Google workers arrested after nine-hour protest in cloud CEO’s office

107402708 1713378326590 Unknown

107402708 1713378326590 Unknown

Nine Google workers were arrested on trespassing charges Tuesday night after staging a sit-in at the company’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, including a protest in Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s office. The arrests were livestreamed on Twitch by participants and followed rallies outside Google offices in New York, Sunnyvale, and Seattle, attracting hundreds of attendees. The protests, led by the “No Tech for Apartheid” organization, focused on Project Nimbus – Google and Amazon’s joint $1.2 billion contract to provide the Israeli government and military with cloud computing services.

Protesters sat in Kurian’s office for over nine hours until their arrests, writing demands on his whiteboard and wearing shirts that read “Googler against genocide.” In New York, protesters sat in a three-floor common space. Five workers from Sunnyvale and four from New York were arrested.

Cheyne Anderson, a Google Cloud software engineer, expressed his opposition to Google taking military contracts, emphasizing the impact on people on the receiving end. A Google spokesperson stated that Google Cloud supports numerous governments around the world, including the Israeli government, with cloud computing services unrelated to highly sensitive or military workloads.

The demonstrations highlight worker opposition to Google’s military use of AI and cloud technology, with instances like engineer Eddie Hatfield interrupting a keynote speech voicing reluctance to support genocide. Hatfield was subsequently fired, and an internal Google employee message board was shut down after discussions on Israeli military contracts were deemed disruptive.

Hamas attacks and Israel’s subsequent actions in Gaza have drawn attention to Google’s consulting services for the Israeli Ministry of Defense and platform usage for surveillance in Gaza. Former employee Ariel Koren emphasized the growing agitation and commitment among workers opposing the Project Nimbus contract.

The arrested workers faced repercussions, such as being locked out of their work accounts and offices, placed on administrative leave, and instructed to wait until contacted by HR to return to work. Their protest also addressed labor conditions, specifically requesting Google to address harassment, intimidation, bullying, and censorship of Palestinian, Arab, Muslim employees, as well as the health and safety concerns of Google Cloud workers.

Google responded, stating that physically impeding employees’ work and preventing access to facilities is a clear policy violation, resulting in actions taken against the protesters for office safety. The arrested workers in New York and Sunnyside were eventually released from the police station after about four hours.

Nine Google workers were arrested on trespassing charges for staging a sit-in protest at the company’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California. The protests were organized by the “No Tech for Apartheid” group and focused on Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract between Google and Amazon to provide cloud computing services to the Israeli government and military. The protesters, including Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s office, were arrested after sitting in the office for several hours. The workers involved in the protests believe that Google’s involvement in military contracts goes against their values and principles. The protests highlight the growing pressure from Google employees who oppose the company’s military use of AI and cloud technology, as well as the continued efforts to suppress dissenting voices within the company. The protests also bring attention to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the role of tech companies like Google in supporting surveillance and military operations. The arrested workers were released after a few hours and are now facing labor conditions while being on administrative leave.

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