Capitalism has caused a massive artificial scarcity of housing in San Francisco. Since the mid-1990's it has become more expensive to rent an apartment here than in any other city in the United States. Housing shouldn't be a commodity--and nothing else should be, either. This should be the rallying cry of all real housing activists everywhere.

One central aspect of this has been the invasion of working class neighborhoods like San Francisco's Mission District by bourgeois scumbags. In response to this, I came up with the idea for the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project.

Between June 1998 and early 1999 friends and I put up roughly 1100 of these first MYEP posters. When your posters are provocative they will get trashed or torn down more quickly, so I went back again and again until I was convinced that the message had achieved a 'saturation point!'

The first of my Mission Yuppie Eradication Project posters had a much greater impact than any other effort I've been involved in. That was because they targeted cars; nothing is more fundamental to a contemporary American's sense of who they are, and their place in the cosmos, than their car. Targeting yuppie cars telegraphed the message like nothing else could. The posters communicated an extremist message without using Marxist or anarchist buzz-words. They take what at first appears to be a mindless form of urban vandalism and reveal its underlying potential significance, one that has much in common with similar actions in the workplace:

   "Since these acts are outside the boundaries of all economic planning, they are also outside the boundaries of all economic planning, they are also outside the boundaries of "reason." Newspapers have repeatedly defined them as "anti-social" and "mad": the danger appears important enough for society to try to suppress it...Destructive acts are part of an attempt to destroy the mediation of wage labor as the only form of social community. In the silence of the proletariat, sabotage appears as the first stammer of human speech."

   Gile Dauve, writing as Jean Barrot, in Eclipse and Re-emergence of the Communist Movement.

The Yuppie Eradication Project posters played a key role in catalyzing widespread neighborhood resistance to the gentrification of San Francisco's Mission District (demos and public meetings) in 1999, and during the summer of 2000. I base this on what many other people have told me; people on the street, housing activists, and bourgeois journalists, and not just on wishful thinking on my part.


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Mission Yuppie Eradication Project