Georgia activists push for Coca-Cola boycott over voter suppression bill

'We’re not going to stand with folk who don’t stand with us,' said Georgia Bishop Reginald Jackson

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The new restrictive voter laws signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp yesterday have prompted activists to call on major corporations to denounce the Republican-backed efforts or face boycotts. 

The leaders of the AME Sixth Episcopal District told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they will call for a statewide boycott of Georgia-based Coca-Cola Enterprises until the company opposes the new voting measures. 

“Coca-Cola wants Black and brown people to drink their product, then they must speak up when our rights, our lives, and our very democracy as we know it is under attack,” said Bishop Reginald Jackson. “We will speak with our wallets.” 

Read More: Martin Luther King III decries ‘racist’ Georgia election bill

At a rally outside of the Georgia Capitol building on Thursday, where Kemp was signing the restrictive legislation, Jackson called out the multi-national company saying, “This past summer, Coke and other corporations said they needed to speak out against racism. But they’ve been mighty quiet about this.”

“We’re not going to stand with folk who don’t stand with us.” 

In a statement earlier this month, Coca-Cola said that it supported a “balanced approach to the elections bills that have been introduced in the Georgia Legislature this session.”

Sodas are seen during the 2019 BET Experience Coca-Cola Music Stage. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET)

“The ultimate goal should be fair, secure elections where access to voting is broad-based and inclusive,” continued Coca-Cola in the statement. 

Democrats across the board have blasted the new bill. Attorney Marc Elias pledged to file, “an immediate lawsuit” in response to the bill. Several voter mobilization groups filed a lawsuit late Thursday in federal court. 

The bill directly attacks several efforts that were launched before the November election to mobilize Black and brown voters, like limiting drop boxes where absentee ballots were dropped off during the election. 

President Joe Biden called the GOP efforts to curtail voter rights as “un-American,” and “sick.” 

“The Republican voters I know find this despicable, Republican voters, the folks outside this White House. I’m not talking about the elected officials. I’m talking about voters.” Biden said.

Read More: Warnock visits Georgia lawmaker Cannon in jail following arrest

Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon was arrested Thursday as she attempted to knock on Kemp’s door to witness the signing of the bill. She was charged with felony obstruction of law enforcement and disrupting a session of the General Assembly. 

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