor. It is undiscriminating in the danger it poses to the Mission community. The city has not put enough police presence there for too long. Now that they are finally addressing the problems there people protest. What?

    • marcos

      I’ve lived within 2 blocks of 16th Street BART for 25 years now. Get over it, it is no more of a “cesspool” now than it has been since I’ve lived here. The plaza is not used as a toilet, Capp Street serves that function and the cops and DPW cannot be bothered with that. The insurrectionists are not the answer, and we’re deluding ourselves if we think that the SFPD and regular harassment is going to address the underlying issues of poverty, substance abuse and mental health crises.

      • John

        You see what you want to see, Marcos. 16th and Mission is a toilet and we need to completely re-design it.

        • marcos

          Photos or it doesn’t happen. You object to the people who use the plaza to the extent that you need to fabricate malicious conduct to justify yourself. There are no reports of feces on seeclickfix or 311 for the 16th and Mission BART plaza.

          The fact is that when public spaces are “cleaned up,” that drives the undesirable activity into the adjoining residential neighborhoods.

          You people hate existing San Franciscans, from the homeless up to the homeowners and see us as impediments to your ends.

          • John

            Marcos, I guarantee you that if you picked 100 Americans at random and showed them 16th and Mission on a typical day, 99 of them would be grossed out and, probably, scared.

            Your ideological bias requires a bizarre form of inverted snobbery but the reality is that 16th and Mission is a cesspit and everyone knows it.

          • marcos

            If we wanted to live like everywhere else, we could live anywhere else. Words have meanings. Cesspool implies human waste. There is no human waste at 15th Street BART.

          • John

            When the filth, squalor and menace of a place like 16th and Mission disturbs almost everyone who goes there, you cannot brush it under the carpet as “diversity”.

            NOBODY moves to SF for places like 16th and Mission. At best, they tolerate it reluctantly.

          • Mister Big

            16th St. BART station is indeed a toilet. The other week, I took the escalator up and a guy was peeing right there next to it. Feces regularly lock up BART escalator machinery. Your politics are dogma, Marcos. You cannot see the opinion of others and you just shift information to support your convoluted narrative.

          • John

            True, mister Big, but understand that marcos has tired of losing battles and, at this point, he just revels in being an ornery irritant.

            His perverse inverted snobbery around everything filthy and nasty is just one part of that sad narrative.

            He has become an ageing parody of the failed hippie left of SF.

          • marcos

            There is plenty of piss and shit around 16th BART, just very little in the plaza itself. Increased enforcement simply drives the piss and shit into adjacent residential blocks.

          • John

            So, not in your back yard then, marcos?

            I was on your block a few weeks back and it smelled pretty badly of stale urine, with homeless people milling around there.

            I’m not sure it can get any worse there anyway. So why worry?

      • I’ve been on Valencia for 33 years and nothing was so good for the street than getting rid of the Valencia gardens cesspool , cleaning up the Bart station cesspool is just as needed….

  7. bd

    Look at these lilly white asshats. First round gentrifiers decry second round gentrifiers.

    • John

      When only 70 people out of a city population of over 700,000 protest something you can safely infer it’s a trivial matter of no import.

      • two beers

        ..which is why you spend so much time commenting on it.

        • John

          It’s appropriate because some here appear to vest significance in these marginal incidents.

          Really ML is at fault for reporting it as if it were anything, but I guess they figure it makes good copy.

          • two beers

            If you don’t like ML, why are you on it 24/7?

            I don’t like Sean Hannity, so I don’t watch him. And I don’t badger people who _do_ watch him. See how that works?

          • John

            So nobody can criticize anything ML does?

            Sean Hannity has a political bias. ML should not have.

          • two beers

            The hilarious thing is that, if people like you are so threatened by their expressing their opinions that you are compelled to rush here and do what you believe is damage control, then their march was successful.

          • two beers

            I’m glad you have decided what ML should or should not do.

            Thank you for setting me straight. I wouldn’t know what to think without you.

          • John

            Laughing at a bunch of losers behaving badly in public is the exact opposite of giving them any significance.

            You taking them seriously is also fairly amusing.

        • two beers

          The truth will set you free, my son.

          • John

            I am already free, thank you two beers, and that includes the freedom to post here whenever I want.

            In fact, my new year’s resolution is to post here more often. I hope that doesn’t make your new year too unhappy.

          • marcos

            two beers, please spare us the jesusisms.

  8. ThatGuy

    “enhanced police presence is a symbol of gentrification”

    LOL! You, Mr Falcon, are a fucking idiot.

    • John

      You have to realize that for a lifelong loser like Falcon, these irksome little diversions are the biggest thing that happens in his life.

      Beyond sad.

  9. ThatGuy

    These people add ZERO value to this city or anywhere else they’d *LIKE* to live.

    Go fuck yourselves.

    • two beers

      Dude, Your RAGE is disturbing. We are ALL worried about YOUR HEALTH.

      Have you considered repairing to your local STARBUCKS with one of your many copies of ATLAS SHRUGGED, settling in, and enjoying a nice, relaxing cup of COCOA?

