Workers, activists demand tech giants end deals with Israel – J.J.

Dozens of workers marched to Google’s San Francisco offices, then five blocks to Amazon’s offices, protesting the contract the two tech companies signed with the Israeli government.

Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and several sat side-by-side holding signs on a concrete wall that read: “No technology for Israeli apartheid.”

Protesters applauded speakers Sept. 8 at Google and Amazon offices in Seattle, New York City, and Durham, North Carolina, calling for the end of Project Nimbus, a massive deal in Israel to build centers in Israel to store government data in the cloud.

“Google, Google, you can’t hide, we’ll see your apartheid side,” San Francisco protesters chanted.

A $1.2 billion deal between Google and Amazon Web Services, one of Israel’s largest technology infrastructure contracts, was signed in May 2021, with the two tech companies agreeing to transfer Israeli data to six cloud-based storage centers. The following years. “Nimbus” is the name of a type of cloud.

Google spokeswoman Atlee Erlingson told Forbes that the opponents are “misrepresenting the contract” and asserting that the infrastructure is intended for civilian, not military, services.

RL Coren spoke at the protest. (Screenshot/Twitter @AlphabetWorkers

Googlers are saying today, drop Nimbus, Google and Amazon, drop Nimbus.

“As we have stated many times, the contract is for workloads on our business platform in the ministries of finance, health care, transportation and education of the Israeli government,” he said in a statement to Forbes. “Our work is not on high-security or classified military operations related to weapons or intelligence services.”

The contract with Israel has led to complaints from some Google employees. Seven hundred of them signed a petition last October saying the technology could be used to collect information on Palestinians and expand Palestinian territories and Israeli settlements.

Ariel Koren, a Jewish Google marketing manager who until recently worked in San Francisco, led the petition and worked hard for more than a year to oppose Project Nimbus. In a Medium post last week, she announced her resignation from the company, alleging retaliatory actions, including moving her job to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Instead of listening to employees who want Google to be guided by its ethical principles, Google is taking away the voice of employees by pursuing military contracts,” Coren wrote.

Google and the National Labor Relations Board investigated Koren’s complaint and found no wrongdoing, the New York Times reported.

By the time she left Google on September 2, #NoTechForApartheid protests were planned across the country on September 8.

“At least 200.” Organizers and participants tweeted that protesters marched in San Francisco and another 150 in New York City.

โ€œYou have a voice. You are responsible for using it. When those less advantaged than you have their jobs and livelihoods on the line, do something,โ€ Coren said at a microphone to the marchers. “That’s why Googlers are saying today, drop Nimbus, Google and Amazon, drop Nimbus.”

In San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz professor of Jewish anthropology Lisa Roffel and anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace activist also addressed the crowd. “There are anti-Zionist Jews,” she said.

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, or AROC, helped organize the protest in San Francisco. AROC is known for its activities in the BDS movement against Israeli companies.

AROC Bay Area organizer Sharif Zakut told the crowd: โ€œWe are no strangers to the damage of big tech companies like Google and Amazon. They have shown their inability to stand on principle.

As the speeches and chants ended, the Alphabet Workers Union, one of the many unions that took part in the march, He tweeted. That the protest will continue.

“We will continue to fight Nimbus,” the union wrote. Keep bringing people until Google terminates this agreement.

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