As noose tightens on the corporation to sever relations with Israel, hundreds of Nimbus critics demonstrate in front of Google headquarters in cities around the US.
On Thursday, hundreds of employees and pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside Google headquarters in US cities to demand that the business halt development on the contentious Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal between the internet giants and the Israeli government. As pressure mounts both internally and externally on Amazon and Google to stop their partnerships with Israel, which activists are portraying as big tech’s involvement in Israeli apartheid, protests are taking place outside various Google offices in four countries.
Hundreds of employees at the corporations have expressed doubts about Project Nimbus after it was reported in mid-2021 that they would be aiding in and advancing Israel’s apartheid project. The Israeli government will receive superior artificial intelligence and machine-learning skills from Google, according to training documents that were leaked to the Intercept.
Workers from both businesses, including at least two Palestinian employees, demonstrated outside Google offices on Thursday in Durham, North Carolina, Durham, California, San Francisco, and New York to show support for Palestinians and to bring their protest movement inside the tech giant to the attention of the general public.
Where it started
After speaking out and organizing within Google against Project Nimbus more than a year ago, Ariel Koren, a Google employee, resigned from her job alleging a hostile work atmosphere which is when the events on Thursday occurred. The company’s mistreatment of Palestinians and its censoring of employees who support them were criticized in testimony put to YouTube last week by a number of Palestinian Google employees.
Because they feared repercussions at work, the Palestinian employees at the march in New York City avoided talking to the press. Workers started a petition in October 2021 asking for the deal to be canceled. Since then, 37,500 additional people have joined the call to cancel the collaboration, in addition to an estimated 800 Google and Amazon workers.
According to the organizers, about 250 individuals gathered in New York, 250 more in San Francisco, about 150 in Seattle, and 40 in Durham. Protesters denouncing Google’s support for the IDF condensed themselves onto the pavement in New York City between early-evening traffic and the massive Google headquarters at 111 8th Avenue.
A few police officers kept watch at the opposite sides of the street while building security maneuvered among the masses. Posters were distributed by activists to other employees leaving the Google building.
A few Israeli supporters also showed up to the rally with a large Israeli flag to start a counter-protest.
Other parties, including stockholders, have expressed worry over criticisms of Google’s participation in Project Nimbus.
The largest pension fund in Norway, KLP, representative Kiran Aziz told reporters on Friday that she was “very worried” about Google’s determination on moving through with Project Nimbus.
Aziz added in a statement that “the human rights situation is becoming direr as the Israeli government closing down NGOs, building illegal settlements, and escalating the deaths of civilians – especially Palestinian kids in the unlawfully occupied Palestinian lands.”
“Google and Amazon should exercise caution and be aware of the hazards. KLP is writing to both of these companies to request openness and to call for the cancellation of Project Nimbus due to the obvious hazards involved in breaching fundamental human rights.”