      • ThatGuy

        I have a reason to be angry when thugs come to my neighborhood saying they’ll burn shit down.

        Fuck you and fuck them.

        Also, I only drink artisinal Four Barrel coffee while reading 50 Shades of Go Fuck Yourself on my Kindle.

        • John

          Lefties feel entitled to get angry at things like people being successful.

          But ordinary people are not allowed to be angry when a mob of unruly louts disturb the peace.

          Apparently.

          • samclamsdisco@hotmail.com

            John is doing “God’s work” here.

            Any resemblance between him and Lloyd Blankfein is purely coincidental.

            Or it’s the ghost of Leona Helmsley. Entitled takers, exploiters, and fraudsters who game the system and are above the law all begin to look alike after awhile..

          • ThatGuy

            Correct. Two beers is not worried about the welfare of these thugs or the residents of our neighborhood… just me.

            As suspected, he’s a fucking tool.

          • John

            I don’t believe in God, Sam.

            Others here may believe they are engaged in a holy war. I’m just a truth teller, even if that inconveniences some.

          • Barry Spencer

            I never thought I’d see incivility on the Internet, but I suppose nothing’s sacred anymore.

  10. TerryChristian

    “Paddy wagon?” Get an editor! Particularly when covering a (largely former) Irish neighborhood, and even though Irish folks are white, you need to avoid pejorative terms in print

  11. scum

    I wonder if the young white/punk/anarchy chicks that set an x-mas tree on fire on Capp St. last night were part of this. The tree caught a living tree on fire and melted the paint on a car and almost set it and a house on fire.

    • John

      The line between some of the more mischievous political protest and unmitigated criminal behavior can be very fuzzy indeed.

      I suspect these people hate themselves far more than their targets.

    • nutrisystem

      Oh my god, a car’s paint was damaged!

      Meanwhile on Polk Street, a device-distracted Uber driver mowed down a whole family in a crosswalk, killing a six year old girl.

      http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Arrests-in-2-S-F-crashes-that-killed-pedestrians-5108718.php

      Thanks tech industry!

      • scum

        You are an idiot.The fire damaged the car on the side by the gas tank, the arson inspector said if I hadn’t pulled the tree away the car probably would have gone up in flames setting the house next to it on fire.

      • ThatGuy

        Really jennycraig? REALLY!?

        Some dude drove like an asshole and now its the “tech industry”.

        Why do you promote hate and violence you fucking piece of shit?

        • nutrisystem

          I’m not promoting the violence, Uber is.

          The whole business model of this company… this darling of the media… is fast, distracted driving. And, of course, disclaiming any responsibility for the inevitable carnage.

          This horrific mow-down of a family is absolutely about the tech industry, and aptly represents its values: aggressive, disruptive, arrogant, solely profit-motivated and disdainful of responsibility.

          • kdeff

            You have just described every burgeoning industry that ever was. It is not specific to tech, it is specific to entrepreneurs. The solution is not to kick them out.

  12. Cory

    i lived there, this is a bit silly, what do they expect? what are these “long term solutions” i was happy for the extra police around, i never really had any problems in the 2+ years i was on the same block away from 16th and mission up to august 2013, I know i am not part of this so called gentrification because i am poor as can be and had a rent controlled apartment space, the crime was pretty much consistent all around. but do these protesters want to protect the cheap scuzzyness of the mission forever? i feel like there are ways to promote cultural growth, and still have economic growth. I saw a few of these protest marches where they were spewing hate towards the cops that were escorting them down the street, people have problems with things then they need to make more intelligent arguments to see them fulfilled, not yelling a few choice and often ignorant statements down the street while im trying to take a disco nap

  13. Carmen Simon

    This article is a joke…I don’t necessarily agree with all of the language used by the organizers…but you know what? I don’t care. Gentrification is on the verge of destroying anything noteworthy about the City. The extreme irony of quoting a gentrifier, ignorant of the City around her. Is priceless.

    • John

      Carmen, can you produce a shred of evidence that doing up a few homes has “ruined” anything?

      I know of no such cases.

    • ThatGuy

      Ruin? Wow.

      So when you clean your house do you call it “ruining” the house?

      • marcos

        When we clean our homes, we do not strip the interior to the plaster and then redo it.

        • John

          So, marcos, when you helped gentrify the Mission by buying a condo, are you claiming to have not remodeled it in any way?

          And if that is true, how did that decision help the low-income person of color who could be living there except that a white male tech worker like you outbid them?

          • marcos

            Since when did I mention low income people of color? You must have me confused with someone else.

          • landline

            He thinks you are Subcomandante Marcos.

          • marcos

            Todos somos Marcos. That’s the difference between anarchy and leftism, landline.

          • marcos

            Subcommandante Marcos was much broader than just poor people of color:

            “Yes, Marcos is gay. Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a Jew in Germany, a Gypsy in Poland, a Mohawk in Quebec, a pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the Metro at 10pm, a peasant without land, a gang member in the slums, an unemployed worker, an unhappy student and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains.
            Marcos is all the exploited, marginalised, oppressed minorities resisting and saying `Enough’. He is every minority who is now beginning to speak and every majority that must shut up and listen. He is every untolerated group searching for a way to speak. Everything that makes power and the good consciences of those in power uncomfortable — this is Marcos.”

          • John

            So, no over-developed sense of ego and self-importance then?

          • marcos

            It must make your little head go owie, huh?

          • John

            No, your arguments are too easy to debunk for this to really be a challenge.

          • marcos

            There’s no argument here, just mindless gainsaying masquerading as sophistry ignoring primary source data when presented to you.

          • John

            But you have furnished no data, marcos.

          • marcos

            You really are dense, aren’t you? If you can’t follow a thread, then why should anyone follow you?

          • John

            IOW, you cannot point to any “data” then?

            QED.

          • marcos

            Primary source data for anyone who can transcend their innate idiocy enough to google it up.

            See post at January 4, 2014 at 9:06 am.

          • John

            So you are categorizing your earlier obtuse rant as “data” relevant to the topic here?

          • marcos

            It is not my obtuse rant, idiot.

          • John

            So your claim of data was really a rant by someone who was imp’ing you?

            Er, OK.

          • landline

            marcos, thanks for that quotation from Subcomandante Marcos.

            This should clear things up for John. We’ll see.

          • marcos

            I think we’re going to need to use finger puppets doing interpretive dance to penetrate John’s density.

          • John

            The more you resort to cheap insults, the more I know I have got to you.

            You really should think more and talk less.

  14. nfs

    It is difficult not to sympathize with those being evicted, at the same time it is impossible to sympathize with some of the statements made by some of the clowns in this protest. And yes, as far as a police cleanup of the plaza, it is decades overdue.

  15. Christopher Cook

    This article in no way represents what the majority of the anti-displacement movement is about–we have worked very hard to educate and mobilize people to save their homes and their neighborhoods, to work with folks being kicked out of their homes by speculator landlords for profit. This is the true outrage. Tech corporations are also accountable for skyrocketing rents that promote evictions–and for gobbling up public transit space and not contributing. I urge all to stay focused on the need for far greater protections for renters against eviction for profit, and to hold the real estate speculators and the tech corporations accountable. They are in fact tearing up the social fabric of the city. Newcomers are always welcome, we’ve almost all been newcomers at some point–but we all need to show some care and respect for the community we enter, get involved and educated–avoid displacing anyone, and contribute to local groups that are helping people survive. And we all need to fight the speculator-led evictions that are kicking folks out of their homes, even seniors and disabled and terminally ill people, all purely for profit.

    • Cory

      Now that’s what I’m talking about, specific solutions. Thank you Christopher, when you say “we” and “the anti-displacement movement” can you be more specific about that as well, possibly link us to some literature or ways to help?

      • John

        I didn’t see any “specific solutions” in Chritopher’s rant. I just saw generic whining that he cannot afford something that he thinks he is entitled to.

        • nutrisystem

          OK, I’ll throw some SPECIFIC solutions out there…

          1) Commercial rent control. e.g. $2 / square foot per month maximum. No exceptions.

          2) Any evictions-for-profit must be accompanied by the offer of a similar housing unit at same rent within 1 mile.

          3) Income tax rate of at least 90% on incomes over $1 million, INCLUDING capital gains and inheritance.

          4) Complete prohibition on any and all contributions to political candidates and office folders.

          5) Require large companies (>100 employees) to provide housing option for their employees.

          6) Require disabling of operation of smartphones and other devices in moving cars and trucks.

          7) Prohibition on electronic spying (by government or private company) without search warrant.

          8) Constitutional amendment creating system of proportional representation in the US House of Representatives. (instead of by district…to allow minority parties to exist like most countries do)

          9) Require a declaration of war by congress before any warfare occurs, including covert warfare.

          10) Single payer non-profit health care for all.

          ————-
          That would be a good start, and give us a fighting chance of being a great country again.

          • John

            10 quick refutations for you, nutrisystem

            1) Job killer

            2) Taking

            3) Would lead to massive tax evasion and flight of capital

            4) OK if you also ban all activism and strikes

            5) Nobody wants to live in a work camp

            6) Not technologically possible

            7) National security trumps everything else

            8) Will never pass

            9) Will never pass

            10) Already rejected by the peoples’ representatives

            If more than 2 of these came about, successful people would emigrate and you;d be stuck with only the poor. Who would you blame then?

          • nutrisystem

            John’s reaction is the standard one of the parasitic interest groups who are slowly destroying this country: Pro-bribery, Pro-exploitation, Pro-war, Pro-spying, Anti-middle class, Anti-progress.

          • Only a brain dead tweaker would think this is rational and right….

          • John

            Nutrisystem, your ideas are so left-wing that they are opposed by 99% of the population.

            You simply do not see how extremist and out-of-touch you really are.

            You might think you are right, of course, but it is what the majority think that matters in a democracy.

          • marcos

            I’d say that the population is much closer to evenly split on many of these proposals, nowhere near 99%.

          • John

            You can claim that the sky is pink but the politicians that we have elected have views that are nothing like what you are trying to advocate.

