In recent months there have been several incidents of racist banners placed on bridges over Highway 12 in the west metro as well as a targeted literature drop in at least one community along Highway 12. There is also ample evidence that these groups are placing stickers that spread their hateful rhetoric all over the metro and Greater Minnesota, with a concentrated effort in the west metro/Saint Cloud corridor.
These disgusting and ignorant displays are meant to recruit people into hate organizations and to intimidate and terrorize people in our communities. Additionally, there seems to be a recent trend in their efforts that is targeting working class white people using slogans that are common in labor organizing. This is not isolated to Minnesota but it is a direct challenge to organizations like Twin Cities DSA who are organizing true working class solidarity. If our efforts were ineffective, these hate groups would not be imitating us!
Any working class movement that excludes Jewish, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ workers is a tactic to divide the working class with the ultimate goal of continuing the capitalist system that is the cause of the economic strife in the first place. It may seem obvious to those who are veterans of anti-racist organizing and of working class struggle that the white power movement is full of lies. They will ultimately stab working class people in the back, but to people being crushed under the capitalist system that have not been inoculated against this poison rhetoric, it might seem like a legitimate way to reform this rotten system.
To that end, members of Twin Cities DSA West Metro Working Group, Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka and Indivisible MN03 organized a banner making event at the UU Church of Minnetonka on Sunday, September 23rd and a banner drop event for Wednesday, September 27th. The banner drop took place on the pedestrian bridge west of the Broadway Ave overpass on Highway 12 where the white supremacists dropped their banners on September 16th.
While the white power movement was only able to muster 3 people at their banner drop, our event had well over 30 people, including several safety marshals who kept watch for counter protesters and guided pedestrians through our event. Overwhelming community support for our message was made obvious by the continuous honks from motorists as well as passersby who stopped to speak with our activists. As always, there were detractors who gave us the middle finger or revved up their engines, but they were few and far between.
In order to continue confronting white power organizations in our communities we need to keep organizing and building coalitions. Ignoring or pretending that these threats will simply disappear without concerted action is not a rational course of action. Those who would like to help build this coalition, or who would like to help organize future events can fill out this Google form: https://bit.ly/3tftQYP.
From the Twin Cities DSA West Metro & Wright County Working Group