Google fires 28 employees who protested over Project Nimbus contract with Israel

A $1.2 billion contract for the project was signed in April 2021 between Israel and Google and Amazon.

Google is reported to have fired 28 employees on Wednesday after several workers participated in a sit-in protest at the company’s offices in New York City and California against its cloud contract with the Israeli government.

The development comes a day after nine staffers were suspended and arrested for participating in the protest.

As reported, Tuesday’s protests were led by a group called No Tech For Apartheid against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion cloud contract with Israel.

Project Nimbus includes a cloud and machine learning system that enables data storage, collection, analysis, motif and feature identification from data, and prediction of potential data and motifs.

In a memo, the company alleged the protesting workers “took over office spaces” and “defaced our property.”

Chris Rackow, Google’s head of global security, emphasised the company’s zero-tolerance policy towards the protesters’ behaviour in a memo sent to all employees that also circulated on social media.

“Behaviour like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it,” it said.

“Following an investigation, today we terminated the employment of twenty-eight employees found to be involved. We will continue to investigate and take action as needed,” it added.

The group behind the protests, called No Tech for Apartheid, said that the firings were “clearly retaliatory.”

“This evening, Google indiscriminately fired over two dozen workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests,” said a post on X by No Tech For Apartheid.

In response, No Tech For Apartheid condemned the move, calling it a “flagrant act of retaliation.”

“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 workers,” the group said.

Project Nimbus

A $1.2 billion contract for Project Nimbus was signed in April 2021 between Israel and Google and Amazon.

In April 2021, Israel announced that Google and Amazon won the massive state tender, allowing Israel to establish its local cloud storage server centres.

The system can collect all data sources provided by Israel and its military, including databases, resources, and even live observation sources such as street and drone cameras.

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