          • marcos

            The politicians “we” elected also approved 8 Washington and gave Jack Spade the green light. The fact is that Democrats run on a liberal platform and govern as center right once elected. A constrained electoral environment does not likewise constrain the political desires of the electorate no matter how hard it tries to.

          • John

            Then stand for office yourself.

            Except of course that you know that you’d get about 7 votes.

          • nutrisystem

            True, he would only get a handfull of votes.

            In our current bribery/propaganda-based election system, any decent candidate will be slandered and crushed by parasitic interest groups. who fear that an honest politician would put a stop to their stealing.

            And that’s really the root of our troubles. Interest groups, be they insurance companies, RE developers, weapon companies or whatever, don’t care about what’s good for the country. They care only about enriching themselves.

          • John

            nutrisystem, I was wondering how long it would take you to invoke the vast right-wing conspiracy theory.

          • marcos

            I ran for D6 in 2000 and got 499 votes spending $1K of my own money. In comparison, Daly got 3000 votes in the first round. Not bad, $2/vote.

          • John

            Then stand again

          • marcos

            It does not work like “either run for office or shut up”

            I’ve been around City Hall enough to have learned that I do not want to be a district supervisor, not under current circumstances. The power bureaucracy is so entrenched that problem solving is slow going. I’d have to fight “progressives” as much as conservatives and both would conspire to sandbag me. You could not pay me enough money to subject myself to that.

          • Jon

            Just a tip, when you bundle your pet causes in with everything else, even when they’re wildly unrelated (GPS in cars, congressional declaration of wars, etc.), you sound like a crazy person. I get it, dawg, government spying is the worst, but it’s like you’re bringing it up when you’re explaining why True Romance is totally better than Pulp Fiction and nobody’s ever going to take you seriously ever.

        • Christopher Cook

          Nobody is “whining” about themselves–people like me and many others (Eviction Free San Francisco, Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee and more) are fighting to prevent evictions of seniors, disabled people, folks with terminal illnesses, people who’ve lived in and contributed to this city and their communities for decades. You try having your whole life uprooted, when you’re 75 or older. The more immediate solutions are clear and specific: we need local and state legislation preventing evictions for profit; preventing speculators from kicking people from their homes then flipping the property; discouraging and penalizing evictions of elderly and disabled people; reform of the Ellis Act and Costa-Hawkins so we can protect both renters and small businesses from overnight rent doubling/tripling; a commercial bus tax on the tech corporations, funds going into public transit improvements; more affordable housing that’s truly affordable, for low and middle income renters. And much more. The trash-talkers here will find any excuse to retain their libertarian neoliberal ideology, which is their prerogative, but which I guarantee they won’t want applied to them or their family when they’re disabled or elderly or fighting a terminal illness. Nobody should have to fear losing their home. I urge all to move past the “free market” mythology that we can/should all just put up with speculators and corporations running roughshod over us. We can and must fight back, and we are. Not for rhetoric or ideology but for people’s lives, in very specific concrete ways. Join us.

          • John

            No, Christopher, what you want is to condemn property owners to being in the rental business forever with no way out.

            Ellis and Costa-Hawkins exist for constitutional reasons, not political reasons. You cannot compel someone to be a landlord if they do not want to. And you cannot have rent control on single family homes because that makes no sense.

            People who have had a massively discounted rent for decades really should have made provision for their old age, and not rely on a business person to endlessly subsidize them.

            You are losing this battle because your gaol is totally unfair and unreasonable.

          • marcos

            Christopher is losing the battle because he is part of a coalition that is more concerned with interpersonal relationships between members of the coalition than on any real world circumstances. Thoroughly domesticated, their killer instinct has long since been extinguished, they’ve lost the will to fight in the class war. They are unworthy heirs to the legacy of Compton’s and Stonewall, afraid to take political risks, afraid to work with anyone who disagrees on key points of canon, most people, and are thus rendered down to little more than bewildered farm animals for the culling.

          • John

            Christopher also has little real-world experience of business and economics, and so comes from a place of near total idealism and naivety.

            He fails to understand that if the rental business is not profitable, there would be far less housing available, and even higher rents.

            The State has put limits on how far a city can go with rent control. And it is extremists like him that are the reasons for that.

          • marcos

            If the rental business is not profitable, then the value and price of housing would fall and the City would be poised to float mortgage revenue bonds to snap up that housing for permanently affordable housing.

          • John

            There is no political will to socialize rental housing. Do you really want the same guys who run Muni as your landlord?

          • marcos

            The Community Land Trust is set up to democratically manage permanently affordable housing. I’ll take Muni over Uber any day.

          • John

            If you want to buy a rental building and run it as a land trust or non-profit, you can do that now. Nothing is stopping you from securing funding and buying buildings from their private owners. If your offer is fair, you will get your way.

            No change in the law is required. You can do that now. So why haven’t you done it?

            You live in a home built by a speculator and, before you helped gentrify the Mission by buying a condo, you rented from private landlords. Does that make you a hypocrit?

          • marcos

            First we have to drive down the value of these buildings by restrictive laws and then swoop in and buy them on the cheap.

