UPDATE April 15: A Republican source tells Bluestem Prairie that Representative Mary Franson, R-Alexandria will not be at the event today. On the MinnSIR/Ruthie [Hendrycks] Report first aired on Thursday night, rally co-organizer Ron Branstner told the host that Jim Newberger, R-Becker would not able to attend the event, but Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, would attend, and Hendrycks herself was hoping to speak at the event. Our source tells us that Urdahl will not be at the rally in Willmar today. Hendrycks is famous for falling victim to the classic "Robert Erickson" punking of the Tea Party Against Amnesty rally in 2009. [end update]
UPDATE: Scroll to the bottom of the post for a positive suggestion of how to respond to Enos and Branstner's umpteenth effort to elevate negative anti-refugee sentiment in Willmar. [end update]
Willmar voters have rejected anti-refugee, anti-Muslim activist Bob Enos twice in his bids for city council (2014 and 2016), but that's not stopping him, St. Cloud Islamophobe Ron Branstner and Republican judicial endorsement activist Terry Serbus from throwing a tax day party in the peaceful West Central Minnesota regional center to celebrate President Trump.
Minnesota state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, shared his excitement at being a speaker at the April 15 event on his Facebook page (screenshot above). But he's not the only Minnesota Republican state representative accepting the invite to the event that Enos, Brantsner and Serbus have put together.
On the event page for the Easter Saturday happening that Corinne Braun created, the buzz is strong:
Wow - not to be missed - this is the celebration we've been waiting for - private, secure, family fun in a peaceful country setting!
Let's show that Minnesota loves President Trump! Come from around the state & Midwest (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin & Iowa) to show unity & support & celebrate making America Great Again!
• Patriotic Music, Speakers & Fellowship
• Bars, Restaurants & Outdoor Grill on the property!
• Free Event & Free Parking
• Wear your Trump gear, bring your signs, banners & flags!
• Rejoice & Celebrate America's Great Future w/Fellow Conservatives
• Kids Easter Egg Hunt - Prizes!
Speakers: - Dave Hughes, CD7 US Congressional Candidate
- Andy Cilek, MVA
- Rep. Tim Miller
- Rep. Mary Franson
- Janet Biehoffer, Nat'l GOP Committeewoman-
- Jeff Johnson [St. Cloud City Council]
- MN Rep. Newberg[er]
- Ron Bransten [sic]
- More - to be announced!
Music by the Ron Christianson band
Come Celebrate in Peace & UNITY! ALL are WELCOME!
Indoor/outdoor - rain or shine!
Share - invite your friends! Post here for ride-sharing & car-pooling!
Thanks to Terry Serbus, Ron Brantsner, Bob Enos & their crew of volunteers for organizing this fabulous event!
Despite years of agitating on Enos' part, Willmar remains a relatively inclusive community that has rallied around its Latino and Somali members. Typical coverage includes stories about high school student picking a Somali senior as Homecoming Queen and a late January 'Walk out' in which a Willmar church stood in solidarity with refugees.
While there are jerks like Enos in every town, Bluestem suspects that if there's a counter-rally in Willmar on Easter Saturday, it's likely to be a friendly ice cream social in one of the city's lovely parks, letting the haters bask in their own shade. It's that sort of town.
UPDATE: A friend who's an active member in one of the more conservative Lutheran synods made a great suggestion about how people in West Central Minnesota might respond to organizing by anti-refugee activists. After reading an article in today's West Central Tribune, The shadow of famine moving closer: Willmar presentation aims to raise awareness, Lance Lindeman suggested that a great display of real Minnesota values would be to help out with famine relief. Get more information about the ongoing efforts at Somali Famine, Willmar Responds.
In The shadow of famine moving closer: Willmar presentation aims to raise awareness, Shelby Lindrud reports:
The news coming out of Somalia has not been encouraging as nearly 6.2 million people are at risk from a potential famine, according to the United Nations, the second famine in less than a decade.
Many of Willmar's residents have been growing increasingly concerned about the situation in Somalia and a group of about 30 met March 25 at the Willmar Community Center to learn more and hear firsthand what it is like living through a famine.
"Very thankful for all of you who care," Arfon Mohamud said.
Mohamud, along with Willmar Community Center commission chairwoman Darlene Schroeder, led the discussion.
Mohamud, Fardowsa Ibrahim and Hamdi Kosar have all experienced the tragedy of famine. . . .
The UN is coordinating international aid response with at least 300 partner organizations. It is estimated around $863 million will be required to meet the need. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs accepts both online and mailed donations, as does the American Refugee Committee. A Facebook page called Somali Famine Willmar Responds has been started as a place for local people to share how they or organizations plan to help.
"The more you do, the more you do," Schroeder said, who feels Willmar has the potential to have a great response.
"Every day, every week matters when it comes to saving lives," Schroeder said.
If there is one lesson Kosar learned from her experience with famine, and a lesson she wanted to share, is that we all need to help each other.
"Even though we're far from each other, we're neighbors. We have something in common, that's human," Kosar said.
We haven't been in contact with the anti-famine effort, but think our readers frustrated by negative thinkers who want to rip Willmar's inclusive community apart might begin by liking the Facebook page and learning how they can assist with the community's neighborly response. It doesn't preclude a nice ice cream social in a park on Easter Saturday, but it's a start on letting the world know yet agai that people in Willmar mostly work together and care about their neighbors. [END UPDATE]
Here are the screengrabs of the April 15 pro-Trump event details:
Why do we suspect Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, might not put in an appearance?
Photos: Screengrabs from the yuge event.
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