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Brooklynites quietly fomenting tech-sector protest against Trump administration

Workers from big-name tech companies and small startups are joining the People's Climate March later this month in Washington, D.C.

Green thumbs, fingers and hands. (Photo by Attribution Engine user Rishi Bandopadhay, used under a Creative Commons license)
In an effort that’s been cycling around inboxes for several days, actors in Brooklyn’s tech sector are getting people together to join the People’s Climate March later this month in Washington.

We talked to one of the organizers, Andy McWilliams, who works at ThoughtWorks, a creative technology consultancy in Manhattan (McWilliams notes that his efforts are apart from his job there).

“We formed our group to enable people in the tech sector, whatever their skill-sets, backgrounds, or positions within companies, to come and work together,” he wrote in an email. “The People’s Climate March on April 29 gave us an excuse to put out the call for volunteers via the website, and come together around this very important march for climate, jobs and justice.”

We want to build a movement in the tech sector to bring more tech workers out and use their voice to push for climate action now.

McWilliams says there already is an informal group, people who have found each other through personal and social networks, who have the same fears of climate change. McWilliams wrote that the identity of the group is still in flux, and people from all parts of the tech world are welcome.

“I’ve been working on mobile apps on and off for the last 7 years, most recently at Google, and I’ve seen the effects of the crazy exponential curve as mobile computing has gone from a niche to ubiquity.” This is Sam Phillips, another one of the group’s members. Phillips lives in Vermont. “Listening to the Paris negotiations in 2015 I realized that humanity is facing another exponential change but instead of getting better and better tech the impacts from climate change are going to make things worse and worse, at ever accelerating rates. We want to build a movement in the tech sector to bring more tech workers out and use their voice to push for climate action now.”

The group certainly wouldn’t be the only one working to protest decisions by the Trump administration. Both Etsy and Kickstarter continue to fight Trump’s immigration orders in court, and 17 members of the Brooklyn tech community signed an open letter protesting the travel ban as well.

Helen Mueller, who works on a product development team for Facebook in Silicon Valley, joined the group after her awakening to the dangers of climate change and even became vegan as a result.

“Having grown up in the Bay Area, and currently living here, I am thoroughly aware of how innovation and globalization are incredible forces when put together,” she wrote in an email. “While I have always been concerned about climate change, the extensive drought in California has pushed me in the past few years to make further, more significant changes in my daily life.”

The People’s Climate March will take place in Washington, D.C. on April 29. For those interested in joining the Brooklyn contingent’s group, they invite you to sign up here.

Series: Brooklyn

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