The People’s History of Silicon Valley

This newsletter looks at the true history of Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) was home to centuries of concentration camps, slavery, and genocide before it transitioned into Defense Valley, featuring eugenics, nuclear weapons, racial segregation, and some of the most extreme income inequality in the world. Subscribe to follow my research, and my promotion of other scholar’s research, about the true history of this area.

As Michael Anton once put it:

“The founding of California was an adventure, an epic, a tragicomedy, a conquest, and a window into America’s soul. Philosophers have long extrapolated from existing states, of whose origins the precise details are lost, just how political life comes into being. In California, there is no need to speculate. It happened only yesterday, every noble act and sordid deed alike recorded. From its beginnings, though, American California has always been a forward-looking place; the past holds little interest unless it can promise some future good. Yet the ascent to who we want to be must begin from knowing who we are—and how we got that way.”

About the Author

I did some whistleblowing about Apple.

photo of ashley gjovik

I worked at Apple for over six years in Software and Hardware Engineering. I experienced misconduct and abuse on every team I worked on. Due to Apple's culture of intimidation and open hostility, I knew if I spoke up about how I was being treated, my career in tech would be over. Like many others at Apple, I was in pain but I kept quiet.

However, in March 2021, I had reason to ask questions about the physical safety of my office (a Superfund toxic waste site). I noticed a number of issues and had reason to be concerned about Apple's oversight. I was quickly instructed by my leadership and Apple's human resources that they did not want me talking about my safety concerns with my coworkers, and that Apple would no longer answer my health and safety questions - instead Apple unleashed a campaign of retaliation and harassment to try to get me to quit. Apple also incorrectly claimed to me that they did not need to report open issues at the site to the federal regulators.

That's when I knew I had to blow the whistle. I was disturbed by Apple's cruel and bad faith response, and I couldn't be silent about others potentially being physically harmed. I reported Apple to the federal regulators, who then demanded an inspection and confirmed the majority of my concerns were real issues requiring corrective action. Around this time I had also been organizing with coworkers around concerns about workplace safety and systemic abuse, and Apple's apparent culture of corruption and retaliation. As soon as the US EPA requested the inspection, Apple swiftly 'removed me from the workplace and all workplace interactions' and spent nearly every day in between at the office attempting to cover up the issues without me around to document their misconduct.

The day after I was suspended I began hearing there were meetings about the "Ashley issue" with every team in my 700+ employee organization. I heard my Senior Director told management he planned to discuss the "Ashley issue" at an All Hands meeting two months after. Why would he plan to talk about me if I could be back at work by then? I realized they were never letting me come back. I realized Apple would fabricate some farcical reason to attempt to justify firing me at any moment, so I began filing retaliation and discrimination charges with a number of regulators. I also began sharing my terrible experiences at Apple publicly on social media and with reporters.

Within days of notice that I filed NLRB unfair labor practice, US Dept of Labor whistleblower retaliation, and other charges as well as an SEC whistleblower tip - Apple swiftly and violently fired me via a 'workplace violence' interrogator for vague policy violations.

Apple fired me for reporting misconduct. Apple fired me for trying to ensure my coworkers have a safe and respectful place to work. Apple fired me for having integrity. Stand with me against system retaliation, cultures of corruption, and corporate intimidation!

You can learn more about me, my experience with Apple, and read more of my writing at and

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The true history of Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County). Spoiler alert: It's not orchards.


Corporate dissident fighting to prevent the dystopian future.