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'We're committed to humanity': Local brewing company closed in solidarity with Julius Jones

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Equity Closed

An image announcing that Equity Brewing Co. would be closed in solidarity with Julius Jones from the business's Twitter page. 

Equity Brewing Co., owned by OU international and area studies professor Suzette Grillot, closed Thursday in solidarity with Julius Jones following Gov. Kevin Stitt’s decision to commute his sentence to life without the possibility of parole.

Grillot said the idea was sparked by the business’s frustrations with the state of Oklahoma’s usage of tax dollars. She said the business did not feel comfortable collecting tax revenue for the state on the day of Jones’ planned execution and found the best way to avoid it was to close altogether.

Equity Brewing Co. also closed to allow employees to continue to participate in the various protests across the state, Grillot said.

“We’re tired, like all activists are,” Grillot said. “We need to be there for each other … more than anything else.”

The business’s employees were paid for the day despite the closure, Grillot said, citing the desire to make sure “no one lost their resources.”

Cuppies and Joe, a cafe in OKC, closed at noon to allow their employees to participate in the protests as well. Musician Beau Jennings also postponed his performance at PonyBoy in Oklahoma City in solidarity with Jones. 

“When businesses refuse to go business-as-usual, that’s when things might change,” Grillot said. “That’s what it’s gonna take.”

Grillot said she is concerned about how the closure will affect Equity Brewing Co. long-term because they recently opened and the revenue they take in does not entirely cover their bills.

“We’re bootstrapping all of this,” Grillot said. “But it’s a sacrifice that must be made.”

The theme of Equity Brewing Co., which is an all-female owned business, was inspired by a drive for social justice, Grillot said. She  hopes the company can continue to maintain that idea and inspire others in the community to fight for people like Jones.

“We’re committed to fighting for equity,” Grillot said. “We’re committed to humanity.”

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