BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A Boston activist group that has insisted on renaming Faneuil Hall is calling for a black-led boycott of the historic landmark.
Kevin Peterson of the New Democracy Coalition said in a statement that he wrote a letter to the Boston Chamber of Commerce “calling on a national black boycott of Faneuil Hall and its Quincy Market Place where the souls of black slaves were sold.”
Boston’s famous Faneuil Hall was donated to the city by Peter Faneuil, a merchant in the area during the 1700s. He both owned and traded slaves.
The activists plan to hold sit-ins and demonstrations throughout Boston.
Peterson first suggested the name change last August after violent white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. He called Faneuil Hall’s name “an embarrassment” to the city.
“Faneuil Hall is connected with slavery in this city and we believe that civic spaces such as it should not be celebrated because it denigrates and disrespects communities of color not only across the city but across the country,” Peterson told WBZ-TV.
He proposed that the building is renamed after Crispus Attucks, a black man, who was the first person killed in the Boston Massacre.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh does not back the change.
“Over the years, Faneuil Hall has become a place where good things have happened: historic speeches such as Frederick Douglass’ call for the end to slavery, the signing of forward-thinking legislation like the Affordable Care Act, and where hundreds of people take their oath of citizenship every year,” the mayor said in a previous statement. “What we should do instead, is figure out a way to acknowledge the history so people understand it. We can’t erase history, but we can learn from it.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)