Amazon Ramps Up Security to Head Off Project Nimbus Protests | EUROtoday

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Amazon appeared to have considerably heightened safety for its New York Amazon Web Services Summit on Wednesday, two weeks after quite a lot of activists disrupted the Washington, DC, AWS Summit in protest towards Project Nimbus, Amazon and Google’s $1.2 billion cloud computing contract with the Israeli authorities. The clampdown in New York quelled a number of activists’ plans to interrupt the keynote speech from Matt Wood, the vice chairman for AI merchandise at AWS.

Amazon allowed solely permitted people to attend the keynote speech. The activists, who had registered on-line to attend, all acquired emails forward of the convention informing them that they’d not be allowed into the keynote resulting from having too little area.

In addition, there was a heavy presence of personal safety guards and personnel from the New York Police Department and New York State Police on the convention. Despite being barred from the keynote, the activists did enter the constructing, the place safety confiscated posters and flyers throughout bag checks, which not all attendees have been subjected to.

Amazon has beforehand mentioned that it respects its “employees’ rights to express themselves without fear of retaliation, intimidation, or harassment,” referring to Project Nimbus protests. However, the heightened safety exhibits that the corporate is taking steps in an try and thwart extra dissent. Google, for its half, fired 50 workers after a high-profile April protest over the corporate’s cloud-computing contract with the Israeli authorities.

The activists behind the deliberate keynote disruption are all organizers with No Tech for Apartheid (NOTA), a coalition of tech employees, organizers with the Muslim grassroots group MPower Change, and members of the anti-Zionist Jewish group Jewish Voices for Peace. (NOTA was created in 2021 shortly after information about Project Nimbus turned public.) The group deliberate the Google sit-in protest and different current actions focusing on Project Nimbus.

Those desiring to interrupt Wood’s keynote embrace Zelda Montes, a former YouTube software program engineer, and Hasan Ibraheem, a former Google software program engineer. Both have been among the many 50 Google workers fired within the spring. Jamie Kowalski, a former Amazon software program worker who labored on the firm for six years, Ferras Hamad, a former Meta worker who was just lately fired after elevating considerations about anti-Palestinian censorship, and one different tech employee, who didn’t publicly disclose their identify, had additionally deliberate to protest.

Five different NOTA activists stood instantly exterior the AWS Summit, behind units of barricades, and distributed informational flyers. They held massive banners studying “Google and Amazon Workers Say: Drop Nimbus, End the Occupation, No Tech for Apartheid” and “Genocide Powered by AWS” atop a picture of a Gazan neighborhood decreased to rubble.

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Photograph: Caroline Haskins