Google and Amazon staff have taken to the streets to protest a deal with an Israeli-funded company.
Staff is protesting a deal from the companies with Project Nimbus, an Israeli-funded cloud computing initiative worth $1.2 billion.
Protests were organized by dozens of Google and Amazon employees in Durham, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.
This included the corporate offices of the tech giants, who demanded that their employers revoke their agreement with the Israeli military.
Executives from Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services recently agreed to a lucrative $1.22 billion deal with the Israeli government to provide cloud storage resources and artificial intelligence to government agencies and the military.
Outside Google’s New York City office, protesters chanted: “No justice, no peace, tech workers are in the streets!”
Ariel Koren, a former employee of Google, described how the company retaliated against her for opposing Project Nimbus, which offers the Israeli army artificial intelligence services and extensive monitoring programs.
Participants emphasized Project Nimbus would “support apartheid policies and systems that oppress Palestinians”.
Google software engineer Gabrel Schubiner said: “Project Nimbus is neither Google’s first or last attempt to try and become a military contractor.
“Please help us in keeping Google from becoming complicit in apartheid.”
An initiative named “No Technology Apartheid”, organized by technologists and programmers against Google and Amazon is rapidly growing.
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Nearly 42,000 US citizens have signed its petition calling on Google and Amazon to: “Stop dealing with the Israeli apartheid regime and withdraw from the Nimbus project.”
The two US tech giants signed the controversial deal with Tel Aviv, the petition said: “The Israeli army has bombed homes, clinics and schools in Gaza and has threatened to expel Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem in May 2021.”
Google spokesperson Atle Erlingsson told Forbes the protesters are “misrepresenting the contract.” “As we have stated many times, the contract is for workloads running on our commercial platform by Israeli government ministries such as finance, healthcare, transportation, and education,” he said in a statement. “Our work is not directed at highly sensitive or classified military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.”
Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment.