Watch CBS News

'People Need to Eat!' Protesters Demand Mayor Breed Reopen Outdoor Dining in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Protesters gathered for a loud and noisy demonstration outside San Francisco mayor London Breed's home on Sunday.

Demonstrators want the mayor to reopen outdoor dining. They chanted "Open SF now!" "The people need to eat!" and other slogans. Protesters said they're fighting for the little guys like the cooks who can't work from home and the low-wage servers who can't pay their rents.

"The money is not enough. The money is not enough for a family of four -- especially in San Francisco -- when the rent is too high," said Adrian Cruz, a restaurant server who has been on unemployment since March. He and many workers worried they'll be homeless once unemployment runs out.

"Please London Breed, Gov. Newsom, we beg you to open the business," Cruz pleaded.

About 40 to 50 people demonstrated in the rain. Some said this was their first protest on any issue.

"Devastated, devastated. I've had pretty bad depression, anxiety. My mental suffering, everybody's mental suffering, is bad. If you own a business, it's been horrible. These are the darkest months I've ever had in my entire life," said Danielle Rabkin, who owns CrossFit Golden Gate.

She said her business has a lot of debt. She had been only allowed to use her gym four months out of this year. She said her bills are piling up and most of the members have left.

"I've been a business owner for eight and a half years. I've been running this business. It's been leveled to the ground. I actually thought about leaving the city. I'm watching the city burn to the ground. I'm watching all of my members leave. I don't have much of a reason to stay anymore," Rabkin said.

She said the San Francisco health order is too restrictive and lacks contact-tracing data.

"Show me the contact-tracing data that shows transmission is happening there and then I will shut my doors! Until then, let me earn a living," Rabkin said.

Many protesters said they want a balanced approach that can keep people safe and allow small businesses to survive.

"We want Mayor Breed to open outdoor dining immediately," said San Francisco resident Daniel Kotzin.

"Either things reopen immediately or compensation from the city to these businesses that are being asked to take on these losses," said protester Jennifer Raub.

Some neighbors screamed at the protesters, saying they need to wear masks. Others said it was disrespectful to protest at someone's house.

"The reason it's extreme is because these are extreme situations. People are starving! They cannot feed their families. We tried everything else, we're not being heard," Kotzin said.

No one came out to address the protesters and there was no immediate response from the mayor.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.