PHOTOS: Silicon Valley's Low-Income Residents Rally on Google Campus, Expose Corporation to Rise in Local Poverty
Silicon Valley's homeless, disabled, and elderly marched 30 miles from East San Jose to Google's headquarters in Mountain View to bring attention to the rise in poverty locally as the corporation avoids paying billions in taxes through offshore shell companies. They called the march "Heal the Valley." When arriving at Google, the group, lead by the Community Homeless Alliance Ministry, also united with the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) for an action: chanting, drumming, and praying in the middle of Google's lunch patio. The marchers held a similar rally at Apple's headquarters the day before. Marchers say their Heal the Valley pilgrimage will continue to meet and organize to challenge the growing inequity in Silicon Valley. Photography by Charisse Domingo.
The normally serene campus during lunchtime was greeted by the sounds of drums and chants. Homeless families and low-income seniors were the main organizers and participants of this march.
Google employees walk by the marchers as they head into their campus.
Pastor Scott Wagers of CHAM (Community Homeless Alliance Ministry) tells Google employees, “We’re not here to bash Google. We’re here to expose you to the poverty that exists right in our backyard of Silicon Valley.”
Before entering the Google campus, marchers circle for a blessing as Google employees in their colorful bikes whizz by.
March organizer Sandy Perry has long been an advocate for the poor and homeless in Silicon Valley, and says the march has evolved into a movement that will continue to challenge income and wealth disparities.
Marchers set up tents facing the Google campus, similar to the ones they use to sleep in in San Jose's "tent cities", while workers play foozball in the background.
Over 40 homeless families, elders, and individuals on fixed incomes marched the full 30 miles.. The marchers united with SEIU, who are asking the tech industry use unionized security firms. Google and Apple are currently contracting with non-union security firms that do not offer health benefits, a livable wage, or job stability.
I'am greatful to debug& C.H.A.M for the community awareness that they put out I too was faced with a rent increase of 700.00 dallors .due to the section 8 sequester shortly there after facing eviction .Mr perry suggested I call mental health advocacy project .in the outcome my problem was resolved in my favor .thanks again
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