          • John

            I think you will find that such a conspiracy would count as a “taking” under that bane of all socialists – the Constitution.

            But of course that’s exactly what happened with the SRO’s, which the City made totally untenable through over-regulation, thereby enabling non-profits to snap them up. Not a proud moment in civic history although Randy Shaw did alright out of it.

            But then again, you hate non-profits, right?

          • marcos

            CLTs are democratic organizations. The THC is an authoritarian operation.

          • John

            Maybe, but Randy Shaw made the THC happen, and you haven’t made CLT’s happen.

            Ideas without action, commitment and support are fantasies.

          • marcos

            CLTs are happening. It took decades for Shaw to build his empire and he was only able to do so by participating whole hog in corruption.

          • John

            Yes, like I said, the legal framework is already in place for you to set up a CLT. You do not need any law or policy changes. You just need tog et off your ass.

            The only question here is why you haven’t done it?

          • marcos

            I helped set the parameters for and found the SFCLT. Others are better suited at day to day operations than I am and they are taking the lead on that portion of the project. The more we drive down property values of Ellisable buildings, the easier it is for the CLT to swoop in and buy them up with City help.

          • John

            That’s a copout, Marcos. Coming up with the theory and then expecting it to just happen by magic is a coward’s way.

            As previously noted, it would be illegal for the city to pass laws purely to financially disadvantage property owners. It’s also a disgustingly unethical idea.

            Governments can only take if and when they pay full market price. If you cannot raise such funds, then clearly your idea is not viable and cheating won’t change that.

          • marcos

            The City can do all sorts of things to drive down property values to make it easier for a CLT. The folks who are running the CLT are doing a better job than I could ever. That you want me to run the CLT makes it clear that you’d want it to fail.

          • John

            That you would admit to such devious and unethical ambitions shows why your attempt to gain any public office or influence was doomed from the start.

            I never suggested that you run CLT. Not least because you never go beyond ideas and your ability to garner any support or political capital is as close to zero as makes no difference.

            If your ideas had worked, there would be no housing crisis. I’ll give you credit for one thing though. You are an expert at conjuring up excuses and rationalizations for failure and loss.

            All that practice, I guess.

          • marcos

            The nonprofits spent more time sandbagging ideas I’d worked to get broad support for than they did in fighting for their own agenda because they sing politically for their suppers. It was a hobby for me, a remains cottage industry for them. Having spent all of that time there, I know how the circuit boards are wired, I know that the forces of gentrification have the progressive nonprofits in their back pockets.

    • You may be too ignorant to realize this…. BUT IF YOUR NAME IS NOT ON THE DEED…. IT IS NOT YOUR HOME….

      • John

        I suspect that christopher would dispute that obvious notion. But then his views are so off-the-wall extremist that they can be safely ignored.

        Renting with the expectation of a lifelong tenure is naive and irrational.

      • Robert

        Semantics. Obviously they don’t own it, but as a renter you do have rights. Now we may disagree on the level of rights given or not given to a tenant, but at that point we are just arguing degrees of rights, not that they exist in the first place.

        After all. The person whose name is on the deed of a house, and renting it out, can’t just let themselves into a tenant’s unit at any point day or night and make themselves a sandwich. I think you would agree to that?

        And I think even the most fervent tenant’s rights activists would agree a tenant can’t tear down the house and scrap the materials.

        Assuming those are true (I really hope they are!?!), we as a city just need to agree where the rights should begin and end. I bet we are a lot closer than all this polarizing blustering makes it seem. Some might argue that we just need to take what are already extensive tenants rights laws and tweak them a bit.

        • John

          Robert, those are reasonable points, but I think the problem arises when the expectations of a tenant become far more unreasonable than the rights allow.

          Specifically, anyone renting in SF knows that they may have to leave at between 3 and 120 days notice if any one of 15 types of evictions are served (and assuming the paperwork is valid).

          They knew that when they rented and accept those restrictions, but some then claim that they should be able to live there forever.

          Now, maybe if they were good tenants and paid a market rent, their LL would be happy for them to stay. Good tenants who pay their way are highly desirable.

          But rent control ruins all that and ensures that the longer that TT is there, the greater the disconnect between their rent and the market rent.

          Realistically, even those who buy their own home typically move a few times. Tenants should reasonably expect to move more often that that.

          • marcos

            Most tenants and landlords get along just fine with rent control. It is the speculators who want to bust through the protections.

          • John

            No, rent control has ruined the normally affable relationships between LL’s and Tt’s.

          • marcos

            Most folks I know who are tenants have affable relationships with their landlords. We sure did when we rented, once we out maneuvered the scumbag who was subletting to us at a massive profit and had no rent increases for 8 years after that. It all ends when old time San Francisco land owners cash out and the financialized speculators take over.

          • John

            Not all tenants are scumbags like that. I’ve had over 100 tenants and most of them were decent people with lives, meaning that they didn’t act like they had a lifelong lease and moved on when appropriate.

            But it only takes a few “lifer loser” tenants crowing endlessly about their rights to ruin a rental building. And it is for them that Mister Ellis pays house calls.

