‘No Google in San Jo’

Plans for a big new Google campus in Downtown San Jose – one that would require extensive re-zoning and loosening of regulations over building heights – met protests on Tuesday, leading to several arrests, reports the Mercury News:

The council returned to empty chambers, with police directing everyone but staff and press to what had been an overflow room to watch a livestream of the deliberations, fueling criticism that the city was operating behind closed doors.

Residents are unhappy, not least with their elected officials who seemed to bow to Google’s demands for secrecy on the project by signing non-disclosure agreements preventing them from discussing it until Google was ready.

Google’s view on the protest:

“We’ve learned their aspirations as well as their fears,” Golan said, adding that the company is committed to prioritizing housing.

“We’re at the beginning of a long road.”

Locals having none of it:

Several residents pointed to sky-high rent prices in Mountain View, where the tech giant is headquartered, and other cities up the Peninsula.

The project, said Emily Taina, a San Jose resident, “will benefit the wealthy white men who can afford to move here.”