Workers from leading Silicon Valley companies have demonstrated against what they have called US President Donald Trump’s “discriminatory policymaking”.
While Silicon Valley’s elite may have already expressed their concerns over US President Donald Trump’s first ‘travel ban’, workers from leading Silicon Valley companies have now staged their first mass demonstration against what they have termed the President’s ‘discriminatory policymaking’.
Trump attracted controversy earlier this year when he signed an executive order on immigration, under which the United States would be poised to block entry of all refugees for 120 days, block citizens of Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days, and placed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
While a revised executive order on the subject has since been signed by the US President, discontent has not abated. Al Jazeera reports that today’s rally saw more than 20 speakers from both technology companies and civil society groups.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Brad Taylor – a Silicon Valley software engineer – cited that “A lot of people came to Silicon Valley because they were sold on that belief that we’re doing amazing things… Trump is enacting policies that are hurting our families and our workers. We are the tech industry, we can stand up for the values we say we believe in”.
Taylor is the founder of Tech Stands Up, a nonprofit organization leading social justice activism in the wake of Trump’s new policies.
Tech Stands Up took to Medium to publish its manifesto last week, wherein it reads “Walk into many tech firms, and you are likely to see a set of company values hanging on their walls. Some of those values are inclusion, transparency, innovation, diversity, openness, ownership, and empathy. Today those values are under attack”.
On the event, Derecka Mehrens, co-founder of Silicon Valley Rising, revealed her hopes that the event could create new opportunities for “largely immigrant subcontracted janitors, security officers, cafeteria workers and shuttle drivers to work together with directly employed workers to urge technology companies to take action.
Silicon Valley Rising is a campaign to aiming to build “an inclusive middle class in Silicon Valley”. Mehrens was a listed speaker at the protest, where she voiced her aim to encourage companies to “use their political and legal muscle to resist discriminatory policy coming from the White House”.
While it is unclear as to what impact the protest will have, mounting political pressure from Silicon Valley has become an early hallmark of Trump’s presidency. Earlier this year, the likes of Amazon, Apple, and other leading technology firms expressed their discontent with Trump’s policies on immigration, and later 94 other tech companies filed an amicus brief to support the efforts of the Washington State Attorney General to block the executive order.
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Source: Al Jazeera