Google employees and executives held rallies at Google offices across the United States on Monday in protest of President Trump’s temporary travel halt from nations associated with terrorism.
Google campuses filled yesterday with employees holding large signs that read “Make America Think Again,” and the former Google motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” as they gathered to protest the recent immigration halt enacted by President Trump. Google’s campus in Mountain View, California, hosted one of the largest protests, which featured multiple speakers including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google founder Sergey Brin, immigrants associated with the company.
One of the speakers at the event, Iranian-born product manager Soufi Esmaelizadeh, spoke to the crowd, explaining that she was temporarily stuck in limbo over the past week when attempting to return to the U.S. from Switzerland. “This executive order is racist, unconstitutional and needs to be revoked,” Esmaelizadeh said to loud cheers from the crowd of Google employees.
CEO Sunar Pichai spoke to the crowd about the difficulties that the company faces attempting to deal with the visa complications many of their foreign employees encountered, thanking all those who appeared at the march. He said, “Every step, I felt the support of 65,000 people behind me.” He continued, “There are some values that you should never be compromising on, we need to stand together. The fight will continue.”
Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, also spoke out against President Trump’s immigration halt last Thursday when reports of the temporary travel halt first began to surface. Schmidt stated in one of the company’s end-of-week meetings that President Trump’s administration would continue to do “evil things as they’ve done in the immigration area.” Schmidt reportedly told employees that the “tone of this government is very much economic growth.” He further stated, “I think at the end of the day, they are going to do these evil things as they’ve done in the immigration area and perhaps some others. But the core focus is going to be to get the growth rate in the country — which is roughly one-and-a-half to two percent — up another point by simply pushing through increases in federal spending and overcoming the Tea Party.”
In documents released by WikiLeaks, Schmidt expressed interest in acting as “head outside advisor” to the Clinton campaign during last year’s presidential election. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange previously characterized Google as “directly engaged” in the campaign. Specifically, Assange claimed, “The chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, set up a company to run the digital component of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”