            A few bad apples spoil it things for everyone.

          • marcos

            There was no spoiling. Once the malefactor was removed from the equation, we handled our business like adults and it worked out quite well until he cashed out.

          • John

            One thing that LL’s and TT’s can probably agree on is that master tenants who try and profit from that situation are slime.

            As for cashing out, that is exactly what is happening now. I’ve done it myself to a large extent, and mostly without evicting anyone.

            The problem isn’t the cashflows and ROI, which can be good with astute management. Rather it is the political uncertainty around this issue.

            So LL’s are selling and Ellis’ing now because they can and, in a few year’s time that option may not be available.

            The danger is that pro-tenant zealots become so successful that the rental sector continues to diminish. It’s called killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

          • landline

            Are you still going to deny that you are the same compulsive commenter who tries to dominate the sfbg.com comment pages and has had a similar effect there–instigating flame wars and diminshing the level of discourse? Because you are repeating old arguments with marcos virtually verbatim.

            Why don’t you take Lydia Chavez’ advice and give it a rest, for everyone’s sake? Or try to meet marcos personally and act positively on your weird obsession with him?

            I called it back in October when you first showed up–flame wars, personal attacks, concern trolling, name calling, etc., etc.
            Is there a 12 step program yet for obsessive negative internet commentary? If not, you might want to start the first chapter.

          • John

            landline, I have seen no advice from Lydia here.

            But I imagine that she is dismayed that I try and debate the issues here and people keep making personal attacks.

            Of course, that tells me that I am winning the debate but I feel sure that ML would prefer that you attack the message and not the messenger.

  16. Rickshaw

    ironic these are the same people who gentrified the mission from working class Latino to service industry white…

    • John

      Many of those gentrifiers are Hispanic. It’s really a non issue – most people want to see an improved neighborhood with less crime and squalor and more success and prosperity.

  17. poor.ass.millionaire

    I lifted this from another blog on rent control:

    “I have plenty of friends well north of $100K salary (and some >200K, and 1 google friend with >millions in cash and a house in tahoe and Cabo) in rent controlled apts that they will never give up.”

    So how do you’allz feel about that?

    • John

      Yes, there is little correlation between those who benefit from rent control and those who need help with housing.

      Rent control is great for tenants who don’t move, landlords who can induce turnover and a whole army of lawyers, activists and city workers who have non-jobs as a result.

      A failed and bankrupt policy.

    • nutrisystem

      Is this tale of wealthy people never having enough supposed to be an argument for the abolition of rent control?

      • John

        How so? All I saw there was a reference to a blog where, apparently, rich tenants brag about abusing rent control for their own gain.

      • poor.ass.millionaire

        Jenny,

        1- it’s not a “tale”, but specific anecdotal info.
        2- “wealthy people never having enough” is your warped, biased view.
        3- yes, RC benefits too many people that don’t need it. Did I say abolish it? No. How about means testing it?

        Try not being so damn reactionary.

  18. marcos

    I think that the writing on the wall is pretty clear. One side has a persistent and effective propaganda apparatus and political machine that is sharp and well funded, the other side has dull blades and is reduced to is relying on gains made by others decades ago, and is behaving like bewildered farm animals in the face of challenge.

    • John

      You are giving these protesters too much credit there :-)

      • marcos

        From the protesters to organized labor to the nonprofits to the electeds, they’re right on the policies but politically are deer in the headlamps, wholly incapable of offering up coherent and effective political resistance. On the other hand, you are wrong on the policy but have resources to command an effective political presence.

        • John

          The words “right” and “wrong” have no meaning here. That’s like saying it’s right to support the red sox and wrong to support the Yankees.

          What matters is what the majority want and think.

          • marcos

            What matters is the political power brought to the table on any given day.

          • John

            Yes, like I said, “right” and “wrong” have nothing to do with it because those are subjective value judgments.

            However power derives from the people and so if your ideas are not popular, you will find that you have no power to implement them.

          • marcos

            Me commenting is subjective.

            Democracy has been corrupted, all that matters is who wins elections by whatever means necessary. Short of that, you get your clock cleaned. Developers have been very good at buying candidate elections, that is why the neighborhood has been rezoned for luxury condos. But that they can elect candidates who carry their water but don’t really run on densifying San Francisco does not mean, as evidenced by 8 Washington, that anything more than a minority of voters supports their purchased policies. Such are the ambiguities of single member district elections. Now the way to win citywide is pretty clear, progressives have built up structures of prejudice to ensure that they cannot find common ground with anyone but themselves and even then it is difficult. So we might see some ballot measures that fiddle around the edges for crumbs. But short of conceptualizing an electoral programme that appeals to a majority of voters, whatever that means under IRV, progressivism is doomed.

          • John

            You endlessly analyze the reasons why the far left cannot get what it wants and construct ever more elaborate conspiracy theories.

            When the real truth is much simpler. most people do not buy what you are selling.

            So for example, most people want to see businesses succeed, new homes built, and their tax burden limited. So they vote for Lee over Avalos.

            You try and rationalize that every which way because the truth is too hard for you to take.

