Google walkout: global protests after sexual misconduct allegations

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Thousands of Google staff across the world have staged a series of walkouts in protest at claims of sexual harassment, gender inequality and systemic racism.

Demonstrations at the company’s offices around the world began at 11.10am in Tokyo and took place at the same time in other time zones.

They follow allegations of sexual misconduct made against senior executives, which organisers say are the most high-profile examples of “thousands” of similar cases across the company.

An image from the Singapore hub showed at least 100 staff protesting.

Greater numbers appeared on the streets outside Google’s Swiss office in Zurich, and there were protests in the Israeli city of Haifa and Berlin.

Google staff also walked out of the London, Dublin and New York offices.

In London, the majority of employees left their desks and occupied the main auditorium in the company’s King’s Cross office. Once the room was filled, some gathered outside, as did a separate contingent of employees from the company’s AI subsidiary, DeepMind, prompting some confusion from those who did not recognise their corporate siblings.

“I’m here protesting against harassment in the workplace, to make sure we don’t protect or support those perpetrators of harassment,” one demonstrator told Sky News. “People are supporting those who have been harassed in any workplace situation, by any employer, and this is just part of the movement.”

Employees were urged to leave a flyer at their desk that read: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest [against] sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.”

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