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Protesters gather outside San Francisco Google office over retaliatory firings

Google workers hold rally after firings for pro-Palestine protest at workplace
Google workers hold rally after firings for pro-Palestine protest at workplace 03:08

Dozens of former and current Google workers gathered Wednesday outside one of the Google offices in San Francisco at One Market Street to protest what they claim is retaliation and repression against pro-Palestine organizing actions.

The protest lasted several hours, with participants chanting and holding signs. The demonstration follows a series of actions against Project Nimbus, a joint $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon, and the Israeli government.

Employees have previously held sit-ins and rallies at Google's offices in Sunnyvale and New York, asserting that Project Nimbus aids the Israeli military, a claim Google disputes. As a result of these protests, 50 workers were fired in late April.

Kate Sim, one of the first workers to be fired, told CBS News Bay Area she was surprised at the extent of Google's retaliation.

"Yes, a number of us anticipated that there would be consequences. But what's particularly surprising to us is the fact that Google retaliated against 50 of us, including a number of workers who have nothing to do with the action, who were just walking by who participated because it was the right thing to do," said Sim.

Current Google worker Joshua Marxen said it was important to speak out about the cause despite the risks.

"In general, we've seen that Google is willing to crack down widely on anybody expressing dissent. So I think it would be another escalation if Google were to crack down just for people speaking out, so it can't be put off the table. But again, we have an obligation to speak out because we work at these companies and silence is complicity," said Marxen.

CBS News Bay Area reached out to Google for comments regarding the rally but did not receive a response. However, in a statement made back in May, the company addressed the issue.

"This is a very clear case of employees disrupting and occupying workspaces, and making other employees feel threatened and unsafe. We carefully confirmed that every single person whose employment was terminated was directly involved in disruption inside our buildings," the statement read.

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