By Ken Stone
Renters and labor leaders say they’ll stage “COVID-safe” protests outside the homes of San Diego millionaires and billionaires Wednesday including real estate developer Doug Manchester and UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
“After decades of rising inequality — and a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color, threatened vital public services and left millions out of work — low-income Black and Brown Californians … will mount peaceful protests around the state to demand California’s billionaires work to ensure a just recovery for all,” said the release.
Wednesday morning, an “updated” release dropped from the list Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs.
Jose Lopez, a spokesman for the protest, said about 50 cars were expected, which would only honk as they moved through neighborhoods. He said he learned of the list change from Grace Martinez, executive director of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE.
“I don’t know the exact details, but we did hear from someone … that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go visit [Jacobs] today,” he told Times of San Diego. “It could have been some of the union (leaders).”
Sylvia Moore of ACCE added via email: “For today, our organizers decided they were covering enough ground with the others.”
Lopez said Chancellor Khosla was targeted due to layoffs at UC San Diego, Contreras because he’s a “slumlord in Linda Vista” and Manchester for his wealth and to highlight his being a “huge Trump supporter.”
UCSD, Manchester, Sara Jacobs (Irwin’s granddaughter) and Contreras’ company didn’t respond to requests for comment.
A press conference is set for 11:15 a.m. at the Revelle College parking Lot (UCSD Parking Lot 103) followed by a car caravan.
Protests at home are set for 11:30 a.m to noon by renters, workers and community/labor leaders of AFSCME 3299, ACCE, SEIU USWW, UAW 2865 and the San Diego Tenants Union.
“All told, California’s 161 billionaires have increased their wealth by more than $180 billion … since mid-March,” organizers contend.
“Community members and workers will stage COVID-safe protests in some of California’s wealthiest ZIP codes and outside the mansions of some of the nation’s well-known billionaires, including Elon Musk, Bruce Karsh … and Phil Tagami.”
The groups seeks an end to what they call the “looting by corporate billionaires” and demand that they “respect the lives of their workers and pay their fair share in taxes to invest in programs desperately needed by Californians to thrive, such as affordable housing, access to healthcare, good education, workplace protections and a Just Recovery for All.”
The July 1 protest — timed to mark the next round of rent payments due — builds on the ongoing nationwide #CancelRent movement and coincides with current protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
“While more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic began, California billionaires have increased their wealth by $181 billion since March and have been buoyed by the billions more in public subsidies they’ve amassed in recent years,” said a news release.
Meanwhile, the San Diego City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday to extend the city’s moratorium on commercial and residential evictions until the end of September amid high unemployment rates during the coronavirus pandemic.
Updated at 10:41 a.m. July 1, 2020
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