Here’s what it was like at the Google walkout protest in San Francisco

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Google workers congregated in San Francisco as part of a global walkout protesting sexual misconduct within the company. Katie Canales/Business Insider

Google employees across the globe participated in a walkout Thursday to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

The protest follows a bombshell New York Times report that identified high-ranking Google executives past and present as having been credibly accused of sexual misconduct – including Android co-creator Andy Rubin, who was reportedly given a $US90 million severance package after an internal investigation into his behaviour.

While Google’s main headquarters is in Mountain View, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, it maintains a sizable office just north in San Francisco. What appeared to be hundreds of Google employees from the San Francisco office left their desks and gathered in front of the city’s historic Ferry Building for a rally.

Here’s what the Google walkout protest was like in San Francisco:


Google employees gathered in a plaza outside the company’s San Francisco office at 345 Spear St. around 11am Thursday.

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Many held banners at the ready. This one evokes Google’s unofficial motto of many years

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Soon after 11am, employees spilled out of the plaza area and onto the footpaths.

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They began chanting slogans like, “No justice, no peace!”

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What appeared to be hundreds of workers flooded the footpaths outside the Google office.

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Many women wore teal ribbons on their lapels, a sign of solidarity with women who have survived sexual harassment.

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Many of the protestors carried signs referring to the $US90 million severance package that the New York Times reported was paid out by Google to Android creator Andy Rubin following an investigation into allegations of his inappropriate behaviour.

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Source: The New York Times


Other banners demanded that “hara–holes” within the company be held accountable for their actions.

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The phrase “Not ok, Google” was widespread, an apparent reference to the “OK Google” keyword that activates its Google Home speakers.

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Employees kept to the footpaths and did not interrupt traffic flow.

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They waited until it was their turn to cross intersections.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that he supports the protests from his staff. “We are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate,” he said in a statement.

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Source: Business Insider


One employee brought attention to the company’s demographics, which are still heavily weighted towards white males.

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Employees marched along the Embarcadero, San Francisco’s historic waterfront.

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The footpaths were flooded with Googlers.

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Some continued to participate in chants, but most were quiet as they walked toward the city’s Embarcadero Plaza in front of the Ferry Building.

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The plaza in front of the Ferry Building served as the official rallying point for protesters.

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Organisers led the crowd in chants from a raised platform.

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At one point the organiser encouraged people to move toward the front with their signs, exclaiming through a microphone, “You’re going to get fired, but it will be worth it.”

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Choruses of “Show me what it means to be Google-y!” and “Time’s up at Google!” echoed from the space.

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The Google employees had flooded the entire plaza.

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Many chanted “Enough is enough!” as well.

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Curious passerby paused to take in the protest.

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The organiser then read anonymous stories of inappropriate workplace behaviour experienced at the company.

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After some 35 minutes, the protest ended.

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The throngs of Google workers exited the plaza.

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The employees in San Francisco were just some of the thousands to have participated in Thursday’s walkout.

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Googlers in Colorado, New York, London, Tokyo, and other Google offices — including the Googleplex headquarters in Silicon Valley — all had similar walkouts of their own.

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The Google walkout in San Francisco dispersed after 35 minutes. Katie Canales/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider