John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The activists want officials to spend football funds on poverty instead.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is making good on his promise that the homeless “have to leave the street” for Super Bowl 50. So-called “hot teams” have been prodding encampments to move, spurring activists to set up a GoFundMe page to buy the homeless more tents.
But last evening saw the birth of yet another tent city right in downtown, and a corresponding (and humongous) police response. The “occupants” were protesters demanding the local government funnel $5 million—roughly how much it’s paying to host the Super Bowl—toward help for the downtrodden. Here’s more from their Facebook page:
We, the people of San Francisco, demand that Super Bowl City and Ed Lee pay and invest $5 million right now in housing - we could house 500 people immediately with that money.…
We want an end to the criminalization of poverty and the continued violations of poor people's civil and human rights. All resources currently being used for law enforcement of anti-homeless laws must be immediately re-directed to housing and support services.
The protest is the latest act of disruption in what protesters are calling “10 days of autonomous action.” They’re also planning a march the day before the game into Super Bowl City, a temporary tourist attraction that local site 48hills describes as a “corporate theme park that would be much more at home in some Mall of America than at the foot of Market Street in one of the world’s great cities.”