A nine-city protest against Google for firing engineer James Damore is being called off after last weekend’s white supremacist rally. “March on Google” organizer Jack Posobiec pushed the event back by “a few weeks” this morning, due to what he called “credible alt-left terrorist threats” and “malicious and false statements” connecting the march with far-right politics.
The March on Google was announced on August 9th, shortly after Google fired Damore for circulating an anti-diversity treatise. But it’s been derailed by the “Unite the Right” rally that took place just a few days later, where a white supremacist allegedly rammed his car through a crowd of protesters, killing one. Organizers have scrambled to disassociate themselves with the event, explicitly promising that it’s nonviolent and unrelated to the white nationalist “alt-right,” but they’ve had trouble avoiding the connection, since Posobiec himself is a former alt-right supporter known for pushing far-right conspiracy theories like Pizzagate. In turn, the March on Google organizers argue that this association puts them in danger of violent retaliation from the “alt-left,” a term Donald Trump used yesterday to condemn anti-racist counter-protesters.
Either way, racist violence — and the president’s tepid response to it — has pretty well eclipsed outrage over Damore for now. As Recode points out, March on Google Facebook events have only a handful of attendees, and Silicon Valley (including Google) is currently making more news for its crackdowns on white supremacists. It’s not clear that enthusiasm will still be high enough for people to march in a few weeks — especially because Damore has said he isn’t even involved in planning it.