Google Employees Arrested Following Protest Against Military Contracts

Tech Workers Protesting Against Big Tech Supplying Israel (Credits: AP)

Nine Google employees found themselves in handcuffs after staging a sit-in protest at the company’s premises in New York and Sunnyvale, California.

The protest, which included a live stream from Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s office, culminated in the arrests of five individuals from Sunnyvale and four from New York on charges of trespassing.

The demonstration, organized by the “No Tech for Apartheid” group, centered around Project Nimbus—a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon, and the Israeli government for cloud computing services, including artificial intelligence tools and data centers.

Protesters expressed opposition to Google’s involvement in military contracts, citing concerns about the ethical implications and the potential impact on those affected by conflict.

Google Employees Arrested: Protesting Military Contracts and Ethical Concerns

Arrested Google Workers (Credits: Getty Images)

During the nine-hour sit-in at Kurian’s office, protesters wrote demands on whiteboards and wore shirts with the slogan “Googler against genocide.”

Similar rallies outside Google offices in New York, Sunnyvale, and Seattle drew hundreds of attendees, reflecting growing discontent among employees regarding the company’s military ties.

Google responded by stating that its cloud services support various governments worldwide, including the Israeli government, but clarified that the work does not involve sensitive military applications.

However, employees like Cheyne Anderson expressed personal objections to any military contracts, highlighting the diverse perspectives within Google’s workforce.

Google’s Building (Credits: New York)

This protest adds to the mounting pressure Google faces from employees who oppose the use of its technology for military purposes. Recent incidents, including the firing of Google Cloud engineer Eddie Hatfield for his protest during a keynote speech, underscore the ongoing internal strife over ethical concerns.

The demonstration coincided with escalating tensions in the Middle East, with Hamas attacks on Israel prompting a military response and subsequent casualties.

The Israeli government’s alleged use of Google services for surveillance in Gaza further fueled the protesters’ grievances.

Google Building In The Chelsea District of Manhattan, New York (Credits: Getty Images)

Despite efforts to suppress dissent, including the shutdown of internal message boards discussing military contracts, the protest signals a growing determination among employees to challenge Google’s involvement in controversial projects.

The company’s response, putting protesters on administrative leave and cutting their access to systems, reflects its commitment to maintaining order but may exacerbate tensions within its workforce.

Mousumi Routray is experienced content writer who helps businesses reach their audience through engaging content. She has written blog posts, articles, newsletters and more for companies in tech, entertainment and other industries.