Google fired 28 employees on Wednesday after a series of internal protests about labor conditions and the company's contract with the Israeli government and military.

First reported by CNBC, the terminations come just one day after nine Google employees were sacked on trespassing charges after staging a sit-in at the company's offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California.

Google Cloud Building
– Sebastian Moss

The protests centered around labor conditions for workers, and Google's contract with the Israeli government and military to provide them cloud computing, data centers, and artificial intelligence (AI) tools - part of Project Nimbus, a $1.2bn contract shared by Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The protests were led by the "No Tech For Apartheid" organization.

“This evening, Google indiscriminately fired over two dozen workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests,” No Tech For Apartheid said in a statement. “In the three years that we have been organizing against Project Nimbus, we have yet to hear from a single executive about our concerns. Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor. These firings were clearly retaliatory.”

On the West Coast of the country, protestors sat in Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian's office for nine hours before being arrested, during which time they wrote demands on Kurian's whiteboard and wore shirts that said "Googler against genocide." In New York, the protest was held in a common working space.

One of the protestors who was arrested, Google Cloud software engineer Cheyne Anderson, said: “On a personal level, I am opposed to Google taking any military contracts — no matter which government they’re with or what exactly the contract is about.

"I hold that opinion because Google is an international company and no matter which military it’s with, there are always going to be people on the receiving end ... represented in Google’s employee base and also our user base.”

The following day, Google's vice president of global security sent employees a memo that read: “Following investigation, today we terminated the employment of twenty-eight employees found to be involved. We will continue to investigate and take action as needed.”

“Google Cloud supports numerous governments around the world in countries where we operate, including the Israeli government, with our generally available cloud computing services,” a Google spokesperson told CNBC. “This work is not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.”

The Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, 2023, when Hamas carried out a terror attack on Israel resulting in 1,200 deaths and more than 240 hostages. The following day, Israel declared war and has thus far killed at least 33,899 people in the Gaza Strip, and cut off power, food, water, and fuel to Palestinians.

Project Nimbus was awarded to Google and AWS in April 2021 and was almost immediately followed by protests, including by Jewish Google employees. The following month, it was revealed that the companies would not be able to boycott providing services to the Israeli Government, in part or whole, under the terms of the contract. This includes agencies such as the Israel Defense Forces.

More Google employees protested in October of that year.