“We don’t wish to be often known as the hate capital of Minnesota,” resident Pete Kennedy informed council members at a public listening to Wednesday night, Oct. 14, on the allow request.
An estimated 50 folks, together with regional and Twin Cities media members, attended the listening to within the Swift County city. A majority of those that spoke voiced objections to a allow.
The Asatru People Meeting wants the conditional use allow as a result of the church constructing had been transformed for residential use after its closure as a church.
Murdock Metropolis Lawyer Don Wilcox mentioned metropolis ordinance permits for locations of worship to be situated in residential areas. A conditional use allow is required as a result of the use had been modified for this constructing.
“That is definitely not the type of consideration we would like and never the type of consideration you need,” Allen Turnage, a member of the board of governors for the Asatru People Meeting, informed council members on the listening to’s begin. “We guarantee you we’re good neighbors,” the Tallahassee, Fla., resident mentioned because the AFA consultant. “We’re a standard, family-oriented religion and we consider in being good neighbors.”
The previous church constructing in Murdock will function the third “hof,” or place of worship, for the AFA, which practices a pre-Christian religion.
Turnage described Asatru People Meeting as an “ethnic faith,” which he mentioned is in distinction to common religions corresponding to Christianity. He mentioned the group solely accepts individuals of Northern European descent from the “Germanic tribal interval.”
Turnage denied that it’s a white supremacist group, however defended its exclusion of individuals primarily based on ethnicity.
“As a result of 100,000 years from now I’ll need there to be blond hair and blue eyes,” he mentioned in response to questions from assembly contributors. “I don’t should be a German Shepherd supremacist to need there to be German Shepherds or poodles or Chi-Poos or another breed,” he mentioned.
Victoria Guillemard, of Murdock, questioned the Asatru People Meeting’s consultant on the assembly, Allen Turnage, Wednesday night concerning the violence that has been perpetuated by members of the Asatru People Meeting, a white supremacist neo-pagan group.
Mark Wasson / West Central Tribune
Residents cited issues raised by organizations such because the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has termed the Asatru Folk Assembly a hate organization.
Murdock resident Victoria Guillemard organized the Murdock Space Alliance In opposition to Hate in response to the arrival of the AFA to the neighborhood of 275 folks earlier this yr.
She informed council members that the FBI has recognized a number of members of the nationwide Asatru People Meeting as lively within the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi hate teams. Some folks have been prosecuted within the identify of the faith for making an attempt to bomb a black church and a synagogue, she mentioned.
Guillemard mentioned the AFA doesn’t have the means to police its members. The proof exhibiting violent actions by a few of its members places residents within the small city in danger, she mentioned. “How are we going to guard our residents,” she requested.
Laura Thomas, of Benson, Minn., urged council members to think about the “long-term trajectory” of permitting the group to ascertain a hof locally. She mentioned it’ll put Murdock on the map for hate teams, and appeal to extra.
She warned that that is solely a “honeymoon interval,” with folks specializing in the group’s actions to wash up the church property and donate its Christian crosses to native church buildings.
“It’s essential to consider the protection of the neighborhood going ahead,” she mentioned.
Thomas mentioned many employees on the native Riverview dairies, lots of whom are from Mexico and Central American nations, are scared of what the AFA’s arrival will imply for his or her private security and livelihood. She expressed issues that they could select to seek out employment elsewhere, and hurt the financial system depending on their labor.
Murdock resident Christian Duruji voices security issues Wednesday night to the Murdock Metropolis Council concerning the Asatru People Meeting, a white supremacist, neo-pagan group, that wishes to place down roots within the city of 275.
Mark Wasson / West Central Tribune
Christian Duruji is a Black man who lives simply west of Murdock along with his spouse, a Murdock native, and their daughter. Pointing to the AFA’s avowed follow of not accepting folks of shade, he informed council members that they’ve the duty to say “no” to a allow on the idea of defending the welfare and security of residents.
“I miss out on how a bunch that can disqualify me on sight in addition to view my daughter as considerably of an aberration or one thing that’s not to be celebrated, I miss out on how that might promote most people security,” he mentioned.
Turnage known as accusations in opposition to the AFA “lies,” and mentioned it’s not honest to color it with a broad brush primarily based on the actions of some who could have turned to violence. He mentioned the group has eliminated some who’ve condoned violence.
He mentioned the nationwide AFA consists of about 500 members, and emphasised that the native hof would hardly show disruptive. It has solely about 20 members, he mentioned, most of them coming from areas of jap South Dakota and North Dakota, north of the Twin Cities metropolitan space, and western Wisconsin.
The members collect about as soon as a month to worship. The Murdock location was chosen as a result of there was a church they might afford, and its location positioned it roughly within the center for the members, he mentioned.
The Asatru People Meeting bought the previous Lutheran church on Major Avenue (U.S. Freeway 12) in Murdock to be used as its third “hof,” or place of worship. It might serve about 20 members of the whites-only pagan group within the Midwest.
Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune
One assembly participant mentioned she wished to thank Asatru for having cleaned up an “eyesore” after buying the vacant church constructing.
However different residents on the assembly took turns expressing their dislike for AFA’s exclusion of individuals of shade, and mentioned the neighborhood is a welcoming one.
Pam Skoglund mentioned her mother-in-law moved to Murdock greater than 70 years in the past as its solely Native American resident, and by no means had a door closed to her.
“I don’t assume any of us need Murdock to get a fame as a city that’s not welcoming to all folks,” mentioned Skoglund.
The Metropolis Council will act on the conditional use allow at a gathering scheduled Nov. 4.