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Wednesday, May 15

Nakba Day; Berlin tech workers protest AWS summit

Berlin tech workers are protesting the AWS summit this morning, with a larger demo for Nakba Day scheduled for later in the afternoon.


Wednesday, May 15

Nakba Day; Berlin tech workers protest Amazon Web Services summit

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) summit is a flagship event for the multinational technology company, and its arrival in Berlin this year has been heralded with all sorts of grand promises. AWS wants to invest 7.8 billion euros in internet infrastructure in Berlin by 2040, creating 3,000 jobs for the region primarily in the field of cloud computing.

For many tech workers, however, both within Amazon and around the city, a dark urgency is brought to the issue of expanding digital infrastructure by the war on Gaza. Protestors are taking to the streets of Berlin on Wednesday morning to protest the AWS summit and demand the company drops Project Nimbus, a military contract with Israel which allows the army to make use of cloud computing and machine learning services. It was even been suggested that these services are being used to provide data to the Lavender targeting system – using public data to help compile kill lists for Israel.

This is not the only demonstration in Berlin today over the issue of Palestinian solidarity. Today also marks Nakba Day, the 76th anniversary of the expulsion of the Palestinian people from large parts of their homeland. In previous years, Berlin has prevented this demonstration from taking place, citing the danger of antisemitism and glorification of violence, but this year it appears the demo will be permitted to go ahead, with around 1,000 people registered. Berlin has one of the largest Palestinian diaspora communities in Europe.