All around the world, Google employees have been staging a walkout to protest Google’s history of sexual harassment and tendency to protect abusers and sweep these incidents under the rug. Initiated by seven Google employees in the US, the protest include staff and contract workers across the company to stand up and be counted.
The organised walkout follows last week’s New York Times report which named several executives who had been accused of sexual misconduct including the creator of the Android system, Andy Rubin. Rubin has since denied any misconduct, however.
In an article in The Cut and on Twitter, the organisers of the Google Walkout laid out their five demands:
— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) November 1, 2018
One of the first countries to participate in the walkout scheduled for 11:10AM on 1st November 2018 was the Google Office in Singapore. BBC reporter Dave Lee shared a photo of the Singapore walkout on his Twitter, showing a massive group of Google employees gathered in what looks like the lobby.
— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) November 1, 2018
Now, this is highly unusual in Singapore as it is illegal to stage any kind of protest without a permit. Even one person can be considered a threat to public peace – think of the arrest of Seelan Palay for his lone performance outside parliament which was deemed an ‘unlawful protest’ – let alone a massive group of irate employees. No word yet on what the local authorities feel about the protest.
In the photo shared on twitter, it appears that a women is speaking to the group of protestors though we’re not sure what exactly is being said.
Based on reports and social media postings by protesters themselves, many of the groups are using the walkout as a chance to share stories of the sexual misconduct and harassment they’ve experienced at Google.
Editor’s note – We do not think such events should be considered illegal but it would seem the Singapore government choose to enforce its laws as and when it likes. This would imply that the state is a country that is ruled by law instead abiding to the rule of law. To be fair and just, the illegal assembly law has to be amended to allow peaceful cause based assembly as what democratic countries would.