Google fires 28 employees for participating in anti-Israel sit-in protests

Google fires 28 employees for participating in anti-Israel sit-in protests

On Wednesday, Google terminated 28 employees for their involvement in a 10-hour sit-in at the company’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California. The protests, part of the “No Tech for Genocide Day of Action,” were aimed at pressuring Google to cease doing business with Israel.

Anti-Israel “Googlers” wrapped themselves in keffiyehs and took over the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian in Sunnyvale, while in New York, activist employees occupied the 10th floor of the company’s Chelsea neighborhood offices. Google employees in Seattle opted to protest outside and across the street from the company’s offices.

In a companywide memo, Google vice president of global security Chris Rackow stated that the protesters “took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers.” He described their behavior as “unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened,” emphasizing that such actions violate multiple company policies, including the code of conduct and policies on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace concerns.

The protests were part of a larger anti-Israel group called No Tech for Apartheid, which demanded that Google pull out of a $1.2 billion contract called Project Nimbus, in which the company provides cloud computing and artificial intelligence services for the Israeli government.

No Tech for Apartheid spokesperson Jane Chung criticized Google’s decision to fire the employees, claiming that the company values its contract with the “genocidal Israeli government and military more than its own workers.” She also accused Google CEOs Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian of being “genocide profiteers.”

Some of the activists were arrested during the protests, with the NYPD confirming four arrests for trespassing inside the Google building in New York and five arrests at the Sunnyvale offices.

A Google spokesman stated that the protests were part of a longstanding campaign by a group of organizations and people who largely don’t work at Google, and that physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing facilities is a clear violation of company policies and completely unacceptable behavior.

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