CORE - the Congress of Racial Equality - is an African American group that played a leading role in the American civil rights movement. During the late 1960s, however, CORE all but collapsed and the remnant was taken over by Roy Innis who moved the organisation to the Republican right.
In January 2005 CORE organised two events as their Dr Martin Luther King celebrations. One of these was a 'UN World Conference' promoting GM. The other was CORE's reception at the New York Hilton Hotel where they honoured, amongst others, Green Revolution scientist, Norman Borlaug, and neo-conservative, Karl Rove, George W. Bush's election strategist and the man who oversaw black voter disenfranchisment in Florida and Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.
Past CORE invitees to their King Day celebrations are reported to have included Austrian politician and Nazi-sympathizer Jorg Haider, and right-wing radio host Bob Grant, who once called Dr. King a 'scumbag'.
The Chairman for the New York Hilton reception honouring Rove and Borlaug was Hugh Grant, Chairman and CEO of Monsanto. Monsanto is also listed as CORE's corporate partner. CORE does not only get support from Monsanto for its campaigning. In 2003 ExxonMobil gave CORE $40,000 - $15,000 of which was earmarked for 'global climate outreach'. (see Black gold?)
CORE's Chairman, Roy Innis, was the 'host' at the Hilton celebrations as well as the opening speaker at CORE's 'UN World Conference' on GM. Roy Innis has proven a curious champion of racial equality. He is said to have called the struggle against Apartheid 'a vicarious, romantic adventure' with 'no honest base,' and when asked in 1973 why his organization supported Idi Amin despite the Ugandan president's hatred of Jewish people and praise of Hitler, he said, 'we have no records to prove if Hitler was a friend or an enemy of black people.' Amin's decision to expel 50,000 Asians from Uganda was hailed by Innis as 'a bold step'.
CORE's GM campaign got underway in 2003. 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.
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'.
Roy Innis's son, Niger, who currently serves as CORE's National Spokesman, was quoted in a press release for the anti-Greenpeace protest 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.'
Roy's son Niger is no stranger to 'counter protest'. The Competitive Enterprise Institute noted the involvement of Innis when reporting 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."'
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 the lobbyists 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'.
Another contributor was Paul Driessen of the