Pro-Palestinian protesters threaten to shut down Google developers conference in Mountain View

Gloria Rodríguez Image
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Protesters threaten to shut down Google conference in Mountain View
Demonstrators are promising to disrupt Google developers conference to stop a billion dollar AI contract the company has with the Israeli government.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Pro-Palestinian protesters holding a large banner tried to block the entrance of Google's I-O developers conference in Mountain View Tuesday.

Google employees were told to go through another entrance.

Some demonstrators also gathered at a park near the conference, which more than 10,000 developers from all over the world are expected to attend.

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"While they're coming here to learn more about and view these new cutting edge technological products that Google is offering, they should also know that Google is also making the same products for the Israeli military," said Rami Abdelkarim, of the Palestinian Youth Movement.

Protesters want to stop Google's so-called "Project Nimbus," which they say provides artificial intelligence technology to the Israeli government. Protesters allege the system is being lethally deployed in the Gaza war. Google has refuted that allegation.

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"They have continuously lied to the press since the beginning of this contract saying that Project Nimbus is not a military contract when we know that it is a military contract and they are trying to celebrate themselves as a company, celebrate their so-called innovation, even while the profit that they are making is happening on the backs of Palestinian people who are losing their lives," said Ariel Koren, a former Google employee who has been speaking out against Project Nimbus and said she was ousted from the company because of that.

Last month, some Google employees held protests inside Google offices. Some were arrested and 50 were even fired as a result.

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Koren was not part of that group that was fired because of the protests last month.

ABC7 has reached out to Google about the allegations and the protest and they haven't responded.

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