Google employee fired after staging pro-Palestine protest at tech event: Report

Google employee fired after staging pro-Palestine protest at tech event: Report
Google employee fired after staging pro-Palestine protest at tech event: Report

Africa-Press – Tanzania. Google has fired an engineer who staged a pro-Palestinian protest during a company keynote address in New York City, according to a report published Friday.

“I refuse to build technology that powers genocide, apartheid or surveillance,” the ex-Google Cloud employee can be heard shouting Monday in a video that has since gone viral online. The employee staged the protest as Google Israel chief Barak Regev was addressing an industry conference.

“Project Nimbus puts Palestinian community members in danger,” he yelled as security escorted him out of the area. “No cloud apartheid.”

A Google spokesperson told the CNBC news outlet that the employee was terminated for “interfering with an official company-sponsored event.”

“This behavior is not okay, regardless of the issue, and the employee was terminated for violating our policies,” the spokesperson said without specifying which policies the former employee violated.

Project Nimbus has long been decried by pro-Palestinian advocates, including those within Google’s ranks. It includes an over $1 billion contract between Google and Amazon, and the Israeli government and military, to provide Tel Aviv with cloud computing services.

A 2021 open letter from Google and Amazon employees published in the Guardian decried the contract, saying it “will make the systematic discrimination and displacement carried out by the Israeli military and government even crueler and deadlier for Palestinians.”

“This technology allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land,” said the letter, which was signed by 90 workers at Google and over 300 at Amazon at the time.

“We cannot look the other way, as the products we build are used to deny Palestinians their basic rights, force Palestinians out of their homes and attack Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” it added.

Those voices appear to have grown within the company amid Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza.

This week, over 600 Google employees penned an internal letter to Google’s marketing leadership demanding the tech company drop its sponsorship of the Mind the Tech forum where Regev spoke, according to the tech-focused Wired news website. The gathering is an event meant to highlight advances within the Israeli tech industry.

“Please withdraw from Mind the Tech, issue an apology, and stand with Googlers and customers who are despairing over the overwhelming loss of life in Gaza; we need Google to do better,” the letter said.

Israel has waged a retaliatory offensive on Gaza since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 that killed around 1,200 people. The offensive has killed more than 30,800 people and injured nearly 73,000 others in Gaza amid mass destruction and acute shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Palestinian enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

About 85% of Gazans have been displaced by the Israeli onslaught amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in an interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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