Demonstrators blocked the entrance of Uber’s corporate headquarters in San Francisco Friday morning in protest of CEO Travis Kalanick’s connection to President Donald Trump, whose inauguration was taking place at the same time across the country in Washington, D.C.
The group of 40 to 50 demonstrators chained themselves to the building’s entrances, preventing any employees from entering. The protestors also blocked off Market Street, one of downtown San Francisco’s central traffic arteries, for a time, holding large signs that read “Uber collaborates with Trump” and “SF resists Trump.” Demonstrators also pinned signs to their clothes that read “Uber collaborates, we resist.”
Kalanick would seem at first like an unlikely target for Trump opponents’ ire. He has been on record in favor of Obamacare (which Trump has vowed to dismantle) and of a tax hike on the wealthy (Trump plans to reduce top income tax rates). In October 2015, Kalanick had joked to a group of college students that “I’m going to move to China if Trump wins,” according to the Washington Post.
However, Kalanick upset many in December when he was added to then President-elect Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. The forum, which also includes Elon Musk of Tesla (TSLA) and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase (JPM), among others, is expected to meet frequently with the president to offer advice as he tries to advance his economic goals.
The protest was one of several that occurred in San Francisco Friday morning, causing several disruptions in traffic and mass transit. Trump won just 9.4% of the vote in San Francisco County in November, to 85.5% for Hillary Clinton, according to Associated Press data tabulated by the San Francisco Chronicle.
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Several arrests had been reported by local media as of 3:00 ET. In a statement, the company said, “Just as we worked with the Obama Administration, we’ll work with the Trump Administration, too.”