Activists disrupt Amazon conference over $1.2 billion contract with Israel

Two activists interrupted the Amazon Web Services Summit in Washington, DC, on Wednesday to protest Project Nimbus, Amazon and Google $1.2 billion cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.

The protest that interrupted a keynote speech by Dave Levy, vice president of global public sector at AWS, was the latest in a series of protests recently Demonstration took aim at Project Nimbus.

The first activist, who appears to be a young man in a video shared with WIRED, stands on a chair waving a Palestinian flag and demanding an end to Project Nimbus.

“Dave Levy, why would Amazon contract with a government that every mainstream human rights organization agrees is a racist state?” he shouted. “Why would Amazon provide cloud services to a government that is committing genocide and committing racism?”

The man was quickly escorted out by security and two DC Metropolitan Police Department officers. Shortly after, a second activist, who appears to be a young woman in a video shared with WIRED, stands on a chair while waving a banner that reads “LET GAZA LIVE.”

“Forty thousand dead, Dave Levy!” she shouted. “You have blood on your hands with the technology that supports the indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinians! You may be good at technology, but your technology is creating genocide! How do you feel when you hear about genocide taking place on the Amazon?”

This activist was also quickly escorted out by security.

Human Rights Watch And International Amnesty Both have claimed that Israel is committing apartheid. Since Israel began its military campaign in Gaza last fall, more than 39,000 Palestiniansincluding more than 15,000 children, have died, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Israel’s military operation followed a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 that left more than 1,100 Israelis.

Israel is currently accused of genocide to the International Court of Justice in a case brought by South Africa. In May, International Criminal Court filed arrest warrants, charging war crimes, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and two other Hamas officials. Israel has repeatedly denied accusations of genocide and other crimes.

Both activists represent No Tech for Apartheid, a coalition formed in 2021 to oppose Project Nimbus. The group includes tech workers and organizers with the Muslim grassroots group MPower Change and the anti-Zionist Jewish group Jewish Voices for Peace.

In a statement released by No Tech for Apartheid after the protest, the group said that while they have opposed Project Nimbus since 2021, Google and Amazon’s continued contract “in the midst of this genocide has reaches a new level of horror. ”

“We are here to disrupt business as usual until they cut ties,” the statement said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to WIRED’s request for comment.

No Tech for Apartheid has led several large protests in recent months. In March, group member and then-Google cloud engineer Eddie Hatfield interrupted Google Israel CEO In Mind the Tech, a conference sponsored by Google highlights Israel’s technology industry. Hatfield was fired a few days later.

In April, Google employees and a group staged a sit-in protest. protests at the company’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, with simultaneous protests taking place outside. Reply, 9 employees were arrested by the police And more than 50 employees fired on two waves of layoffs. Some workers were fired File an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board for response and the case is ongoing.

In recent weeks, as part of the No Tech for Apartheid effort, more than 1,100 college students from more than 120 universities have participated. signed a pledge vowing not to work or intern for Google or Amazon until they abandoned Project Nimbus.


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