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Jamar Clark taken off life support

Plus: organizers claim I-94 protest was unplanned; Dayton denounces anti-refugee rhetoric; Wedge employees vote to form union; Cliffs to idle northern Minnesota mine; and more.

Jamar Clark
Credit: Kenya McKnight
Jamar Clark

New developments in the weekend shooting of Jamar Clark. According to Paul Walsh and Libor Jany in the Star Tribune, “Life support measures have ended for Jamar Clark, the man who was shot over the weekend during an encounter with police on a north Minneapolis street, friends of the family said Tuesday. … The friends said that Clark has been removed from life support at Hennepin County Medical Center, and family members are making funeral arrangements.”

On Twitter, MPR reported that Clark has died:

Going back to Walsh and Jany’s story in the Strib, an update on the protests that followed Clark’s shooting: “Upon her release from jail without being required to post bail, [Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima] Levy-Pounds issued a statement that read in part, ‘Blessed to have been in the company of such brave souls willing to be arrested last night, standing up for what they believe in. … These arrests were not planned in advance of the demonstration. We each made a split-second decision to risk being arrested or to exit the freeway.’ … Levy-Pounds and the more than 30 other adults arrested on the freeway east of where Clark was shot were given Dec. 1 court appearances. Eight juveniles were also arrested on the interstate. What’s next for the younger protesters has yet to be made public.”

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Among those arrested was Fox 9’s Jack Highberger, who was covering the protests. According to Steven Nelson in U.S. News and World report, Reporters without Borders condemned the arrest: “Delphine Halgand, U.S. director of Reporters Without Borders, says detentions of reporters such as Highberger, including at other recent protests against police-involved killings in Baltimore and Missouri, appear part of ‘an alarming trend of curtailing freedom of the press in the U.S.’ ” Highberger posted video of the incident to Facebook.

Gov. Mark Dayton isn’t having any of this anti-Syrian-refugee rhetoric. The Pioneer Press’ David Montgomery reports on a press conference the governor gave Tuesday morning: “ ‘I want to protect the people of Minnesota every bit as much as those governors want to protect the people of their states,’ the governor said Tuesday morning. ‘But to stand up there with swagger and say, “I’m going to prevent the wrong people from entering my state” to me is just ludicrous.’ … ‘These are people who have children in their arms, they’re not terrorists, they’re fleeing terrorists in their respective countries like Syria. They’re not a threat to anyone,’ Dayton said. … Trying to keep Syrian refugees out of particular states, Dayton said, is ‘so unfeasible it’s laughable, except it’s not funny.’

For all its hippy-dippy reputation, it’s pretty surprising the Wedge isn’t already a union shop. But in any case, it soon will be, according to MPR’s Jon Collins: “Union organizers say that workers at the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis voted to form a union on Monday. The successful unionization drive is a first for a co-op grocery in the Twin Cities, which has more cooperative groceries than any other urban area in the United States. …Monday’s vote for the union was 76-31, according to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 organizing director Abraham Wangnoo. About 136 workers at the grocery store on Lyndale Avenue were eligible to vote.”

Do you ever get the impression that maybe mining is not a stable industry on which to base a regional economy? The Duluth News Tribune’s John Myers reports on yet another mine idling: “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced this morning that it will close its Northshore Mining operations in Silver Bay and Babbitt due to the continuing oversupply of iron ore in the U.S. and global markets. … The move will put most of Northshore’s 540 workers out of a job by Dec. 1 through at least the first quarter of 2016, although no firm date is set for re-opening.”

In other news…

Mayo Clinic employees in Albert Lea picketing contract negotiations. [Rochester Post-Bulletin]

Dateline, Rochester: a turkey is wandering around town. Northeast Minneapolis Turkeys reportedly not impressed. [Rochester Post Bulletin]

The Twin Cities food community honors its best: “Birchwood Cafe, Corner Table among Charlie Award winners” [Pioneer Press]

Here’s where to get your naan in St. Joseph. [St. Cloud Times]

Didn’t take very long for the MST3k kickstarter to hit its $2M goal. [Star Tribune]