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Google employee arrested, placed on administrative leave over protest over contract with Israel

Google employee arrested, placed on administrative leave over protest over contract with Israel


Several Google employees were arrested and placed on leave late Tuesday after holding a 10-hour sit-in at offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California to protest a $1.2 billion cloud contract with Israel.

Pro-Palestinian employees from a group called “No Tech For Aparttheid” have posted several videos and livestreams of the protests, including one where they received a final warning from local police for trespassing. This includes the moment he was arrested.

A third protest was held in Seattle.

The shocking protests included a complete takeover of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Krian's office in Sunnyvale by workers wearing traditional Arab headscarves.

Four protesters were arrested at Google's offices in New York.

In the background of the livestream, a Golden State Warriors jersey custom-framed by Krians was reflected on his office wall.

A total of nine protesters were arrested.

Employees who took part in the protests have already been disciplined.

A Google spokesperson said Tuesday's protests are part of a years-long campaign by organizations and groups of people who don't primarily work at Google.

Physically interfering with other employees' work or preventing access to our facilities is a clear violation of our policies and we will investigate and take action, a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

These employees have been placed on administrative leave and their access to the company's systems has been blocked, the spokesperson said. After refusing multiple requests to leave, law enforcement engaged in removing them to ensure the security of the office.

A New York City Police Department spokesperson said Tuesday's protest drew a total of about 50 participants and confirmed four people were arrested for trespassing inside the Google building.

The protests come as Google has been battling for months with employee violence related to the Israel-Hamas war.

Last month, Google fired a software engineer who publicly criticized one of the company's Israel-based executives during a technology conference in New York City.

BREAKING @google also orders the arrest of its own employees in Sunnyvale who sat in the personal office of @googlecloud CEO @thomasortks for 10 hours, demanding cuts to Project Nimbus, Google's $1.2 billion contract with Israel. did.

The arrestee was captured on livestream

— No Technology in Apartheid (@NoTechAparttheid) April 17, 2024

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said about 80 people participated in the protest in California.

A total of five protesters who refused to leave Google's offices were arrested without incident on trespassing charges, arrested, and released, the spokesperson added.

Representatives for the protesters did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the arrest.

A large group of Google employees hold placards protesting their company's participation in “Project Nimbus.” X/@Nortech Apartheid

Protesters called on Google to withdraw from the $1.2 billion Project Nimbus contract, in which Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services provide cloud computing and artificial intelligence services to the Israeli government and military.

Critics fear the technology is being used as a weapon against Palestinians in Gaza.

Activists within Google have increasingly criticized the deal in recent months amid Israel's war with Hamas. Israel launched the attack after Hamas carried out a surprise cross-border attack on civilians on October 7 last year.

On Tuesday, No Technology for Apartheid's official account tweeted that its employees will refuse to quit until Google cuts off the power supply to the massacre in Gaza.




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