Congress of Racial Equality

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is an African American group that played a leading role in the American civil rights movement. CORE was among the pioneers of the use of nonviolent direct action as a means of challenging segregation, including sit-ins, jail-ins, and freedom rides. However, during the 1970s CORE all but collapsed and the remnant was taken over by Roy Innis, who is on the board of the National Rifle Association. Innis moved the organisation to the Republican right.

His son, Niger Innis, currently serves as CORE's National Spokesman.

In September 2003 CORE was among groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, taking part in pro-GM protests during the WTO summit in Cancun, Mexico.[1][2][3]

A few months earlier, in May 2003, CORE was reported as planning a protest against Greenpeace, alleging that the environmental group had committed "eco-manslaughter" through the impact of its policies on the developing world. Greenpeace's "opposition to genetically modified foods" was listed by CORE as among the ways by which "these zealots" cause "misery and death".[4]

CORE's press release for the Greenpeace protest quoted Innis as saying:

The carnage has got to end. People should be ashamed to support these fanatics and the eco-manslaughter they are perpetrating on the world's most destitute people. Today's protest is just the first step in bringing justice to the Third World.[5]

In late January 2004 CORE organised a "Teach-In" in New York entitled, "Eco-Imperialism: The global green movement's war on the developing world's poor". Contributors included Patrick Moore, CS Prakash, and Roger Bate. In a press release CORE's Niger Innis, another contributor, said that after the Teach-In "eco-imperialism" would be a household word, adding, "We intend to stop this callous eco-manslaughter".[6]

Another contributor was Paul Driessen[7] of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (CDFE), the Godfather among lobby groups attacking the environmental movement. CDFE is also behind the Economic Human Rights Project, described as "an initiative of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, in cooperation with the Congress of Racial Equality", and as a "growing coalition... dedicated to correcting prevalent environmental myths and misguided policies that help perpetuate poverty, misery, disease and early death in developing countries."

Black American journalists Glen Ford and Peter Gamble describe Project 21 as "white-invented", a "Black front group", and "a network and nursery for aspiring right-wing operatives". Project 21 is an initiative of the Washington-based National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR),[8] a conservative/free market foundation with a strongly anti-environmental agenda.Niger Innis serves as an Advisory Committee member for Project 21.[9]

Ford and Gamble state that the National Center for Public Policy Research

created the Project 21 letterhead in 1993. In turn, the NCPPR is funded by the Bradley, Scaife, Carthage and Earhart foundations, prime bankrollers of the American Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute, Heritage Foundation and a host of other, front-line think tanks of the Right.[10]

Ford and Gamble are equally scathing about CORE - "a tin cup outstretched to every Hard Right political campaign or cause that finds it convenient - or a sick joke - to hire Black cheerleaders". They report how James Farmer, the former head of the original Congress of Racial Equality, confronted Roy Innis on TV for turning "the organization into what Farmer called a 'shakedown' gang".[11]

Niger Innis is no stranger to 'counter protest'. The Competitive Enterprise Institute noted the involvement of Innis in a counter protest outside an ExxonMobil shareholder meeting in Dallas:

faced with the unexpected numbers of free market demonstrators the anti-corporate protestors finally left. "I think we rattled them. They're packing up their bags and they're leaving," said Niger Innis of the Congress on Racial Equality, one of the groups conducting a counter-demonstration. "Victory is sweet."[12]




  1. "Black Conservatives Attending World Trade Organization Meeting in Cancun: Project 21 Members Attending WTO Talks on Agriculture Policy", press release, Project 21, 9 September 2003, accessed March 23 2009
  2. Jonathan Matthews, "[The Uncle Tom Award]",, 14 March 2005, accessed March 23 2009
  3. See this web diary on the Competitive Enterprise Institute website, accessed March 23 2009
  4. "Protest Planned Against Greenpeace's 'Eco-Manslaughter'",, version of 7 July 2003, accessed in web archive March 23 2009
  5. "Greenpeace miss-guided: Core blasts lethal Greenpeace policies", CORE press release, 8 May 2003, accessed March 23 2009
  6. "Greenpeace Co-Founder Denounces Anti-Biotech Former Colleagues", American Society of Plant Biologists website, accessed March 23 2009
  7. "Greenpeace Co-Founder Denounces Anti-Biotech Former Colleagues", American Society of Plant Biologists website, accessed March 23 2009
  8. "About Project 21", National Center for Public Policy Research website, accessed March 23 2009
  9. "Niger Innis", CORE website, accessed March 23 2009
  10. "America's black right-wing forum", The Black Commentator, Issue Number 20 - December 12, 2002
  11. "America's black right-wing forum", The Black Commentator, Issue Number 20 - December 12, 2002
  12. Paul J. Georgia, "Politics", Cooler Heads Digest, Vol. VI, No. 11, Competitive Enterprise Institute website, 31 May 2002, accessed March 23 2009