Last night, Bluestem reported in Bigot, interrupted: Bradlee Dean's street team booted from New Ulm Walmart fundraising that New Ulm Journal reporter Josh Moniz had by pure happenstance seen one of Bradlee Dean's You Can Run But You Can't Hide ministry Street Teams getting booted from the parking lot of the local Walmart.
In Ministry booted from Walmart, Moniz reports:
[Dean] has also come under criticism for stating all homosexuals should be jailed [link added], and more recently claiming there was a government conspiracy behind the Newtown, Conn.,[link added] shootings in order to advance gun control legislation.
In March 2012, in Dunkerton, Iowa, Dean's traveling speaking tour interjected graphic images of aborted fetuses at a school assembly aimed at anti-bullying. School officials denounced the incident, stating they had been unaware of the group's history and had not been informed about what the speakers had intended to show. . .
YCRBUCH was banned from setting up in front of Walmart stores after requesting the space under a false name, according to a Walmart statement at the time (citypages.com, May 2011).
Similarly in Newton, Iowa, a Hy-Vee store issued a public apology for allowing the group to fundraise in front of the store, (citypages.com, July 2012). The store's statement said the store would not have allowed the organization to set up shop if the store had been aware of the group's history and said the group had claimed its was a suicide prevention organization.
As Andy Mannix noted in a 2011 report on the ministry, the parking lot fundraising brings in hundreds of thousands each year to promote Dean's hate-filled messages under the guise of "suicide prevention."
But to Krystal Leigh Widner, the organizer of the tabling in front of the New Ulm Walmart, spreading conspiracy theories or anti-gay messages aren't the problem. It's private business asking the Street Team to leave their customers alone, she tells Moniz, that's a sign of the country going the wrong direction:
Krystal Leigh, one of the organizers at the booth, said she had only set up after getting approval from a store manager. She said the group was completely unaware of the Walmart policy and called the ban an infringement of free speech rights. She argued this was symptomatic of a larger trend of the United States going down the wrong path.
A spokesperson for the ministry also claimed to not know about the ban, but declined to comment further until he had time to research it.
The items being sold were various CD, video and graphic novel versions of Dean's book "My War," along with items related to Dean's radio show, "Sons of Liberty." The booths are aimed at preaching the organization's ministry and operates as a major fundraiser for Dean's organization.
Photo: A Walmart employee (right) asks Krystal Leigh Widner to stop fundraising and leave corporate property in New Ulm. Photo by Josh Moniz, via the New Ulm Journal.
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