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Pro-Ukraine Demonstrators Call for Silicon Valley Boycott of Russia

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- A few hundred people gathered outside the San Jose city hall on Saturday to show their support for Ukraine as Russia's attack on the country intensifies. Event organizers thanked the tech industry for the steps its members have taken to help and called on more companies to join that effort.

"Technologies were created not for destroying and to destroy democracy and freedom. They were created for the world to be more connected and build brighter futures," said Vasyl Dub, the founder of a tech startup who helped to organize the rally.

Companies like Apple, Google, Intel, Meta and Twitter were all praised by speakers for the steps they have taken to reduce Russia's access to important resources during this conflict. Some companies have restricted the ability to use ad platforms by Russia's state-run media. Others have halted product sales or limited use of payment services.

"No one in a civilized world can do business with Russia today," one speaker at the rally said. "We're asking all the companies in Silicon Valley and around the world to immediately cease any business with Russia. Stop business with Russia!"

Other protests around the Bay Area offered similar messages about the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. He has already been accused of war crimes in the past week after he ordered troops into Ukraine.

"We came over here to Civic Center to let our voices be heard and to make a stand for the people of Ukraine and what is going on there," said Brenda Mosher, an East Bay resident who traveled to San Francisco to stand on the steps of City Hall on Saturday. "What he is doing is irrational and inhumane and he has got to be stopped."

The rally in San Jose was organized by Nova Ukraine, a nonprofit based in the Bay Area. Leaders for the charity say they are aware of about 200 companies in the tech industry who have either cut ties with Russia or shown support for Ukraine. Other speakers and attendees brought up the need for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

"We are asking to close the sky because it's not a local war, it's a global war," Dub told KPIX. "Donate and do what you can and only together we can stop this war and save millions of lives."

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