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NYACT Activists Carry Out Final Protest of the Academic Year at Google/Cornell-Technion Si
After eight bi-weekly protests at which hundreds of leaflets and information sheets have been distributed and petition signatures collected, New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT) and friends will today carry out their final protest of the academic year outside Google’s offices in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Over the last months, the protests have succeeded in drawing attention to the involvement of Technion in the new applied science and research school, and to the true nature of Technion’s complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid system.
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NYACT’s first Google protest was covered in Mondoweiss (“Cornell partnership with military-linked Israeli school greeted by protests on first day of class,” Alex Kane, January 23, 2013), and subsequent reports have appeared in The Nation (“Cornell NYC Tech's Alarming Ties to the Israeli Occupation,” Adam Hudson, March 1, 2013) and The Cornell Daily Sun (“New York City Coalition Decries Cornell-Technion Partnership,” Tyler Alicea, March 1, 2013). Activists have been interviewed during protests by Mondoweiss (“Why Fran Korotzer stopped saying ‘ethnic cleansing’ and started saying ‘genocide’,” Philip Weiss, March 13, 2013) and WBAI Pacifica Radio (“New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership hold a protest rally”, Rebecca Myles, March 27, 2013). The March 12 protest was included in the events program for Israeli Apartheid Week, during which NYACT addressed pro-Israel material titled “Apartheid? You Decide,” that was handed out by counter-demonstrators at a previous protest (“Join us during Israeli Apartheid Week to say No to Israeli Apartheid in NYC!,” March 9, 2013, NYACT website).
In response to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt expressing concerns about the use of private drones, NYACT issued a statement questioning the legitimacy of these concerns in light of Google’s support for Technion, which is heavily involved in developing drone technology (“NYACT questions Google chief’s call for drones regulation,” NYACT, Mondoweiss, April 16, 2013). The media also recently reported that Google has recognized Palestine as an independent state (“Palestine now recognised by greater power than US or Israel – Google,” The Guardian, Tom McCarthy, May 3, 2013). NYACT asks Google to now stop supporting an institute which is complicit in oppressing the Palestinian people and which practices institutional discrimination against Palestinians within Israel.
On May 2, 2013, NYACT urged members and supporters to lodge their opposition to the Cornell-Technion Partnership and its ethical violations via a new ethics hotline and website set up by Cornell University. Within the hour both the hotline and website were shut down. NYACT then issued a statement demanding that both services be reactivated; shortly thereafter, they were up and running again.
Cornell NYC Tech classes are scheduled to be held at the Google offices until the first academic building is completed on Roosevelt Island in 2017. NYACT will begin protesting outside Google again in the fall when classes start, and will continue these protests until the partnership with Technion is ended, or Google stops supporting the initiative.
Technion is Israel’s foremost research and development institute for weapons, including weaponized and surveillance drones, remote-controlled bulldozers, and other instruments of death and destruction used by Israel to maintain an apartheid system against Palestinians and for use in military attacks against neighboring Arab countries.
NYACT denounces Google’s gift of free office space to the Cornell-Technion Partnership, as well as the $100 million in taxpayer funds and $300 million in real estate granted by New York City to the questionably fast-tracked venture.
New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership is part of a global effort supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against institutions doing business with apartheid Israel.
For more information:
NYACT [at] riseup.net
New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT)