- The move displaced eight unhoused people, who lost belongings and cash.
Non Plus Ultra, a San Francisco events company that owns many venues including The Midway, has come under fire for conducting an independent sweep of a tent encampment outside one of its venues.
As the San Francisco Public Press reports, Non Plus Ultra conducted a sweep outside of its venue SVN West last week, on September 10th, removing tents and belongings ahead of a TechCrunch conference at the space. (TechCrunch has distanced itself from the sweep, saying it did not "take part in or request" the move, and do not condone it.)
The middle-of-the-night tent sweep was not sanctioned by the city, but was reportedly not stopped or interrupted by officers of the San Francisco Police Department who were on the scene. It reportedly displaced eight unhoused people who were living in the area, and separated them from their belongings, including money, clothing, musical instruments and other personal items.
The city of San Francisco has not conducted encampment sweeps since the pandemic hit the region, citing health reasons.
Non Plus Ultra partner Peter Glikshtern had reportedly approached people living in the encampment prior to the sweep and warned them that they had to move. The unhoused people requested that Glikshtern go through the city's official processes so they could receive hotel vouchers or other relocation services, and had begun cleaning up the camp before the sudden sweep happened. Residents also claim there was a physical altercation with Glikshtern as they tried to defend or retrieve their belongings.
Non Plus Ultra defended the move in a statement to the San Francisco Public Press, saying they had reached out to the city's Department Of Public Works over 50 times, as well as the Police Department. They also called the encampment "a serious health, safety and fire hazard."
"I've been here since March 18 in this very frigging spot. They took everything," resident Jeffery McLemore told the Public Press. "They didn't leave not one thing."
Read the full story on San Francisco Public Press.