Google Fires 28 Employees Involved in Sit-In Protest Protest at New York and California Offices Over $1.2 Billion Israel Deal

Previously, a Google spokesperson stated that the protesters had been put on administrative leave and had their access to office systems restricted.

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Google has fired 28 employees for participating in a 10-hour sit-in at the company's offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, to protest Google's business connections with the Israeli government. The pro-Palestinian employees, seen wearing traditional Arab headscarves, were taken in by officials from both the company's New York City and California offices on Tuesday.

All 28 employees were terminated late Wednesday following an internal investigation, Google vice president of global security, Chris Rackow said in a companywide memo. The memo reportedly read: "They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers. Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened."

No Tolerance at Google

Google employees
Google employees seen staging a sit-in to protest the company's $1.2 billion Israel contract X

In New York, demonstrators occupied the 10th floor of Google's offices in the Chelsea section of Manhattan as part of a protest that extended to the company's offices in Seattle, termed the "No Tech for Genocide Day of Action."

"Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it," Rackow wrote. "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."

Google employees
Google employees seen staging a protest against the tech giant X

Rackow said that the company "takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior – up to and including termination."

Previously, a Google spokesperson stated that the protesters had been put on administrative leave and had their access to office systems restricted.

The fired employees are affiliated with The No Tech For Apartheid group, which has criticized Google's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The group had uploaded multiple videos and livestreams of the protests on its X account, including the precise time when local police detained and gave final warnings to the employees for trespassing.

Why the Protest?

The demonstrators have called for Google to withdraw from a $1.2 billion contract known as "Project Nimbus," under which Google Cloud and Amazon Web capabilities supply cloud computing and AI capabilities to the Israeli military and government.

Google global CEO Sundar Pichai
Google global CEO Sundar Pichai. IANS

"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.

Google employees
Google employees seen staging a protest at the company's office X

"Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian are genocide profiteers. We cannot comprehend how these men are able to sleep at night while their tech has enabled 100,000 Palestinians killed, reported missing, or wounded in the last six months of Israel's genocide — and counting," the statement read.

An NYPD spokesperson said that the Tuesday protest involved around 50 participants, with four arrests made for trespassing inside the Google building. The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said that the California protest consisted of around 80 participants, with five protesters arrested for criminal trespassing after refusing to leave the Google office.

These employees were booked and released without incident. It remains unclear if all nine arrested employees were among those terminated by Google, as the company had previously placed them on administrative leave and restricted their access to internal systems.