Palestine protesters condemn Google, demand NZ action over Gaza genocide

Protesters wave
Protesters wave "Google drop Project Nimbus" placards in the demonstration against Israel's war on Gaza in Auckland today. Image: Del Abcede/APR

Asia Pacific Report

Pro-Palestinian protesters today condemned Google for sacking protesting staff and demanded that the New Zealand government immediately “cut ties with Israeli genocide”.

Wearing Google logo masks and holding placards saying “Google complicit in genocide” and “Google drop Project Nimbus”, the protesters were targeting the global tech company for sacking more than two dozen employees following protests against its US$1.2 billion cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government.

The workers were terminated earlier this month after a company investigation ruled they had been involved in protests inside the tech giant’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California.

Nine demonstrators were arrested, according to the protest organisers of No Tech for Apartheid.

In Auckland, speakers condemned Google’s crackdown on company dissent and demanded that the New Zealand government take action in the wake of both the UN’s International Court of Justice, or World Court, and separate International Criminal Court rulings last week.

“On Friday, the ICJ made another determination — stop the military assault on Rafah, something that Israel ignores,” Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) secretary Neil Scott said.

Earlier in the week, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced that he was seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was also seeking arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders.

‘Obvious Israel is committing genocide’
“That brings us to our politicians,” said Scott.

“It is obvious that Israel is committing genocide. We all know that Israel is committing genocide.

“It is obvious that the Israeli leadership is committing crimes against humanity.”

Scott said the New Zealand government — specifically Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters — “must now be under the spotlight in the court of public opinion here in Aotearoa”.

“They have done nothing but mouth platitudes about Israeli behaviour. They have done nothing of substance.

“They could cut ties with genocide.”

Bosnian support for the Palestinian protest rally
Bosnian support for the Palestinian protest rally . . . two days ago the UN General Assembly approved a resolution establishing July 11 as an international day in remembrance for the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Image: Del Abcede/APR

Two demands of government
Scott said the protests — happening every week in New Zealand now into eight months, but rarely reported on by media  — had made a raft of calls, including the blocking of Rakon supplying parts for Israeli “bombs dropped on Gaza” and persuading the Superfund to divest from Israeli companies.

He said that today the protesters were calling for the government to do two things given the Israeli genocide:

  • End “working holiday” visas for young Israelis visiting Aotearoa, and
  • Expelling the Israeli ambassador and shut the embassy

At least 35,903 people have been killed and 80,420 wounded in Israel’s war on Gaza since October 7.

The Palestinian protest in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau today
The Palestinian protest in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau today with a focus on Google. Image: Del Abcede/APR



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