Interfaith pray-in greets shoppers at Publix Grand Opening in Miami!

Since the first pray-in at Publix back in August of this year, clergy have returned several times to the produce aisles to protest, through prayer, Publix’s refusal to support the CIW’s groundbreaking Fair Food Program.

Yesterday, at the grand opening of the new Publix store in Miami — the same store where people will gather for a protest on Sunday in commemoration of International Human Rights Day — an interfaith group of clergy met to express their frustration with Florida’s supermarket giant because, in their words, “Publix has been refusing to dialogue, so all that’s left is for us to pray.”

Four religious leaders — two Christian pastors, a Jewish Cantor, and a Quaker who is also with South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice — stood in a prayer circle over the tomatoes at the packed grand opening. They proceeded to lead prayers in English and Spanish, sing in English and Hebrew — the singing was particularly “beautiful and spiritual,” according to one report — and speak with curious customers.

Naturally, the prayer circle drew the attention of the Publix management team (below, shown speaking with the pray-in participants). To their credit, the store managers were respectful and listened politely to the religious leaders’ concerns (if only Publix corporate leadership showed so much respect for their customers’ calls to support human rights in Florida’s fields).

The grand opening pray-in was a great success, and a powerful reminder to Publix that people of conscience will not stand by silently while the grocery giant, which has reported $5.5 billion dollars in profits in the past three years alone (that’s net profit, not gross revenue), turns its back on farmworker poverty and exploitation in its supply chain, and in its own backyard.

This Sunday, you can join your voice to those of the four clergy who made such an eloquent statement with their prayer by joining farmworkers from Immokalee and their families at the International Human Rights Day protest at the same Publix store located at the corner of Kill ian Parkway and SW 104th Street in Miami. Click here for more information on what is sure to be another massive protest for Fair Food!

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