ATLANTA — Faith and civil rights leaders are calling for a boycott of Georgia’s largest corporations should they not come to terms with four specific actions in the next week.
The leaders announced plans for an April 7 boycott of several businesses, including Coca-Cola, on the grounds of the World of Coke Thursday afternoon.
Those leaders described both Coca-Cola’s and Delta Air Lines’ latest statement denouncing SB 202 as too little, too late because the clear condemnation of the voting measures came a week after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law.
Both CEOs said this week that they were against the law, calling it “unacceptable” and “based on a lie.” The latter point refers to conspiracies pushed by former President Donald Trump in regards to a stolen election.
The group is calling on corporate heads to meet in the coming days and agree to a press conference where they’d publicly condemn the law, publicly denounce similar measures in other states, support the current federal lawsuits against Georgia and express support for federal voting rights legislation. Those corporations would include AFLAC, Delta, Coca-Cola, Home Depot and more of the state’s largest employers.
“If they commit and if they act (we won’t boycott),” said one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, Bishop Reginald Jackson. “Let me say it again — commit and act. Faith without works is dead.”
“While I’m confident they’ll do it, they still have to do it,” Jackson added later, referring to an agreement to the four demands.
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“I know this is the headquarters of Coca-Cola, but Pepsi may be the new taste of a generation,” Pastor Jamal Bryant declared, adding an organized national boycott could come in more ways than product strikes.
“What will it look like if we get all Black and brown workers to take a day off from working so that we can raise the standard?” he asked.
Gov. Kemp has repeatedly referred to the measure as an Election Integrity Act, “making it easy to vote, and hard to cheat,” despite his and other Republican state elections leaders declaring the most recent elections secure.
“It continues to, I think, allow Georgia to have accessible, fair elections in Georgia,” Kemp said recently. The measure options weekend days in an expanded calendar period of early voting, reduces absentee ballot boxes, requires more state ID in the absentee ballot process, criminalizes food and water distribution in close proximity of voter lines and allows more state control over county elections boards responsible for administering elections.
Republicans fell short of punishing Delta by way of stripping fuel tax breaks as the legislative session closed this week. The House measure was in response to the corporation’s newest statement against DB 202.
In a newly-penned Op-Ed for USA Today, Republican Lieutenant Gov. Geoff Duncan writes about “knee-jerk” legislation steeped in misinformation pushed by Trump, but also points to final-version, Democrat-led measures like better polling signs and extending absentee ballot processing time.
Fair Fight’s Stacey Abrams indicated it may not be time to start boycotting, rather to give the corporations an opportunity to fund fair elections and commit to other measures.