St. Paul forum to focus on gentrification

In less than a year, construction could begin on the planned Central Corridor light-rail, which the Metropolitan Council claims will bring increased transportation opportunities to Twin Cities. But for many Central Corridor neighbors, it could bring something very different: unsustainable property tax increases, gentrification, and the loss of historic, racially diverse, and close-knit neighborhoods such as St. Paul’s Aurora-St. Anthony and Frogtown. To prevent such displacement, St. Continue Reading

Seeking fair compensation, not “handouts,” University Ave. businesses take Met Council to task

With the construction of the Central Corridor light-rail slated to begin as early as next year, many expect difficult changes for life on University Avenue. To ease the transition, the Metropolitan Council has pledged more than $27 million to the University of Minnesota for a transit and pedestrian mall and disruptions to scientific equipment. Recently, the Met Council came to a major settlement with Minnesota Public Radio to mitigate disruptions to MPR studios. Yet when University Avenue small business owners, many of them Southeast Asian Americans, rallied August 26 to demand mitigation for anticipated losses due to street construction and lost parking, they got a different reception. Met Council spokesperson Laura Baenen replied to MPR that there was “no money in the project budget for handouts.” Continue Reading

The long arm of RNC security reaches IWW at the MOA

Members of the Twin Cities Industrial Workers of the World reported being detained by police on a Hiawatha Light Rail Train at the Mall of America after peacefully gathering Sunday to support re-instated co-worker who works at the mall. The workers met at 1 p.m. at the 27th Ave. and Lake St. stop to celebrate with Erik Forman, a barista at a Mall of America Starbucks who successfully contested his termination, which he said was an illegal move to suppress his union activity. While there were many Minneapolis and Metro Transit Police present at the gathering, Forman and fellow IWW member Jake Bell said the group’s police liaison was able to make clear to police the peaceful nature of the gathering. Continue Reading


In Students ready for protest, the quote from Tracy Molm with the University of Minnesota SDS erroneously indicated that Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were invited to speak at the Humphrey Institute. The author regrets failing to further substantiate the claim. In fact, the Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance has planned a policy conference [] during the convention with policy advisers and public intellectuals representing a cross-section — at least of the political mainstream. (Colin Powell is not schduled to speak at this policy conference, but has spoken at the Humphrey Institute in the past. Continue Reading

Students ready for protest

Though classes have not yet begun, many students at Twin Cities high school and college campuses are already working on a massive civics project: getting ready for protests during the Republican National Convention in downtown St. Paul September 1-4. Organizers with the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and Youth Against War and Racism at the high school level are collaborating to turn out large numbers of students for demonstrations on the convention’s final day. In St. Paul, activists with Macalester College Students for a Democratic Society are working to house protestors from out of town, and to create an educational convergence space for radical and progressive activism. Continue Reading

Restricting protest, de-regulating police behavior

In the run-up to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minneapolis City Council actions some activists are worried because key limitations on police actions during demonstrations have been eliminated. On Wednesday, a city council committee will consider restoring those limits. At its full council meeting June 6, the Minneapolis City Council passed registration requirements for demonstrations which will apply during the time of the RNC convention, postponing action on the accompanying issue of regulating police behavior to allow for further committee work. In the Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee meeting June 11, Council President Barb Johnson from Ward 4 inserted a statement that the new regulations superseded a key 2000 ordinance in the same area of regulation. Continue Reading