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Minnesota

After Two Weeks On Strike, Minneapolis Park Workers Stand Strong

Minneapolis, MN – On July 4, round 100 members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 363 walked off their jobs and began what was intended to be a limited-duration strike set to end on Wednesday, July 10. Right from the start the attitude was one of feisty resolve from these workers. This is the first time in the Minneapolis Park Board’s 141 year history that the workers went on strike, and the strike was authorized by a 94% majority. During the first weeklong strike, they held planned pickets and actions all around Minneapolis, primarily at the parks. They also saw many solidarity actions popping off that week in support of the striking workers.

New Green Bank Is Powering A Net-Zero Development With Affordable Housing

For nearly a century, Hillcrest Golf Club was home for golf aficionados in St. Paul, Minnesota. Opened in 1921 on land that was originally home to the Dakota people, the 110-acre course was designed by the brother of pro golfer Harry Vardon, grandfather of the modern golf swing. Over the course of its storied existence, the property was bought by Jewish businessmen as a haven for Jewish golfers facing antisemitism and survived challenges from caddy strikes to a fire that engulfed its clubhouse. In 2017, its owners sold the property. Two years later, as owners struggled to find a buyer due to soil contamination issues that would complicate redevelopment, it was purchased by St. Paul’s Port Authority.

St. Paul Is Erasing $100 Million In Medical Debt

We all deserve the right to access life-saving medical care without being trapped by staggering costs that leave us unable to pay for our housing, food and other basic needs. Over the next year, 43,000 residents of Saint Paul, Minnesota will receive a letter in the mail telling them that their medical debt – the crippling hospital bills that have been hanging over their head for years – have been paid off. Using federal pandemic relief funds, left over from the city’s response to COVID-19, to erase medical debt for our low-income neighbors is not a move without controversy: Critics, including some residents and elected officials, have argued that dealing with residents’ medical debt isn’t the role of government.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Greeted By Hundreds Of Protesters

Minneapolis, MN — Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Minneapolis on June 6 to speak at a banquet for the Center of the American Experiment, a right-wing think tank based in the suburb of Golden Valley. Around 100 people initially gathered to protest the visit and by the end of the night 300 protesters were outside the Depot. Five people were arrested for reportedly spray painting the street. Unicorn Riot heard from a Palestinian organizer during the protest outside the private event and documented event attendees flipping off protesters. Activists opposed the private event because of Bennett’s past actions in the Israeli government and continued statements against Palestine.

Palestine Solidarity Movement Challenges Democrats At Convention

Duluth, MN – On June 1, between 300 and 400 people from across the state protested the Minnesota DFL State Convention at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (the DECC). It was a show of broad geographic support for ending the U.S. support for Israel’s genocidal military campaign in Gaza, and against the stances of DFL (the name of the Democratic Party in Minnesota) politicians like U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Governor Tim Walz, who have shown strong support for Israel. From the Twin Cities, the Free Palestine Coalition organized two busloads. The protest also included people from northern Minnesota’s Ely and the Iron Range, as well as Northfield, the home of Carleton and Saint Olaf Colleges, and other parts of the state.

Unicorn Riot Nets Resounding Win For Press Freedom Against Oil Corporation

Saint Paul, MN — The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a ruling favoring Unicorn Riot on Monday, May 6, rejecting the oil company Energy Transfer LP’s attempt to obtain newsgathering materials through a subpoena, blunting a three-year legal pressure campaign. In April 2021, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline started trying to force Unicorn Riot to give out sensitive and privileged materials developed in the process of covering the controversial fracked oil pipeline and the massive, historic organized resistance against it. (See our full-length documentary, Black Snake Killaz [2017], DAPL category, and Standing Rock and DAPL content tags for dozens of original stories.)

Hamline University Students Occupy Campus Building For Palestine

St. Paul, MN – Starting April 26, Hamline University students are began occupying a building in support of Palestine. Members of the Hamline Students for Justice (HSJ) organized the Friday afternoon rally along with a group of 30 other students. They gathered outside of the Old Main building which houses the university’s administration offices. The fiery crowd started the rally chanting, “Free free Palestine!” and “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes.” June Gromis, a junior at Hamline and member of the HSJ explained, “On March 4, the student government put forth a resolution calling for divesting from Israel.

