In an email, a Tesla employee at the Fremont factory shared that a protest following Breonna Taylor’s grand jury decision caused operations to cease for a short time, according to Protocol.
In a separate email, one of Tesla’s engineers told fellow colleagues that the disruption was simply a “peaceful direct action protest,” in response to the jury’s decision not to charge any of the officers involved in Taylor’s murder.
In spite of this, Tesla’s top lawyer said that an employee had “maliciously sabotaged” one area of the Fremont factory, then tried covering it up, then eventually confessed.
SCOOP: In an internal email, a Tesla engineer who a source said has been fired, told colleagues the manufacturing disruption at the Fremont factory last month was actually caused by a “direct action protest” following the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision https://t.co/zfbUBouM9b
— issie lapowsky (@issielapowsky) October 12, 2020
In the engineer’s email, they wrote, “I have done a substantial amount of work over the years to heal from those personal traumas. Unfortunately, the events of 2020 have punctured new wounds and old scars.” The engineer continued, “But this is not about me, this is about a system that has little to no regard for Black and Brown bodies. This is about shutting down technocratic oppression in order to open up this nation’s bodily and spiritual wounds.”
Breonna Taylor’s murder by police, along with the likes of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, and a number of others, caused rampant protesting over this summer, both in and out of the workplace. While the details of this particular protest are somewhat unclear, it’s clear that, to Tesla, the line between peaceful protestor and saboteur is thin, and that there are repercussions for this kind of direct action, whether good or bad.
Still, without more details about the “sabotage,” it’s tough to say which side Tesla would land on regarding policing and racial inequity; certainly it’s actions to fire the instigating employee do send a rather clear message.
Zach is a writer, musician, and EV enthusiast, currently residing in Santa Rosa, Ca. Loves his wife, his cat Banks, and a good cup of coffee.