News Tribune Editor Robin Washington deserved thanks for his March 4 column, "Supremacists should have been left alone in the snow." That was the plan that many partners in the Un-Fair Campaign, including Community Action Duluth, had signed on to in an open "call to action" letter written by local peace activists. Later, when members of the Anishinaabe community decided to host a silent protest at the Civic Center, we were in support of it because it was non-confrontational.
Hundreds of Duluth peace activists and members of the Duluth Anishinaabe were very clear on one thing: Do not engage the supremacists.
The Supreme White Alliance planned its rally because it thinks the Un-Fair Campaign promotes white genocide. The Un-Fair Campaign decided not to counter-rally because we with the campaign believe people have the right to free speech. We also believe people should be able to rally without being verbally and physically attacked and that any counter- rally should be peaceful.
When peace activists heard that Occupy Duluth and its anarchist friends from Minneapolis were planning a confrontational counter-
rally at the Civic Center, many of us, including myself, went to them and asked them to remain peaceful. They chose to move forward with verbal and physical disorderly conduct without the support of the greater anti-racism community in Duluth.
I hope Occupy Duluth realizes now that the hundreds of peace activists and the 150 Anishinaabe who gathered peacefully made a much more powerful statement than 30 kids hurling insults and snowballs at the SWA, while getting arrested. We will continue to advocate for ending racial oppression in a peaceful manner; next time, we hope Occupy Duluth will join us.
The writer is chairwoman of the board of directors for Community Action Duluth, which is a partner in the Un-Fair Campaign.