Google Employees Arrested After Pro-Palestine Sit-In in CEO’s Office

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Google Employees Arrested After Pro-Palestine Sit-In in CEO’s Office

A group of Google employees was arrested on Tuesday after staging a sit-in at the California office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, demanding that the tech giant stop doing business with Israel. The protest, live-streamed on Twitch to coincide with a similar demonstration at the Google office in New York, called for the company to abandon a cloud computing contract with the Israeli government until the “genocide” in Gaza ends.

After organizing the demonstrations via internal emails, Google staffers calling themselves “NoTech4Apartheid” donned keffiyeh headscarves and sat on the floor of Kurian’s office in Sunnyvale, California, holding signs and chanting anti-Israel slogans. According to a list of demands shared within the company, the employees are asking Google to drop the $1.2 billion contract for “Project Nimbus,” a cloud computing and artificial intelligence project developed for the Israelis in cooperation with Amazon.

the employees are asking Google to drop the $1.2 billion contract for “Project Nimbus,” a cloud computing and artificial intelligence project developed for the Israelis in cooperation with Amazon.
A letter sent to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian

The protesters also insisted that Google cease all “business with the Israeli apartheid government and military,” stop the “harassment, intimidation, bullying, and silencing,” of Palestinian and Muslim employees, and address the “health and safety crisis” that pro-Palestine employees are suffering given Google’s role in a “genocide.”

“Google workers do not want their labor to power Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza,” the group said. “The time is now to rise up against Project Nimbus, in support of Palestinian liberation and join calls to end the Israeli occupation.”

The protesters in both New York and California announced that they would remain in the offices until their demands were met.

After more than eight hours, however, company leadership finally contacted police after repeatedly telling the protesters to leave.

“It’s getting kinda late,” one company employee was heard saying on the live-stream from California. “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 protesters refused to comply, at which point police entered the office and took several of them into custody.

Similar actions were taken in New York. In total, nine Google staffers were arrested for the protest between the two offices.

“Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and we will investigate and take action,” said Bailey Tomson, a Google spokesperson. “These employees were put on administrative leave, and their access to our systems was cut. After refusing multiple requests to leave the premises, law enforcement was engaged to remove them to ensure office safety.”

Google Employees Arrested