After receiving terrorist threats from “alt-left groups,” a protest march scheduled this weekend over Google’s firing of an employee who criticized the company’s diversity policy has been canceled.
“Despite our clear and straightforward statements denouncing bigotry and hatred, CNN and other mainstream media made malicious and false statements that our peaceful march was being organized by Nazi sympathizer,” wrote organizers of the March on Google in a statement posted on their website Wednesday.
James Damore, a Google engineer since 2013, was fired last week for “accusing the company of quashing conservative political opinions and claiming biological differences explain a lack of women in tech and leadership positions” in an internal memo which went viral.
Google chief executive Sundar Pichai fired Damore on Monday for violating the company’s code of conduct and “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
“It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion,” Damore wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. “If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future — unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.”
Damore explained that he suggested in his memo that bias against women is also a factor in the male-female disparity in tech, but his superiors ignored his “reasoned” argument because of pressure from the larger tech community.
#MarchOnGoogle had planned to demonstrate in cities where Google has offices throughout the country, including Mountain View, Calif.; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Boston; Atlanta; Los Angeles; Pittsburgh; and Seattle, according to the group’s website.
But, now, they say that credible threats from “alt-left groups” have intimidated them into silence.
“In one instance, an Alt Left threat was made to use an automobile to drive into our peaceful march,” said the group’s statement, adding that they’re going to try to hold a “peaceful march” in a few weeks.
“We look forward to the day when the human right of peaceful Free Speech is once again able to be practiced in America,” they wrote.
Earlier this week, a scuffle broke out near the Cook County courthouse Tuesday evening, between Chicago police officers and members of a local Antifa activist group, resulting in three protesters being arrested.
A group of about 50 Antifa protesters, some of them wearing masks or bandanas over their faces, had gathered outside the courthouse around 2 p.m. Tuesday, claiming they were protesting a hearing going on inside of a man who they claimed is a “white supremacist.”
After about an hour, the protesters reportedly started marching in the street. Trouble broke out when about a dozen police officers asked the demonstrators to get back on the sidewalk and not block the streets.
When police arrested one of the leaders of the group, other activists tried to intervene and several scuffles broke out, triggering the second and third arrests.
In one video, one of the Antifa activists, wearing a bandana across his face, tried to attack a vehicle that was attempting to drive away from the area.
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