Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose says that his San Francisco home was visited by protesters today, who held up a banner calling him a “parasite” and distributed leaflets with the same message.
What did he do to deserve this? Well, he invested in startups.
Rose posted a photo on Instagram of what he said was a flyer distributed to his neighbors. It says, in part:
As a partner venture capitalist at Google Ventures, Kevin directs the flow of capital from Google into the tech startup bubble that is destroying San Francisco. The start-ups that he funds bring the swarms of young entrepreneurs that have ravaged the landscapes of San Francisco and Oakland.
The flyer claims to speak for the service workers who “serve them coffee, deliver them food, suck their cocks [?], watch their kids, and mop their floors” and goes on to complain that most techies are “just like Kevin Rose,” though again, it’s short on specific criticisms, aside from pointing out that techies make a lot of money.
This is far from the first protest to focus on the impact of the tech boom on San Francisco, but the ones I’ve heard about until now have focused on companies and the industry as a whole (the Google Bus program is a popular target), rather than targeting individuals at home.
While Rose didn’t sound happy about the protest, he also tweeted, “I did agree w/ them that we need to solve rising rents, keep the SF culture, and crack down on landlords booting folks out.” I’ve reached out to Rose (who’s a contributor to TechCrunch through his Foundation video interview series) for additional comment and will update if I hear back. I’d contact the protesters as well, but as far as I can tell, there’s no specific organization claiming responsibility.
Update: A post on the activist website Indybay from “The Counterforce” offers more details about why Rose in particular was targeted. It starts a photo of the protest with a banner declaring “IMA SNIP SNIP YR BALLZ [smiley face], then goes through his history as an entrepreneur and an investor, concluding:
To this end, we now make our first clear demand of Google. We demand that Google give three billion dollars to an anarchist organization of our choosing. This money will then be used to create autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. In these communities, whether in San Francisco or in the woods, no one will ever have to pay rent and housing will be free. With this three billion from Google, we will solve the housing crisis in the Bay Area and prove to the world that an anarchist world is not only possible but in fact irrepressible. If given the chance, most humans will pursue a course towards increased freedom and greater liberty. As it stands, only people like Kevin Rose are given the opportunity to reshape their world, and look at what they do with those opportunities.
[image via Instagram/Kevin Rose]