A number of prominent voices in the tech scene have seized the Cash App founder’s death as an opportunity to slam San Francisco as a violent hellscape.
Critical Resistance’s Campaigns & Projects Director, Mohamed Shehk, was interviewed by Wilfred Chan of Fast Company:
“Supporters of criminal justice reform fear that’s a sign that the city could be caving to fearmongering. That includes Mohamed Shehk, an organizer with the anti-imprisonment group Critical Resistance, who led a successful movement to shut down a notorious San Francisco jail in 2020. Despite the city’s progressive reputation, the rise of tech wealth has caused a ‘marked shift in the rhetoric to one that pushes and advocates for the criminalization of people, for people to be displaced, for people to be thrown away in cages,’ he tells Fast Company.
But ‘these calls for more imprisonment, coming from the likes of Elon Musk, are actually calls for more of the system of racist control and exclusion of communities that are most marginalized,’ Shehk says. To create a truly safe San Francisco, ‘we really need to address, structurally, what sits at the foundation, which is deep investment in things like housing, healthcare, education, meaningful employment—the basic necessities that communities need to not just survive, but thrive.'”