Google Employees Organize Sit-ins in Opposition to the Company’s Collaboration with Israel

Several Google employees organized sit-ins at two of the company’s locations to protest its collaboration with the Israeli government. The dispute centers on Google’s involvement in a $1.2 billion contract, known as Nimbus, shared with Amazon to provide cloud services and data centers to the Israeli government. Some employees and external activists have opposed the contract since its inception in 2021, but protests have intensified in recent months due to ongoing military actions in the Gaza Strip.

The sit-ins took place at Google’s Sunnyvale, California, office and a New York City location. In Sunnyvale, protestors entered the workspace of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian and indicated they would stay until their demands were met. Some of the protestors could potentially face job termination for their actions, as in the case of a worker who was dismissed for protesting at a conference earlier in the year.

The Nimbus contract was signed with the Israeli government, and restrictions in the terms of the deal prevent Google and Amazon from denying services to any specific government departments. This has sparked worries among some employees that their work could be used for military ends. Recently, Time Magazine reported that Google has been in negotiations with Israel’s Defense Ministry, leading to further outrage among protesting employees.

The protests followed a day after pro-Palestinian activists blocked major transport routes and airport entrances across the U.S. in a series of coordinated demonstrations against Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the U.S. military’s support for the country.

Amazon employees who are against the Nimbus contract also participated in rallies. Amazon workers who oppose the contract have been in conflict with their colleagues based in Tel Aviv since the military actions began last October. During an Amazon shareholder meeting in May, these employees backed a resolution calling for an independent investigative report to determine if the use of Amazon’s products and services contributes to human rights violations or breaches international humanitarian law.

As of now, neither Google nor Amazon has provided a comment on the protests. Given the increasing tensions and the potential implications for their businesses, the companies’ responses will be closely watched in the coming days.

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