          • marcos

            Typical troll technique. It is not the “far left agenda” that is at play here, it is ending the corruption of the Brown/Newsom/Lee machine that sucks the public sector dry via claims on bond proceeds and capital contracts and gives the City away to developers. The voters weighed in on this 2:1 on election day, it is not far left anything.

          • John

            Brown, Newson and Lee were all elected by the people.

            You were not and never would be

          • marcos

            Newsom and Lee cheated.

          • John

            No they did not. But it makes you feel better to believe that because you cannot admit to yourself that your policies could ever be unpopular and lose.

          • marcos

            There is pretty clear evidence of both, in 2003 Brown had the Department of Elections depart from their absentee ballot mail calendar working with only the Newsom campaign on that. Lee’s campaign clearly broke election law by using nonprofits to “facilitate” voting. You love it when corruption works to your advantage.

          • John

            Losers always make excuses and, for the left, that means invoking conspiracy theories.

            Newsom and Lee won by such huge margins that any ambiguity at the margins would have made no material differences.

            And of course if Ammiano and Avalos had won, you’d be claiming it was the will of the people instead.

            But of course they came nowhere near winning because their/your polices are not popular enough – an inconvenient truth for you.

            With all the practice that you have had with losing, people could be forgiven for thinking you could handle defeat better by now.

          • marcos

            So you are saying that cheating is okay if you win. Gotcha.

          • John

            Your idea is cheating. My idea is legal. Big difference.

            Readers can clearly understand why 99% of D6 voters rejected the idea of you holding public office.

          • marcos

            You really need to consult a professional for medication so that you can sustain context between posts of a thread. Either you have a learning disability or you are a poorly programmed bot.

          • John

            I always know when Marcos is conceding defeat because he resorts to personal attacks.

          • marcos

            Poorly programmed bot it is.

          • John

            You can brag about your programming prowess when you can afford better than a condo on one of the worst blocks in the Mission, while coders half your age are buying multi-million dollar homes with their IPO proceeds.

            Oh, and how did that job application go in Holland? Oh yeah, that’s right, they rejected you.

          • marcos

            You really need to seek mental health treatment from a mental health professional for your mental illness.

          • John

            Where is your refutation?

            ML seeks civil debate of the issues and not personal attacks.

          • landline

            Sorry Ed. I am violating your advice, but the set up is too good.

            You are your own refutation.

            “ML seeks civil debate of the issues and not personal attacks” follows this:

            “You can brag about your programming prowess when you can afford better than a condo on one of the worst blocks in the Mission, while coders half your age are buying multi-million dollar homes with their IPO proceeds.

            Oh, and how did that job application go in Holland? Oh yeah, that’s right, they rejected you.”

            Can you say “restraining order?”

          • John

            I am NEVER the first to engage in personal attacks and insults. I always start out focusing on the issues and the facts.

            But if you or marcos get personal (it’s mostly you two, and kaliman and fyodor to a lesser extent) then I will slap you down verbally.

            It baffles me that supposedly tolerant SF progressives are so quick to get angry and to become intolerant of any contrary viewpoint.

          • landline

            You are delusional. You describe any person who advocates for rent control as a loser who lacks fiscal power. Your bring race and ethnicity into almost every discussion and then claim that you are the aggrieved party because you belong to the dominant socio-economic group. The list goes on and on. Name calling and personal attack are your raison d’etre and extreme attention seeking behavior.

            You list four people (including me) from the top of your head with whom you have instigated deteriorating flame wars. Until your arrival here, such flame wars were uncommon. The adversaries you list aren’t getting into flame wars with other people. You are the problem here.

          • John

            I recommend that you follow your own advice and ignore any poster here whose writings do not interest you.

            We cannot control what others say – only our own response to it. If someone (anyone) here has political views that make you angry, then it would be better for you to not engage them.

            Nobody here makes me angry, although some here amuse me. Therefore I do not share your problem.

  19. Christina

    Here’s a video from said apartment.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-9wdKNLMcI

    • John

      So, a few dozen people at most?

      I bet there were more people in each taco joint the protest passed on the way there.

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      White people hating on other white people. What a shame.

      • John

        The condo owner should at least have thrown some crumbs and leftovers of food at the feet of the assembled peasant rabble.

        Noblesse oblige.

  20. Jon

    “Many carried signs urging for an end to evictions, high rents or new condo development”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

  21. zouaf

    This is what happens when you build very little new housing for decades: there isn’t enough to go around, and rich people start buying up poor-people houses and renovating them with fancy marble kitchens and shiny new appliances. What did you expect when it’s impossible to build anything new?

    Here is what the protesters misunderstand: they think this is about justice. It’s not, it’s about policy. When the ramshackle building around the corner from me with 5 or 6 working class families gets sold (there’s a big orange FOR SALE sign out front) and the families are evicted and the building demolished, it will be the result of policy, not injustice. Policy matters, and protest marches are spectacularly ineffectual by comparison.

    • John

      Exactly, zouaf. The tragic thing here is that the same people who whine that there is no affordable housing are also the same people who oppose 8-Washington, the building next to Marsh theater and every other new project that would help soak up demand.

