SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Police were called to a Paolo Shoes store in San Francisco's Hayes Valley Thursday after about 30 protesters stormed the business.
The group accused the store owner's family of evicting tenants throughout the city. Cries of "Stop eviction" rang into the air at 524 Hayes Street as protesters like 73-year-old Lotta Garrity, a retired nurse, said Paolo Iantorno and his father are evicting her and about 15 fellow tenants from their longtime Guerrero Street home.
"Some of the people in my building have been there for 50 years," Garrity said.
Iantorno arrived within minutes. "Please get out of my store, all of you," he said.
He added that his family is getting out of the rental business because they've been losing $2,000 a month on every unit.
"My father has subsidized all these people in these buildings because he's owned them for 15 years. Paying $300 a month does not cover the mortgage."
Protesters Storm Hayes Valley Shoe Store; Claim Property Owner Is Ellis Act Evicting Several Tenants
Theresa Dulalas also lives in one of the five buildings currently being evicted by the Iantornos.
"We have rights and we know that they're only in it for the money," she said.
In a video posted to YouTube prior to the protest Garrity said she was happy with the legislation to protect renters' rights in San Francisco by supervisors like David Campos.
On Thursday Garrity said that five war veterans were included in the evictions in her buildings.
"From the Korean War up to Afghanistan, getting kicked out," she said.
On the YouTube video Garrity said the city is enamored with the military; referred to the Blue Angels air show and the historic significance of the Presidio as a former military base. But that with veterans being affected by evictions, she said it was "a shame" and seemed "un-American".
A group called Eviction Free San Francisco said the Iantorno's are evicting 41 tenants from five buildings.
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