About 20 people celebrated a victory Thursday afternoon in front of the Oakland building where Uber’s new headquarters is being built because Uber’s CEO and founder stepped down from President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council.
At 4 p.m. at 19th Street and Broadway the group celebrated Travis Kalanick’s decision and said they are putting other companies on notice that they won’t tolerate companies trying to benefit from their relationship to Trump.
Members of the group attributed their success to the pressure they put on Uber by deleting accounts with the company.
Members of the group chanted:
“Ain’t no power like the power of people.”
They were part of such groups as the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy and Causa Justa Just Cause.
Executive director, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Kate O’Hara said in a statement:
“Any corporation that seeks to profit from its relationship to Trump and the pain being inflicted on our communities can expect that we are going to take to the streets and take our dollars elsewhere.”
Organizers of the celebration said Uber tried last weekend to benefit from Trump’s executive order on immigration when drivers operated in the midst of a boycott by taxi drivers. That’s when people started deleting their accounts with Uber, according to the celebration’s organizers.
Many saw the executive order as a ban on Muslims. O’Hara called Trump’s policies, “misogynistic, racist and xenophobic.”
Causa Justa Just Cause lead organizer Robbie Clark told fellow protesters:
“Trump is not about the values that we’re about.”
Uber officials confirmed that Kalanick took himself off the council. In an email to employees today, Kalanick told them that he spoke with the president and said he could not participate on the council.
Kalanick also wrote:
“Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”
Kalanick explained that decision has created a gap between who people think Uber and its workers are and who the Uber team really is. Also, staying on the council was going to get in the way of Uber advocating for change on immigration issues, according to Kalanick.
Trump’s executive order on immigration, which drew protests at airports around the country last weekend, including in San Francisco, is hurting people across America, Kalanick added.
“Families are being separated, people are stranded overseas and there’s growing fear the U.S. is no longer a place that welcomes immigrants.”
Uber’s success is due in part because of its openness to refugees and immigration.