This Saturday, First Amendment supporters plan to take to Pittsburgh’s streets to protest Google’s firing of a software engineer for voicing his anti-diversity views, but the city’s mayor is concerned the event could lead to violence.
On Tuesday, Pittsburg Mayor Bill Peduto said he hadn’t received any permit requests, so it is unclear if the “March on Google” is something planned or just a social media thing. Pittsburg is one of the nine cities that announced similar protests.
The mayor noted that any type of speech, even “hate speech,” is protected under the U.S. Constitution. But Pittsburgh doesn’t want anti-Google protesters on its streets since people don’t believe in what protesters say, the mayor added.
Rally Likely to Be Moved Into Isolated Area
Even though the protest is not linked to Neo-Nazi groups or the alt-right movement, Peduto thinks the Neo Nazis, KKK members, and alt-right sympathizers might join the rally. At one point, Peduto said he wouldn’t refuse to issue the permit, but the rally will likely be located in an isolated area.
“It’s our intention to be able to find an area that is an area where it can be isolated but still be able to occur,”
the mayor said.
On their website, the march’s organizers claim the event has nothing to do with the “alt-right”. The march is a protest against Google for terminating engineer James over a memo that said the biological differences between men and women may explain why there are so few women engineers within the company. Protesters believe the web search giant infringed its former employee’s freedom of speech.
The protest’s organizers underlined that hate groups are not welcome, but Mayor Peduto claims intelligence reports show that right wingers may join the protests this weekend.
Image Source: Flickr