Google Employees Urge Company to End Contracts with Israel: Protests Lead to Arrests

Google Employees Urge Company to End Contracts with Israel: Protests Lead to Arrests

Google employees stage protests in California and New York, urging the company to sever ties with Israel's government.

A group of Google employees in California and New York recently protested against the company's business relationship with the Israeli government. Some employees staged a sit-in at Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian's office in California, where they remained for over eight hours to demand the company cease providing cloud computing services to Israel. The protest escalated, resulting in the employees' arrest after they refused to leave.

The protests centred around Project Nimbus, a billion-dollar AI contract signed in 2021 between Google and the Israeli government. The protesters were part of the No Tech for Apartheid movement within Google, calling for the company to cut all ties with the Israeli military and government.

During the protest at Kurian's office, employees broadcasted their demands through a Twitch livestream. They called for an end to Project Nimbus and addressed what they described as a "health and safety crisis" among workers. As night fell, a company official informed the demonstrators they had been placed on administrative leave and asked them to vacate the premises. When the group refused, law enforcement intervened, leading to their arrest.

One protester and a Google software engineer expressed concern about losing her job but emphasized the difficulty of coming to work without publicly condemning Project Nimbus and Google's support for the Israeli government. She also noted that several employees had resigned from Google due to their opposition to Project Nimbus.

"We've already had Googlers resign citing that Project Nimbus was the main concern for their poor mental health and was the main reason why they had to leave Google," an employee told the publication.

The ABC7 news report also highlighted that Google employees believe the services provided by Project Nimbus contribute to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The technology is described as the first AI-powered genocide by some employees, adding urgency to their calls for Google to reconsider its involvement.

The protests underscore growing unrest within Google and raise questions about tech giants' ethical responsibilities when engaging in global political and human rights issues. The employees' actions aim to spark change within the company, urging it to reconsider its contracts and the ethical implications of its technology deployments. Google has not made a public statement regarding the incident or the protesters' demands.

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