Tech workers rally against Trump administration on Pi Day in Palo Alto

- A new political movement, born in Silicon Valley, is hoping to get tech workers more politically active to speak out against differing views with the Trump administration.

Tuesday, a newly formed organization "Tech Stands Up" held its first rally in what organizers call the heart of Silicon Valley: Palo Alto.

They coordinated it to be on March 14--or 'Pi Day'.

Hundreds of people, including some Silicon Valley tech workers, union members, and non-profit organizations took part in the rally where speakers voiced their dissatisfaction with President Trump and the government.

It was held at the foot of Palo Alto City Hall.

Tech workers and union members held anti-President Trump signs and wore "Dump Trump" pins.

Police estimate the crowd at its largest was 350 people early on. They say some people left, others joined in, and estimate a total of 500 people attended over the entirety of the three-hour long event which aimed to send a message to the Trump administration on issues from immigration to women's rights.

"When you go into your next job interview, don't just ask about the stock options and how many ping pong tables they have. Ask how much does the company give back to the community," organizer and "Tech Stands Up" founder Brad Taylor told the crowd from the podium.

Taylor, a 37-year old San Francisco man, codes for a tech company during the day and founded "Tech Stands Up" in his spare time.

"This is a first step. This is the first rally we've ever had. We're an unknown," said Taylor.

Tech workers from Mountain View to Menlo Park took part.

"I'm glad Silicon Valley is participating. I think it's really important for us to be part of this movement even though we're in the bubble of California," said Mansi Shah, a Menlo Park resident who says she's a lawyer for tech firms.

Kirstin Sego of Palo Alto brought 12-year old son Griffin who hopes to work in tech one day. They arrived two hours into the rally.

"I came out to this event because I wanted to see what tech companies were doing," said Sego. "[I'm] a little disappointed there aren't more people here."

Also in attendance, Bakul Shah, a software engineer from Los Altos who used to work for Google.

"Particularly in the Valley, we depend on immigrants so much," Shah said, "And I'm an immigrant myself that it just seems to me we should do our part."

"The part I think the tech workers will realize in the next 4 years it that Trump's economic policies will bring a lot of growth and opportunity for tech workers," said Steve Mullen, the former Chair of the Santa Clara County Republican Party.

After the rally, Mullen told KTVU he has friends who are conservative politically and work in technology, but they're in the closet.

"They get too much grief from their peers. It's not like there's an open and honest dialogue. It's that if you don't agree and march to their tune and their phiolsophy, then you're kind of ostracized," said Mullen.

Private security hired for the event reported no problems at the peaceful event.

Organizers say they're not stopping with this, next planning a hack-a-thon to combine code-writing with meeting with policy makers in April.

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