Nine Google workers were removed by police from company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, late Tuesday after staging an hours-long sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The Sunnyvale protest occupied the office of Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google’s cloud division, at a building close to Google’s main HQ in Silicon Valley for more than eight hours. The New York protest occupied a common area on the 10th floor of Google’s Chelsea location.

Videos seen by WIRED showed people who appeared to be Google security staff walking up to protesting workers in two different offices accompanied by local police. In the video from New York, a man who appears to be relaying a message from Google management informs the protesting workers that they have been placed on administrative leave, and asks them to take the opportunity to depart peacefully.

“We will not be leaving,” a protesting worker replies. A man in uniform then introduces the officers as NYPD and delivers a final ultimatum, saying the workers have a last chance to walk out freely. “If not, you can be arrested for trespass,” he says. When the protesters again decline to go, police officers put them in handcuffs.

WIRED could not independently verify that the four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale who had apparently been detained by police were arrested or charged. A person involved in coordinating the protests says the New York workers were arrested with desk appearance tickets, which specify when a person must appear in court. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Early on Wednesday an Instagram account linked to the protests said all the detained workers had been released.

Tuesday night’s police action came after “dozens” of employees were placed on administrative leave after participating in the day’s sit-in protests but leaving peacefully, the person involved says. Protest rallies also took place outside Google offices in New York, Sunnyvale, and Seattle.

The action called on Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract with the Israeli government known as Project Nimbus that also involves Amazon. Last week, Time reported that the contract involves providing direct services to the Israel Defense Forces.

The detained workers in New York include software engineers Hasan Ibraheem and Zelda Montes. They also include two workers who identified themselves by their first names as Jesús and Mohammed on a speaker-phone call with protesters outside Google’s New York office Tuesday.

Project Nimbus has been the target of protests by Google and Amazon workers for years. A campaign group called No Tech for Apartheid—which combines tech workers from the Muslim- and Jewish-led activist groups MPower Change and Jewish Voice for Peace—formed in 2021 after details about the cloud contract became public.

Google and Amazon workers protested outside company offices in 2022 after The Intercept published documents showing the contract includes AI technology such as video analysis. The protesting tech workers say such capabilities could be used by Israel’s security apparatus to harm Palestinians.

Israel’s military assault on Gaza, which began after Hamas killed about 1,100 Israelis on October 7, has added new fuel to the internal opposition to Project Nimbus. The Israel Defense Forces have killed more than 34,000 Palestinians since bombing and moving into Gaza last fall.

Last month, Google cloud software engineer Eddie Hatfield disrupted Google Israel’s managing director at Mind the Tech, a company-sponsored conference focused on the Israeli tech industry. More than 600 other Googlers signed a petition opposing the company’s sponsorship of the conference, and after Hatfield was fired three days later, Google trust and safety policy employee Vidana Abdel Khalek resigned in protest.

Google is not the only Silicon Valley giant to see worker activism related to Israel’s war on Hamas. In late March, more than 300 Apple workers signed an open letter that alleged retaliation against workers who have expressed support for Palestinians, and urged company leadership to show public support for Palestinians.

Updated 4-17-2024, 12:50 pm EDT: This article has been updated to reflect that the detained workers were subsequently released.