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San Francisco's guerrilla protest at Google buses swells into revolt

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Google bus protestGoogle's corporate mantra may be to do no evil, but to a determined band of activists in San Francisco the company could just be the devil incarnate.

Corporate buses that Google and other tech companies lay on to ferry their workers from the city to Silicon Valley, 30 or 40 miles to the south, are being targeted by an increasingly assertive guerrilla campaign of disruption. Over the last two months, a groundswell of discontent over the privatisation of the Bay Area's transport system has erupted into open revolt.

Well organised protesters have blocked buses, unfurled banners and distributed flyers to tech commuters who have seemed either nonplussed, embarrassed or downright terrified. And this could be just the beginning.

"We're in the planning process for the next protest," one of the organisers, Erin McRory, told the Observer. "We're trying to stay creative with each one, not just repeat over and over."

Just before Christmas, a window was smashed on a Google bus in Oakland, across the San Francisco Bay. Last week, protesters doorstepped a Google engineer who they claimed was involved in working with the government to develop eavesdropping techniques and "war robots" for the military. "Anthony Levandowski is building an unconscionable world of surveillance, control and automation," they wrote on flyers left near his house. "He is also your neighbour."

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