Google fires 28 anti-Israel protestors who staged sit-in at headquarters

Employees had occupied company offices in both New York and California on a “No Tech for Genocide Day of Action.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Google fired on Wednesday 28 anti-Israel protestors who staged a loud, 10-hour sit-in at two head- office sites the previous day.

“They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers,” the company’s vice president of global security, Chris Rackow, wrote in a company-wide memo. “Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened.”

“Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it,” he added. “It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to – including our code of conduct and policy on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace concerns.”

After those who occupied the Sunnyvale office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian refused “multiple requests to leave,” a company spokesperson said, the search giant called the police to remove them “to ensure office safety.”

Nine miscreants, five in California and four in New York, were arrested on trespassing charges. The New York authorities said there were approximately 50 participants in all at the East Coast protest, while those in Sunnyvale said there were about 80 protestors present.

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All those arrested were later released by the police.

The company spokesperson said that all those who disrupted the workday who were employees of Google were immediately put on administrative leave and their access to work systems was cut off, before the decision was made to terminate their employment.

The protestors, who belong to the No Tech for Genocide movement that predates the Israel-Hamas war, were demonstrating against Project Nimbus, Google’s $1.2 billion contract from 2021 that provides cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) services to the Israelis government.

In their explanation on social media for their “Day of Action,” the organizers said they “do not want their labor to power genocide.”

They accused Google CEOs Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian of being complicit in and profiting from “the apocalyptic levels of death, carnage and destruction, left behind and under the rubble in Gaza” and vowed that the “workers will continue to organize until Nimbus is dropped.”

A Google spokesperson told CNBC on Wednesday that the company’s work with Israel “is not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.”

Last month, a company engineer was fired “for violating company policies” after interrupting a speech by Google’s Israel managing director at a tech industry conference.

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After shouting, “I refuse to build technology that powers genocide, apartheid or surveillance” and other anti-Israel statements, he was forcibly escorted out of the room amidst boos from the audience for his behavior.

A few Google employees have quit over recent months, denouncing the tech giant for its alleged support of Israeli “crimes.”