P&G rally: Protesters arrested after blocking street downtown

2022-06-15 15:02:05 By : Ms. JHC KIMAFUN

Cincinnati police were forced to close down part of Broadway Street for several hours after a group of around two dozen protesters gathered outside Procter & Gamble's downtown headquarters Tuesday morning. 

Four protesters were led away in handcuffs by Cincinnati police after defying officers' commands to clear the street.

Protesters, who were there to rally against what they said is P&G's contribution to global deforestation and its poor human rights track record, erected two large tripods with a banner hanging in between.

Police said the street was closed for about two and a half hours. Broadway Street reopened to traffic around noon.

"From time to time, groups will demonstrate outside our buildings, primarily with the purpose of attracting attention," P&G said in a statement to The Enquirer. "It is legal for peaceful activities to happen and we are respectful of those rights."

The company said its security team works closely with police to ensure the safety of employees and that traffic isn't impeded.

Among the many chants shouted during Tuesday's rally was for P&G to "put people over profit."

Jen Mendoza, 42, of Cincinnati   said the protest is part of a three-year campaign, adding the company's response to protesters' demands over that period has been largely "cosmetic."

"We've been asking for the same thing for three years: free, prior, informed consent for the indigenous people whose land that they're on and strong forest policy, with enforcement, with their suppliers," Mendoza said. "They (P&G) have failed to do that because they're married to the industry." 

According to P&G's website, the company uses wood pulp for tissue, towel and "absorbent hygiene" products, wood fibers for paper packaging and palm oil for laundry and beauty products.

"Responsible sourcing is important, not just for our business but also for the environment and people who depend on it," the company said in its statement. "We see it as our responsibility to ensure no one has to choose between the products they use today and what they hope to preserve for tomorrow."

This isn't the first time environmental protesters have rallied outside the company's headquarters and against its products.

In 2019, protesters inflated a giant mock Charmin toilet paper pack during one of P&G's annual meetings. And protesters last year demonstrated, this time in front of the Kenwood Towne Centre, against Charmin toilet paper citing deforestation concerns.