Sunday, July 15, 2001

Names behind the boycott

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Some of the groups that are part of the coalition calling for boycotts are relatively well known, while others are unknown outside social justice circles.

        The Cincinnati Black United Front is a 1-year-old group begun last summer to protest the closings of most downtown restaurants during the Ujima Cinci-Bration events.

        The group, lead by the Rev. Damon Lynch III, pastor of New Prospect Baptist Church in Over-the-Rhine, first called for residents to boycott those restaurants last year. During the holidays the group also called for shoppers to avoid white-owned downtown stores and instead shop at black-owned stores in the Swifton Commons shopping center.

        And, during the Taste of Cincinnati, the group and several others picketed the affair and successfully convinced two of the mainline musical acts to not perform, although legendary soul singer James Brown performed at the request of Mayor Luken.

        A Group of Concerned Clergy was formed in May and called for a boycott of Taste of Cincinnati. Although representatives had claimed to include dozens of area clergy from multidenominational congregations, about a dozen pastors from various churches were identified as members.

        The group's spokeswoman, Joellen W. Grady has said the group has elected to not make the names of its members public.

        The ministers group last Memorial Day weekend encouraged Cincinnatians to engage in peaceful protests during the Memorial Day to demonstrate the need for the city to begin resolving its racial problems. It also requested that the private sector fund Cincinnati Community Action Now, formed by Mayor Charlie Luken, with a beginning investment of $50 million.

        The Combined Coalition for Justice and Equality is lead by the Rev. James W. Jones. It is one of the oldest and most well-established of the protest groups.

       Here is a more complete list of the groups:

        The Combined Coalition for Justice and Equality

       Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance

       Baptist Ministers Conference of Cincinnati

        March for Justice Steering Committee

        African American Cultural Commission

        Center for Advanced Democracy

        Concerned Clergy

        New Black Panther Party

        Stand Up 4 Democracy

        Cincinnati Radical Youth

        Cincinnati Radical Action Youth



        Cincinnati Zapatista Coalition

        Cincinnati Black United Front


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