A narrow, unassuming two-block stretch in where residents placed 24 giant rocks along the sidewalk has found itself a symbol of the desperation, frustration and emotions of California’s crisis.

The Clinton Park alley boulders, for which neighbors pooled several thousand dollars in order to physically deal with the street’s ongoing problem with tent camps and open drug dealing, captured national this week when San Francisco Public Works hauled them away and into storage at those same neighbors’ request, just days after they were installed.

The residents had unwittingly invited a new predicament: Activists pushed the boulders into the streets to protest what they saw as a cruel effort to shoo off homeless people and, in some instances, they sent , residents

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