Google employees rally across the globe, both online and offline as a way of raising their voice against President Trump’s Executive Order. Over 2000 of them rallied all over United States including campuses in New York, Mount View, San Francisco and several others joined in online with the hashtag #GooglerUnite.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai broke his silence as he spoke in a rally in Mount View,
…I think it’s really important with anything like that we take the extra step to reach out, to have a dialogue and that’s what leads to right outcomes too. But really I think today is about hearing from other voices. We’ve spoken up but I think it’s great to hear the stories so hopefully there will be more and the fight will continue…
Google co-founder Sergey Brin who came to the US at the age of 6 from Soviet Union as a refugee said,
It’s a debate about fundamental values, about thoughtful policy making and many of the other things that I think are apparently not universally adored, but I think the vast majority of the country and of our legislators and so forth support, and I think it’s important to frame it that way and to be inclusive about it,
Employees personally affected by the ban also had the opportunity to speak and the participants used the hashtag #GooglersUnite to share their thoughts online.
— William Hester (@WilliamHester) January 30, 2017
— Rachel Been (@rachelbeen) January 30, 2017
— Life at Google (@lifeatgoogle) January 31, 2017
Googlers in Mount View chanted “no ban, no wall” as more employees joined in on the peaceful protest. Other employees were watching the protest from the windows of their office buildings around the courtyard.
Among those who spoke about their experiences was Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, a Canadian born in Iran working as a product manager on Google Assistant. Soufi has been on a business trip to Switzerland when the news of the Executive order broke.
Google had first advised Soufi to remain abroad but when the company received word of a hold on the ban, Esmaeilzadeh was told to fly back immediately. During the protest she said:
I am here today thanks to the efforts of a lot of Googlers. But I don’t feel free or at peace. This executive order is racist, unconstitutional and needs to be revoked.
Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, a product manager on Google Assistant, led the rally at Google's main campus today. She's Iranian-Canadian. pic.twitter.com/2iM0q3Xy40
— Blake Montgomery (@blakersdozen) January 31, 2017
The rally happened after less than of the creation of a $4 million “crisis fund,” with the initial $2 million donation by Google later by employees which is to be sent to the ACLU and Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and is the largest such fund that Google has created.