5/31/2012 Newsletter

Contents:

  • CUAPB Office Destroyed in Walker Church Fire
  • Press Conference: Walker Church Tenants Demand Answers
  • Antiwar Activist Mom Gets the Best of the FBI

ALL HANDS ON DECK!
CUAPB OFFICE DESTROYED IN WALKER CHURCH FIRE

Please attend this Saturday's meeting
Saturday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m.
East Lake Library
2727 E Lake Street, Minneapolis

On Sunday night, May 27, a catastrophic fire destroyed Walker Church, including the offices of CUAPB, Welfare Rights Committee, and Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee.  Because our office was in the attic where the fire started, we lost all of our computers, copwatch cameras, walkie talkies, furniture, files, Know Your Rights training materials, banners, over 11 years of photos and news clippings--everything.  We also lost our weekly meeting space.

PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND THIS SATURDAY'S MEETING at East Lake Library as we begin the work of recovery.  We need to find office and meeting space, raise funds and goods, put together a computer system and attempt to regather at least some of our history and important documents.  We are very grateful for the many offers of help but we need to organize and prioritize to be able to make effective use of the resources the community is offering.  There is much to do so that we can get back to the important work the community needs from us.

For people who want to help us financially, Headwaters Foundation for Justice has graciously set up an easy way you can donate to help MIRAc, CUAPB and Welfare Rights Committee recover after losing our offices.  Click the link below to donate.  100% of the money raised will go to the three displaced organizations.  Please spread the word to your friends.

http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Walker-Nonprofit-Recovery-Fundraiser


TENANTS of WALKER CHURCH FIRE TO DEMAND ANSWERS AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR BOTCHED INVESTIGATION

Press Conference:  Friday June 1, 2012 ,  12 noon
Walker Community Methodist Church Site, 3104 16 thAve S Minneapolis
 
On Friday June 1st, members of tenant organizations in Walker Community Methodist Church, will hold a press conference to demand answers of the city and fire department.
 
On Sunday night, May 27th, a massive fire broke out in historic Walker Community Methodist Church, which unfortunately also resulted in injury to five fire fighters.  Four hours after extinguishing the fire, early on Memorial Day morning, the building remains were demolished. 
 
As a result of the fire, Welfare Rights Committee, Communities United Against Police Brutality and Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee lost their offices.  Both the Welfare Rights Committee office and the MIRAc office were in areas of the building that received less damage.  Members of MIRAc could see some of the organization’s possessions intact through the window of their office the morning after the fire.  Despite this, they were prevented from retrieving their items by the hasty demolition of the building.
 
"We are astounded by the fact that the city recklessly and intentionally thwarted any possibility of an investigation into the cause of the fire by hastily demolishing the building only four hours after the fire was extinguished," stated Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police Brutality. "Why was it necessary to demolish the building so quickly?  Why were none of the tenants notified?"
 
The three tenant organizations of Walker Church will make the following demands:

  • We demand an immediate explanation of how the members of MIRAc and WRC can gain access to the scene so that we can determine if any of our property is salvageable.  We expect an answer within 24 hours.
  • We want answers and the truth about the cause of the fire but it is clear that the decisions hastily made by the city have likely botched any possibility of an investigation.  We demand an explanation and investigation into why the city didn't follow standard protocols that would have preserved evidence and minimized property loss after the fire.

"Our organization lost 20 years of our history because the city hastily demolished our office," stated Deb Konechne, Welfare Rights Committee.  "We want a chance to recover whatever of our history is buried under the rubble."


ANTIWAR ACTIVIST MOM GETS THE BEST OF THE FBI

Take a look at this hilarious video posted by an antiwar activist, registered nurse and mother of five who videotaped her encounter with the FBI when they arrived at her home to ask her about her protest activities.  This video is a wonderful reminder of the proper way to handle a visit from the feds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC0PFM9OiSY&feature=share


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