March on Google tries to distance itself from alt-right white supremacy

Screengrab via James Damore/Twitter

Rallies are scheduled at Google in nine U.S. cities on August 19.

Members of the alt-right—a loose-knit group widely associated with white nationalism—who are planning a rally at Google headquarters this weekend have released a statement condemning the violent actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On Sunday, “March on Google” founder Jack Posobiec wrote a post condemning the use of violence by alt-right extremists and asked for a “peaceful” rally on Aug. 19, echoing President Donald Trump’s “both sides” rhetoric about the Charlottesville tragedy, even though violence and racism came from only one side of the rally—the white supremacist side.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms any display of hatred and bigotry from any side,” Posobiec wrote. “It has no place in America. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society.”

The group followed up with a post outlining a “code of conduct” for its march—which Posobiec called for after Google fired an employee for writing an “anti-diversity” memo—disavowing groups like the Ku Klux Klan and white nationalists, even though the alt-right consists of the members of these groups. Organizers of the March on Google have even gone so far as to claim it’s not an alt-right event.

Posobiec, however, rose to prominence as an alt-right figure best known for his involvement in the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and reported role in displaying a “Rape Melania” sign at an anti-Trump protest. He has previously denied the label of “alt-right,” instead considering himself a part of the “new right,” a group the Anti-Defamation League calls the “alt-lite,” or a “loosely connected movement whose adherents generally shun white supremacist thinking, but who are in step with the alt-right in their hatred of feminists and immigrants, among others.”

The March on Google advertises itself as “an event for First Amendment supporters”—not an alt-right event.

“Is this an “Alt-Right” event? The answer is no. This is an event for First Amendment supporters from across the country, from all backgrounds, ethnicity, and walks of life,” the event’s website reads. “We will not tolerate any incendiary actions, messages, remarks, or gestures that go against the respectful, ‘open basket’ spirit of the event.”

According to its website, the purpose of the March on Google is to openly criticize what it describes as an “anti-free speech monopoly” at Google. However, many others called the “free speech” in question hate speech. The diversity memo’s author, James Damore, argued that fewer women work in tech jobs because of biological differences, not social constructs. Among his claims are that women have worse anxiety and look for jobs with better work-life balance, while men have a greater drive for status. The paper also talks about how conservative views are silenced by “leftist” Google.

The March for Google will be held in nine cities across the U.S. where Google has offices: New York; Washington, D.C.; Austin; Boston; Atlanta; Los Angeles; Pittsburgh; Seattle; and Mountain View, California.

Google canceled a town-hall meeting for 60,000 employees on Aug. 10 over concerns for its employees’ safety. Google told Quartz it’s aware of the protest plans, but declined to say what security measures will be in place.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.