28 July 2016
The Twin Cities General Defense Committee (GDC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has received threats of armed violence against our planned picket of the Saint Anthony Municipal Liquor Store.
We have planned a community picket of the liquor store on Saturday, July 30th, at 6PM, because it is owned by the city of Saint Anthony, which helps to pay the salary of Jeronimo Yanez, the cop who murdered Philando Castile on July 6th. Click here to indicate that you’ll be attending on our Facebook event page.
In a comment thread started by a visitor to our page who expressed rage with the police department for murdering people. Angry replies were posted to our event page along with clear threats of violence. We have deleted that post because of how offensive and threatening it had become. We have screenshots of all the conversation, and of the threat-makers’ Facebook pages, including in some cases military service and places of employment. Some of which are below.
The response was largely initiated by Jeremy LaGrander of Hudson, Wisconsin, an apparent US Army Veteran who posted pictures of himself in uniform to the cover page of his Facebook account.
Jeremy LaGrander, Army Veteran, Threatmaker.
LaGrander tagged some of his Facebook contacts, [full list: James Miller, Cory Voigt (Owner of “Lifestyle Tint” in Albertville, MN) Jeremy Bangel, Holden Lucke, Jasen Pomroy (Army), Levi Jones (from Texas, he works for Kwest Group; he is also pictured in the uniformed photo above), Ron Hampton (In Oklahoma), Travis William (who posts hateful things about Muslims and likes the Confederate Flag), and Cory Anderson, who owns an auto shop in Scandia, MN called “Flake Creations“). Along with the tag, LaGrander called on his fellow veterans to:
James Miller promptly escalated the situation, posting pictures of his military-grade weaponry and asking if he could use it at the protest. Miller identifies as an Army veteran from the Infantry 1-128th Bravo Company, and posted that information, along with a picture of himself in uniform, to his public facebook page. However, he also posted a picture of Charlie Company, 128th, “Copperheads.”
James Miller Describing his military service and affiliation.
And then, the most explicit threat. Having been tagged to respond to a protest demanding justice for Philando Castile, a man murdered by a police officer, James Miller posted this picture of high-end weaponry on his bed, along with the comment:
Can I use this time [sic]? Cause Fuck them and 100′ around them!
Threats of violence
Given the prior discussion on that thread, and the comment accompanying that picture, it seems clear that this is intended as a threat. Any reasonable person would agree with our interpretation.
The last time White Supremacists made threats towards a Twin Cities action protesting to demand that Black Lives Matter, they followed through, and shot five people. We don’t take this lightly.
Next, a friend of theirs named Jeremy Bangel then posted an image of a person firing an assault rifle with a Bible quote (Isaiah 6:8 for the trainspotters), apparently “volunteering for service.”
I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here I am. Send me!”
Jeremy Bangel may have been a military contractor based on his previous posts.
Another contact of theirs, Josh Eads, also an Army veteran, and a Design Engineer and Chandler, Inc., in Afton, MN, joined in with more usual forms of racist dog-whistling and trolling. A look at his Facebook indicates he posts a lot of White Supremacist iconography, identifies as a iii%er (Threeper, a group of militia-minded vets and others who have conspiracy theories and racial prejudices that might make even Trump blush).
Threepers have attended our previous rallies armed and attempted to physically disrupt and attack our protesters. Eads also thinks that there’s a conspiracy to seize power in in the Southwest US by Latinos:
We aren’t afraid of these people, but we’d like folks to know who’s making threats against us, and to ask their’ employers, including the US Army, if this is the sort of behavior they condone and defend. Go ahead and make those calls.
See you Saturday. They won’t be there. We take care of our own security.
As for those people who were tagged but didn’t comment on that particular thread, they mostly share an Army/Wisconsin National Guard background, perhaps mostly around the 32nd Infantry Combat Team. We encourage readers to call their employers or former command centers, and to ask if they approve of this behavior.
Press inquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have many more screenshots.