This is going to be interesting. The "techie scum" who are moving into and gentrifying various parts of San Franciso and Oakland have had a few months of their buses being blocked and Google Glass ripped off their faces, but now the local residents have decided to up the ante and attack the businesses that serve the gentrifyers. Four high-end grocery stores were tagged with graffiti demanding that they clear out of town:
Milgrom and his workers spent the day cleaning graffiti from all four stores. He says this isn't the first time it's happened. Recently windows have been broken as well.I suppose it's quite a clever strategy; don't go after individuals, because if they move out then others will just replace them. Instead target the aspects of the area that they like and that you don't like. I wonder who will be the next target: Chi-chi cocktail joints? Places that sell coats for small dogs?
Looking at the reviews for the local market part of the business you can see its target market: its provisions include lamb ragu, Japanese pumpkin and duck confit. This is clearly not catering to low-income locals. The fact that it's a group of four establishments means that you can amplify your message and make it clear that this isn't just some random graffiti - the owners are left in no doubt that they are being targeted. The Local's Corner restaurant part of the business has a negative review giving more clues:
Funny that this place is called Local's Corner, as it's a new restaurant that is part of the gentrification of the Mission and thus directly involved in displacing long-term residents (ie, locals)Apparently the opposite of gentrification is "neighbourhood decay" but I'm sure there should be a snappier term for it; I'm plumping for "communirot".
Local communirotter Mary Magee of "Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment" (who needs better branding) is not a big fan of the establishment, claiming that groups of "people of color" are not welcome at Local's:
Magee said ACEE [sic] is asking people to boycott all four stores, claiming people in the area have complained that they were told to leave or turned away because they didn't fit the restaurant's clientele. [...] Magee went on to say the Local brand also has a high price point, which ACEE feels is a form of gentrification because many of those living in the area can't afford it.Judging by Mary's Facebook page she's as white as they come and painfully right-on. Her colleague Julien Ball is possibly even more of a cliche: anti-Israel, anti-death-penalty, active on change.org, anti-discriminatory-lending... I find it amusing that Mary and Julien chooses to speak for the "people of color" rather than, say, letting them speak for themselves. But it becomes clearer when the article reports that ACCE wants Local to hold "sensitivity training". How nice for poor bespectacled owner Yaron Milgrom:
Milgrom told KTVU he fell in love with the area because of its diversity. He can't believe he is now being accused of not embracing it.Oh, believe it Yaron. If you're lucky, this is merely a shakedown operation to whip you into line and make it clear that the community activists in the area are in charge. If you're unlucky, they've taken a dislike to you and you're going to have to sell up and eat a huge loss (for what sane gentrifying business would want to take your place in the firing line?) or be run out of town on a rail.