May 22, 2024
Nine Google employees, along with dozens of demonstrators, were arrested on Tuesday at the company’s offices in California and New York for holding a protest against Google’s corporate relationship with Israel. The demonstrators organized a sit-in protest for more than eight hours in the Sunnyvale, California, office of Thomas Kurian, the executive and CEO of […]

Nine Google employees, along with dozens of demonstrators, were arrested on Tuesday at the company’s offices in California and New York for holding a protest against Google’s corporate relationship with Israel.

The demonstrators organized a sit-in protest for more than eight hours in the Sunnyvale, California, office of Thomas Kurian, the executive and CEO of Google Cloud.

The employees had shared in work emails that Google needed to stop its $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government’s cloud-computing Project Nimbus. The protesters were upset that the technology relationship helps provide facial recognition, data analysis, and object tracking, in addition to likely being used by the Israel Defense Forces in its war against Hamas.

“By choosing to provide the Israeli government and military with our powerful cloud computing and AI technologies, we have continuously enabled Israel’s apartheid state in Palestine and ongoing genocide in Gaza,” the protesters said in a letter.

They added, “Years of being silenced, ignored and lied to by leadership has confirmed to us as workers that our concerns will not be heard without significant action, and as you read this, we are sitting in the office of Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud, until our demands are met.”

The Google employees livestreamed their protest on Twitch.

The video stream showed a Google official notifying the employees that they had been put on administrative leave. They were asked to leave voluntarily and were notified that police would otherwise have to come get them.

“I wanted to ask you, you know, to cooperate. You’ve been placed on admin leave, and we’d like to see if you’d just voluntarily [leave]. It’s been a while. Can you do that for us?” the unnamed Google official said.

The protesters acknowledged that they understood but did not move. A couple of minutes later after the request, police were seen walking into the office and arresting the demonstrators.

“Google execs basically chose to arrest workers for speaking out against the use of our technology to power the first AI-generated genocide,” Mohammad Khatami, a Google software engineer, said in an interview.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER 

The protest by the employees was organized by the activist group No Tech for Apartheid. Another protest was organized outside Google’s Seattle office.

The company accused the workers and demonstrators of trespassing and disrupting work. Google’s spokesperson reportedly said the protests were largely by people who “largely don’t work at Google.”

Leave a Reply