Google fires 28 employees who staged anti-Israel sit-in

“They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers.”


On Wednesday, Google terminated 28 employees for taking part in a 10-hour sit-in at the tech giant’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, to protest the company doing business with Israel. 

As part of the “No Tech for Genocide Day of Action,” anti-Israel “Googlers” wrapped themselves in keffiyehs and took over the Sunnydale, CA office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, and in New York, activist employees occupied the 10th floor of the left-leaning tech giant’s offices in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. 

Google employees in Seattle opted to protest outside and across the street from the company offices. 

Google vice president of global security Chris Rackow said in a companywide memo distributed Wednesday to employees, “They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers.” 

Rackow added, “Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened. Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it. It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to – including our code of conduct and policy on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace concerns.” 

Rackow continued that Google “takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior – up to and including termination.” 

The actions were part of a larger anti-Israel group called No Tech for Apartheid, which posted videos and livestreams of the protests on social media. 

The anti-Israel activists demanded that Google pull out of a $1.2 billion contract called Project Nimbus in which the company provides cloud computing and artificial intelligence services for the Israeli government. 

No Tech for Apartheid spokesperson Jane Chung slammed Google in a statement that read, “This evening, Google indiscriminately fired 28 workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests. 

“This flagrant act of retaliation is a clear indication that Google values its $1.2 billion contract with the genocidal Israeli government and military more than its own workers — the ones who create real value for executives and shareholders.” 

She also accused Google CEOs Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian of being “genocide profiteers.” 

Some of the activists were arrested. An NYPD spokesperson told the New York Post that “four arrests were made for trespassing inside the Google building.”  

Five protesters were also arrested at the Sunnyvale, CA offices. 

A spokesman for Google told the outlet, “These protests were part of a longstanding campaign by a group of organizations and people who largely don’t work at Google. A small number of employee protesters entered and disrupted a few of our locations. Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior.” 

“We have so far concluded individual investigations that resulted in the termination of employment for 28 employees, and will continue to investigate and take action as needed.”

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