Activists are pressuring Google to withdraw from the Republican National Convention, saying the corporation’s participation amounts to a tacit endorsement of front-runner Donald Trump’s “hateful rhetoric.”
Representatives from such progressive and civil rights groups as Color of Change and CREDO Action plan to show up at Google’s headquarters today to deliver a petition with some 500,000 signatures, urging the company not to participate in the GOP’s convention, where Trump looks likely to emerge as the party’s nominee.
In case anyone in Mountain View, Calif., misses the message, a plane will fly overhead trailing a banner that reads “Google: Don’t Be Evil. #DumpTrump.”
“Our ask to Google is really simple: Don’t put your brand on a Trump-led convention,” said Heidi Hess of CREDO Action, a group advocating social change. “They’re legitimizing and normalizing Trump’s platform, which is racist, misogynistic and xenophobic. We don’t want that platform to be validated by a company like Google.”
Google plans to livestream the GOP convention, which will be held July 18-21 in Cleveland. It has cast its participation as neutral and nonpartisan, similar to that of a media partner. As it did with the debates, Google will provide real-time data insights and information to journalists and voters.
The search giant is one of several companies under pressure to withdraw their sponsorship of the GOP convention. Color of Change sent letters this spring to AT&T, Cisco, Coca-Cola and Xerox, urging them to end their sponsorships. That caused a great deal of consternation, the New York Times reports, as corporations wrestle with an array of tough questions that go beyond formal participation, such as whether to send their executives or sponsor off-site events.
The advocates challenge corporate claims that they’re merely being even-handed and neutral and showing up at both Democratic and Republican nominating conventions. These groups urge Google, which joined other tech companies in condemning a North Carolina law that they view as discriminatory to transgender people, to make a similar stand in Cleveland.
“We think that this is a leadership opportunity for an industry that claims to be about diversity and inclusion, that claims to be about saving the world,” said Arisha Hatch, campaign manager for Color of Change, a black civil rights organization. “We think this is the moment to stand up and show leadership.”
Update: Today’s protest drew dozens of people.
Juniper Downs, Google’s global head of public policy, accepted the petition signatures and spoke with organizers.
If you squint really hard, you’ll see the plane flying overhead, displaying the #DumpTrump banner.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.