      Then they cannot understand why their building gets converted to TIC’s and sold to tech workers.

      There is a political element in this town that is riddled with envy and cannot abide that someone somewhere has more than them.

      It’s class warfare and it never housed anyone.

    • marcos

      The capital was not in place in the 1990s and 2000s to finance the construction of the level of housing you claim was inhibited.

      • John

        The capital would have been there if the returns has been there and the regulations had been more conducive to new supply of homes.

  22. rodzzz

    if only these gringo transplants were here a few years ago they would realize the apartment complex they are protesting was previously occupied by: an abandoned warehouse! and it also features low-income housing.

    my question is who was displaced when the protestors decided the mission was cool for white people 8 years ago?

  23. Jeff

    I don’t get it. Why should the working people of San Francisco subsidize several thousand random people to live in a building someone else would otherwise pay more for? We are basically subsidizing businesses that pay a sub-standard wage so that they can have workers in this city. The owners (think the 1%) of these businesses – Starbucks, Gap, etc., can now pay their workers less. An amazing, brilliant move to benefit the super-rich that don’t even live here.

    • John

      Most US businesses are not owned by this alleged mythical “one percent”.

      They are in fact owned by you and I through out mutual funds, IRA’s and 401K plans

      The dirty ugly secret is that we are all the one percent.

      • AnotherJohn

        I think you might have skipped some math classes in school, son. There is of course a top 1% and a bottom 99%, and group membership is mutually exclusive.

        • John

          There’s always a top percentile of anything. My point was that the majority ownership of US shares is with the institutions, which are you and me via mutual funds, IRA’s, 401K’s, insurance products and so on.

          BTW, over one third of Americans are in the global top one percent, and probably 2/3 of all SF’ers. It’s not that rare or unusual.

  24. Mister Big

    These protestors lost me with threats to shoot cops and burn down homes. Screw them. They’re disgusting.

    • John

      Indeed. What right-minded citizen would want people like that to have any political power or influence?

      • A.T. Lupian

        Ah, John! Your plutocratic point of view is very refreshing. We should most certainly strip the leather jacketed kids and hipsters of their “political power or influence”. Moreover, these kids’ destructive cries and arsonist motivations needs to countered. We, as in you, me, and the Valencia Corridor type should assemble our own protest calling for the beginning of the end of our Mission District gentrification coup d’état. We will call it the OS x Marina (2.0 version). Nevertheless, I, on behalf of all Mission District landlords, delegate you with the geographical renaming duty. Let are reign begin.

  25. kdeff

    Can anyone speak to the effect the City’s lack of construction (posed by the voters of San Francisco) has had on this general issue?

    In my mind, it is almost entirely the voters (namely the “preservationists”) whose lack of foresight has brought it to this. If I understand right, there is a strong opposition to new construction (not just in the Mission, in fact I am speaking more about SOMA) which has led to stringent height limits on buildings that are near impossible to work around.

    We can not just stop the supply and demand of the housing market. That will have many other repercussions, which is why these protests really aren’t effective. What we can do is add to the supply of housing, as they have (finally) started doing now in SOMA. Unfortunately now it is too late, and many looking to move to the City have already settled in and displaced many in other neighborhoods such as the Mission. It will be years, maybe even decades, before construction catches up to demand at the current pace. I personally think we need to embrace the “Manhattanization” of downtown SF and Soma. Yes, SF is not NYC and it has its own culture, but do you really feel that in Soma? Most cities would kill for the demand we currently have here. In stead of arguing over it I say we welcome it and use it to our advantage. SF is changing and needs to embrace its new place in the world among the likes of Chicago and NYC.

    • John

      The two Rincom Hill towers are huge by SF standards and yet, in that location, look fine and make a great deal of sense.

      We could build high-rise residential towers from SOMA and the NE Mission down the Bay coast as far as Candlestick and potentially house another 100,000 people, driving down rents and home prices.

      That is how to fix the problem that the government has caused i.e. get government out of the way.

      • nutrisystem

        They’ll look a lot smaller after a magnitude 8 earthquake.

        And then the libertarian types will be moaning “how could the government have allowed such buildings next to active geological faults?”

        • John

          You probably were not here in 1989 but the tower blocks did just fine. Their foundations go way down.

          It was the smaller, older buildings that got creamed.

          Are you arguing for us to abandon SF because it is in an earthquake zone? Do you never enter tall buildings?

          • nutrisystem

            John, I fully support you moving into a deluxe super-high-rise. The views and concierge services will be great and all your neighbors will be like-minded tycoons.

            And you’re probably right – it will be the safest place to be when the big one hits. Just try not to think about the collapse of several mid-rise structures in the 1995 Kobe (mere 6.8) earthquake.

          • John

            So your point is that SF’s building codes in 2013 are the same as those of Kobe, Japan in 1995?

            Really?

            The best building to be in in a quake is the most recent one to be built, because quake codes are continually made stricter and stronger.

            It’s those 4-unit buildings over an unsupported garage in the filled creek and lake beds of the Mission that you need to worry about.

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