Google fired 28 workers who took part in a demonstration on Tuesday in which protesters called on the company to end a contract with the Israeli army and government, with Google accusing the workers of preventing their colleagues from going to the their workplace.

Several dozen people gathered in front of Google’s offices in Sunnyvale, California, and occupied the company’s offices in Seattle and New York.

Some in Sunnyvale occupied the office of Google Cloud subsidiary CEO Thomas Kurian for several hours.

The protesters were calling for the cancellation of a $1.2 billion contract, called Project Nimbus, for cloud computing services provided by Google and Amazon to the Israeli military and government.

Some of the protesters held placards inscribed with the word “genocide” in the font and colors of the Google logo, in a reference to the tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians who have been killed by Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

In October 2021, the British newspaper Guardian published an article by Amazon and Google employees in which the employees called for the companies to withdraw from Project Nimbus. They had claimed to have collected nearly 400 signatures and justified not releasing their names under “fear of reprisals”.

“These protests are part of a long-term campaign by a group of organizations and individuals who, for the most part, do not work within Google,” a company spokesman told AFP.

As for the “small number” of workers who entered the premises, “the fact that they prevented other workers from working and prevented them from accessing our premises is a clear violation of our rules,” continued the spokesman, who confirmed that 28 workers who participated in the demonstrations were fired.

The spokesman reiterated that Project Nimbus “is not intended for highly sensitive, classified or military operations involving weapons or intelligence.”