We can imagine punk rock elder statesmen Jello Biafra stewing in a San Francisco bunker, plotting a course of resistance with each passing Google bus and tech headline. This week, he sounded off on “dot commies” and a pending “dotcom holocaust” in an interview with the North Bay Bohemian newspaper.
“It’s no big secret, but we’re under a full, Vladimir Putin–size assault from another generation of ‘dot commies’ trying to take over and gentrify the town and bulldoze out people of lower income, people of color, service workers and, of course, artists and musicians,” he told the Santa Rosa alt-weekly.
The outspoken former front man and co-founder of seminal punk band Dead Kennedys was speaking with the newspaper before his show there tomorrow with his latest band Guantanamo School of Medicine, but it seems most of the conversation focused on the current state of affairs on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and recent gentrification in the Mission and other SF neighborhoods.
“One of the ways they get away with it is that several of these giant tech firms have started their own bus systems—yuppies only—to ferry their precious drones to and from ‘Silly Clone Valley’ to their playground in the Mission district,” he says. “It means it’s that much easier for people who might otherwise live down there to live here and drive up the rent.”
It’s typical Biafra political theater—he ran for mayor of San Francisco back in his punk rock glory days—but his claims ring true as more working class residents, bands, artists and other creative types find themselves forced out of San Francisco to cheaper locales.
“The last dotcom holocaust happened when Willie Brown was mayor and his puppet planning commission rubber-stamped every last gentrification/eviction project they could get their hands on,” he says. “And now, the current mayor [Ed Lee] might as well be Willie Brown Mini Me. [Lee] pretty much lets Willie and crew tell him what to do. So once again its full speed ahead to wipe out affordable housing and sterilize the town.”