Protest Sends Anti-Genocide Message To Biden Campaign

Minneapolis, Minnesota – On Friday, April 15, the Free Palestine Coalition led a protest of around 100 people outside of Education Minnesota’s Representative Convention. Education Minnesota (EDMN) is a large state-level educators union that announced only the day before that they would be delaying their entire program to host the opening event of First Lady Dr .Jill Biden’s “Educators for Biden-Harris” national tour. Protesters outside the convention drew attention to the issues of recent attacks on academic freedom, with speakers like Dr Sima Shaksari from Educators for Justice in Palestine – UMN...

Amazon, Wells Fargo Targeted On Day Of Action For Palestine

Maple Grove, MN — Pro-Palestine activists blockaded an Amazon distribution center in the northwestern Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove as part of A15 Action, a global day of action against Israel’s war on Gaza. In a separate action in the Twin Cities, a Wells Fargo Bank branch in South Minneapolis was vandalized and had its windows broken. Starting at 7 a.m. on April 15, dozens of activists blocked all distribution from the Maple Grove Amazon facility for more than two hours, delaying an estimated 100-plus shipping trucks. Four different elements made up the blockade and protest with all four deploying simultaneously.

UNAC Conference Draws Hundreds With A focus On Building Unity In Action

Over 400 antiwar/anti-imperialist and Palestine solidarity activists convened in St. Paul, MN, April 5, 6, and 7, in the first major conference of the US antiwar movement since before the Pandemic of 2020 and 2021. Geographical representation ranged from Maine and New York to California and the Pacific Northwest, and from Minnesota to New Orleans and Florida, as well as Canada. There were international representatives from a number of countries. More than 50 national and local groups participated

Minnesota: Protest Demands BAE Systems Leave Maple Grove

Maple Grove, Minnesota – On April 6, the Free Palestine Coalition held a rally and march of 100 people outside the Arbor Lakes shopping mall in Maple Grove to protest the upcoming installment of BAE Systems in the Twin Cities. Protesters wanted to highlight the role of BAE Systems in the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza since October 7. BAE Systems makes the F-15, F-16 and F-35 fighter jets that Israel uses in their attacks on Gaza. On March 18, the Maple Grove city council unanimously approved BAE Systems’ request for a $600,000 aid package to make soil corrections before their warehouse installment.

Community Calls On Governor/AG To ‘Stay Out Of County Prosecutions’

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Police associations and pro-police members of Congress are pressuring Minnesota’s governor to wrest prosecuting power away from Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty over her decision to charge State Trooper Ryan Londregan with murder for the July 2023 fatal shooting of Ricky Cobb II. Minneapolis community groups and leaders have since crafted statements and an op-ed, published below, in support of Moriarty, formerly a public defender whom residents elected in 2022 after her campaign focused on police accountability.

Across Industries, Workers Are Harnessing Their Collective Power

Minneapolis - Collective power is rising in Minnesota. Thousands of union members and a broad coalition of community groups banded together to demand better contracts, quality schools, housing and a livable planet. Unions in Minnesota have been aligning with community groups for more than a decade, participating in actions to build solidarity and worker power.  On Tuesday, March 5, around 1,000 nursing home workers filled the Minnesota Capitol grounds to picket for better wages and working conditions in what was the industry’s largest strike in the history of the state. 

‘Uncommitted’ Vote Against Biden Blows Past Goal In Minnesota

A push from progressive Minnesotans and members of the Muslim community to get voters to check "uncommitted" in the state's Democratic presidential primary won nearly 46,000 votes Tuesday, far surpassing their goal of 5,000 votes. Organizers of the campaign declared victory Tuesday night, saying the result will send a message to President Joe Biden that large factions of his own party want him to support a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. "We're doing this so President Biden knows Democrats have had enough of this endless support of a genocidal regime," said Asma Mohammed, an organizer with the campaign.

The Most Important Labor Story Right Now Is In Minnesota

Andrea Villanueva was in bargaining five days ago, negotiating a new contract for herself and 500 other retail janitors who clean some of the Twin Cities’ most recognizable stores. A group of building security workers, also members of Villanueva’s union SEIU Local 26, were also in negotiations in the same building. The workers bumped into one another in the hallways as the day went on — stopping to cheer each other on and express their solidarity. Local 26 is just one of a major network of unions and community groups in Minneapolis and St. Paul that lined up bargaining processes for new contracts — and in some cases, strike votes — around a March 2 deadline
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