Rural Oregon is a Hate Free Zone: Grant County Update

This week Grant County residents learned that the Aryan Nations is looking to relocate to their community.  Idaho Aryan Nations leader Paul Mullet is trying to purchase local real estate for a training center in John Day, Oregon.  Immediately, community members rose up and responded.  Over 60 people attended a rally on the streets of John Day.  Letters went into the paper.  No Hate signs are appearing all over town. The local paper has committed to keeping residents updated via their website and have put together community meetings.  Next step plans are being made.

Today John Day Mayor Bob Quinton spoke out on OPB against the hate group coming to town: http://news.opb.org/article/6797-aryan-nations-leader-still-interested-moving-john-day/

Human dignity leaders from across the state have been contacting ROP and Grant County leaders to find out what they can do to help.  Let’s grow the momentum and number of voices speaking out against this hate group.  Former white supremacists have said that hate groups “test” a community by taking action and then seeing if anyone in the community responds.  If they don’t, they set up shop. Let us know back at cara@rop.org what action you take.

* Send a postcard to Mayor Bob Quinton thanking him for speaking out.   Let’s flood mailboxes with support.

Mayor Bob Quinton
City of John Day
450 East Main St
John Day, OR 97845

* Sent a letter to the editor to the Eagle- they will publish letters from other communities: Blue Mountain Eagle: editor@bmeagle.com.

* And as a ROP human dignity leader in Grant County suggests: send a solidarity letter to your own local paper.  As she shares, “this could happen anywhere” so let’s make sure communities all over the state go on record that hate is not welcome in our hometowns and our state.

Friday Feb. 26th there will be community meetings in Canyon City with two experts to help community members consider additional possible responses:  Norman Gissel, a Coeur d’Alene attorney who was instrumental in the lawsuit that bankrupted the Aryan Nations under Richard Butler in 2000 and Tony Stewart, professor, author and secretary of the Kootenai County Task Force on Civil Rights, which was founded in 1981 to combat racist hate activity in Northern Idaho.  The gatherings are from 9am-11am and 6-8pm.  You can listen into the community forums by streaming at www.bluemountaineagle.com.

Stay tuned to ROPnet for updates, or visit www.bluemountaineagle.com. See below for more articles and updates.
The Oregonian Opinion: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/02/white_supremacists_and_grant_c.html

Video of residents picketing hate group in John Day: http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=23125&SectionID=49&SubSectionID=177

Hatewatch News from Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/02/25/White-Supremacist-Group/?ondntsrc=MBQ100270HTW&newsletter=HW022510

all my best, Cara

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