Tag Archives: walkout

Trump was introduced at his Arizona rally with the walkout song for WWE wrestler The Undertaker


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Trans activist’s anti-Asian tweets resurface after Netflix walkout against Dave Chapelle special


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15-year-old girl reports she was sexually assaulted at Denton school; walkout planned


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Texas Governor Vetoes Funding for State Legislature after Dem Walkout on Voting Bill


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Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout to Protest Ban of Pro-Hong Kong Gamer

Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout to Protest Ban of Pro-Hong Kong GamerSOPA Images/GettyA small group of Activision Blizzard employees walked out of work Tuesday afternoon to protest the company’s actions against a gamer who expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during an official livestream.The game publisher behind online multiplayer hits like World of Warcraft and Overwatch banned Hong Kong-based professional Hearthstone player Chung Ng Wai from thegame’s lucrative pro league for a year on Tuesday. Chung, who uses the handle “Blitzchung,” prompted the ban after saying “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” during an interview about his tournament wins. Blizzard’s actions forced him to forfeit $ 10,000 in prize money he had already won.“The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” a longtime Blizzard employee told The Daily Beast. “Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.”“I’m disappointed,” another current Blizzard employee said. “We want people all over the world to play our games, but no action like this can be made with political neutrality.” The employees spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional consequences.Protesting Blizzard employees from multiple departments gathered at an iconic statue of an Orc warrior charging into battle in the center of the company’s main campus in Irvine, California, starting around 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The demonstration’s numbers fluctuated throughout the day, the two employees said, ranging from a dozen to 30, and the protesters departed sometime in the late afternoon. The protesters would have been visible to executive offices, which overlook the main plaza, the two employees said. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Chinese tech giant Tencent owns a 5 percent stake in Blizzard, and the gaming company earned 12 percent of its revenue from the Asia-Pacific region last quarter, according to its earnings reports.The decision prompted backlash from gamers and non-gamers alike, adding fuel to the fire begun by the National Basketball Association’s own controversy over China and the Hong Kong protests.A person claiming to be a Blizzard employee and using the handle “Standingwhk” posted a picture to Reddit and Imgur that showed roughly 20 employees involved in the demonstration. Several employees held umbrellas, a visual symbol adopted by protesters in Hong Kong. Two current Blizzard employees authenticated the photo to The Daily Beast. Blizzard has placed plaques with its core company values along a circular compass around the orc. According to the two employees and photos, protesters had papered over one that read, “Every voice matters.”The protesters also solicited signatures for a petition expressing displeasure with Blizzard leadership’s handling of the matter that they planned to submit to executives, the two employees said. Discussion about Blizzard’s actions and of the protest, they said, continued Wednesday. The two employees said Blizzard executives have not taken any public action against the protesters. Blizzard’s actions inspired a negative reaction among lawmakers, who denounced the gaming giant. On Twitter, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the company was willing to “humiliate itself” to please China. And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared, “Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in U.S. politics today is gone.”One of the employees who spoke to The Daily Beast felt that the protest signaled a new era for Blizzard. The company has been complying with government censorship requests within its games in order to keep doing business in one of its biggest markets, he said.“Doing business in China, it’s been easier to ignore the authoritarianism of the government because they were asking us to do things like remove a skeleton [from a game],” he said. “The stakes are so much higher now. What was previously an obvious decision is much less obvious now.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Demoted and sidelined: Google walkout organizers say company retaliated

Demoted and sidelined: Google walkout organizers say company retaliatedStaff who organized mass protests say in internal letter their roles were changed after November 2018 demonstration Workers protest against Google on 1 November 2019 in Mountain View, California. Photograph: Noah Berger/AP They helped to organize an unprecedented global protest that saw tens of thousands of Google employees walk off the job in November 2018. Now two Google employees, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, are alleging that Google is retaliating against them and other employee activists. “Google has a culture of retaliation, which too often works to silence women, people of color, and gender minorities,” reads a letter from Whittaker, Stapleton and 10 other employees that was published internally on Monday and seen by the Guardian. “Retaliation isn’t always obvious. It’s often confusing and drawn out, consisting of icy conversations, gaslighting, project cancellations, transition rejections, or demotions. Behavior that tells someone the problem isn’t that they stood up to the company, it’s that they’re not good enough and don’t belong.” Stapleton, a nearly 12-year veteran at Google, wrote that two months after the walkout, she was demoted, had a previously approved project cancelled, and was “told to go on medical leave, even though I’m not sick”. “Only after I hired a lawyer and had her contact Google did management conduct an investigation and walked back my demotion, at least on paper,” she wrote. “While my work has been restored, the environment remains hostile and I consider quitting nearly every day.” Whittaker, who co-founded the AI Now Institute, wrote that after Google decided to scrap its AI ethics council, she was told that her “role would be changed dramatically”. “I’m told that to remain at the company, I will have to abandon my work on AI ethics and the AI Now Institute,” she wrote. Neither Whittaker nor Stapleton responded immediately to a request for comment. The letter was first reported by Wired. A Google spokeswoman said that the company has already investigated these cases and determined there was no retaliation. “We prohibit retaliation in the workplace, and investigate all allegations,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Employees and teams are regularly and commonly given new assignments, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs. There has been no retaliation here.” Google employees have been at the forefront of a wave of tech worker activism that has swept the industry over the past year. Employee-organized protests have taken aim both at the company’s business decisions – such as its work for a Department of Defense drone project or plans to build a censored search engine for China – and its treatment of employees and contractors. The November walkout was sparked by a New York Times report that revealed that a former executive, Andy Rubin, had received a $ 90m severance package despite being forced out over an allegation that he had forced a female employee to perform oral sex. The report unleashed a flood of anger and frustration among Google employees who had faced harassment or discrimination. In Monday’s letter, the organizers say that they “collected over 350 stories” during the walkout, and discovered a “sad pattern”: “People who stand up and report discrimination, abuse, and unethical conduct are punished, sidelined, and pushed out. Perpetrators often go unimpeded, or are even rewarded.” The organizers are planning to host a Retaliation Town Hall for workers on Friday. They have reserved conference rooms and plan to live stream the discussion internally.
Have you experienced retaliation for workplace activism in the tech industry? Contact the author: julia.wong@theguardian.com or julia.carrie.wong@protonmail.com

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Denver teacher strike: What to know before walkout Monday

Denver teacher strike: What to know before walkout MondayTeachers all over the USA have gone on strike in the past year. Denver could be next. What a teachers' strike means for parents, students in Denver



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Google walkout marks new direction for #MeToo, #TimesUp

Google walkout marks new direction for #MeToo, #TimesUpIn the past year, a growing outcry against harassment and abuse has toppled dozens of men from power, but less attention has been paid to the institutional scaffolding that allowed those men to gain and keep power in the first place.



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Google Employees Stage Global Walkout Over Payouts To Alleged Sexual Harassers

Google Employees Stage Global Walkout Over Payouts To Alleged Sexual HarassersNEW YORK ― Google employees around the globe staged a walkout Thursday to



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Nationwide Walkout Supports Kavanaugh Accusers: 'Women Must Be Heard'

Nationwide Walkout Supports Kavanaugh Accusers: 'Women Must Be Heard'Women's rights organizations are urging people to take part in a national



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