A conference call organized by a pair of Black pastors late last night resulted in dozens of high-profile activists and pastors from across the city agreeing to boycott Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Martin Luther King day breakfast at McCormick Place and to begin planning protests of the event.
The call, organized by Rev. Jedediah Brown and Bishop James Dukes, included dozens of callers, confirmed by an Aldertrack reporter who was able to hear the closing minutes of the conference call. Brown later confirmed for Aldertrack that the call included pastors such as James Meeks, Ira Acree, Bishop Larry Trotter and activists such as Ja’Mal Green and Ameena Matthews.
“We’re not going to dishonor Dr. King by having breakfast with a man that has not delivered justice to our community,” said Brown. “I’ve never seen the clergy have such a rebellious nature to do something.”
The group agreed to boycott the breakfast, encourage other pastors and activists to boycott the breakfast, and to organize a small protest at McCormick Place next Monday. In addition, the group will hold a press conference before Wednesday’s City Council meeting and hold an organizing meeting on Thursday.
Brown has also been leading a push to organize a group of activist leaders, The First Fifty, to help plan an agenda and list of demands to present to the Mayor. The group, which is close to completion, Brown says, requires a time commitment and a $1,000 contribution to management of the group. Brown says it includes not just activists and pastors, but a few high profile African-American celebrities. Their first meeting is set for January 21.