A group protesting Google as an “anti-free speech monopoly” has postponed protest marches in nine cities, including Atlanta. The “March on Google” was to have taken place Saturday afternoon in Midtown Atlanta.
Marchongoogle.com said in a post Tuesday that it had received “credible alt-left terrorist threats.” The group has been linked to the alt-right but denied on its site that it had any such affiliation.
“Despite our clear and straightfoward statements denouncing bigotry and hatred, CNN and other mainstream media made malicious and false statements that our peaceful march was being organized by Nazi sympathizers,” the post said.
It is not entirely clear that the marches were actually going to take place, so what has been called off may never have been on. Marchongoogle.com said it had organized marches in nine cities, but it offered no information, for example, on who was organizing the march in Atlanta, how many people were expected or whether the march had a city permit. All it did was list a time, day and the address of Google offices in Midtown.
Infowars, the right-wing website, said the marches had been organized “in large part by Jack Posobiec, a frequent contributor to Infowars.”
Posobiec, who calls himself a “reality journalist,” was recently in the news for championing “Pizzagate,” an infamous conspiracy theory in which Hillary Clinton loyalists were supposedly running a child sex ring out of a pizzeria in Washington. He also has promoted claims that the Democratic National Committee was involved in the death of former staffer Seth Rich.
Neither story was true, but a man who claimed he was investigating Pizzagate fired several shots into the restaurant about a month later.
The March on Google postponement said the group hopes to stage the marches “in a few weeks time.”
Marchongoogle.com said fired Google software engineer James Damore had been invited to join the march. Damore became a celebrated figure on the right after Google dismissed him for writing in a company memo that biological differences between men and women “may explain why we don’t see an equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”
Damore called his memorandum “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber: how bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion.” After making the point about biological differences, Damore wrote that women have higher anxiety and lower stress tolerance than men, and this may contribute to “the low number of women in high-stress jobs.”
Damore told CNN Tuesday that he doesn’t support the alt-right and said he doesn’t have to support a group or cause just because it supports him.