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Dreaded Pastor’s Blog

Dreaded Pastor’s Blog:
(Exec Director Peter Wohler)

Thoughts, prayers & tears for East Lake St
June: the 30 days following the riots

Entry #1 – July 2, 2020
Peter will be blogging & V-logging every week in July – probably longer

It has been an unprecedented month.
After a 31 month battle with stage 4 cancer, on May 18 my colon was reconnected and my final tumor was removed. Pathology examined the tumor and for the first time since my diagnosis i was told I am cancer free. We are the 2nd house from 38th just east of Chicago and I returned home May 26 to my block cut off with protest due to George Floyd’s death. I drive by Chicago & 38th everyday I go to the Source community center and offices. In the summer Cup Foods, a small market on that corner, is where I purchase 99 cent cream soda on my way home.
The following day riots began and over 200 businesses were burnt, destroyed or heavily vandalized on East Lake St. E Lake is the most impoverished area of So Mpls and has been the most common area of outreach for Source for 25 years. The Source Community Center, the Fallout Urban Art Center and 5 other Source buildings are within 3 blocks of E Lake St.
– Urban Outreach and Anti-trafficking street teams, – hosting events in local coffee shops in the 90’s (before we had the Fallout Urban Art Center) – drive by shooting when bullet hits a UMT student square in the back and miraculously does not puncture the skin – drums and art with homeless youth – hosting spiritual discussion groups – Bringing meals, coffee, bagels and blankets to the homeless – immigrant workers hoping for day labor in Kmart parking lot – cleaning the Kmart parking lot 100’s of times – passing out flyers at Lake & Nicollet bus stops – Source interactive art at the May Day Festival – Prayer and Food to homeless encampments on the Greenway – picking up youth for soccer games – soccer practice and camps with my kids at Powderhorn Park and at Urban Ventures – meeting friends at East Lake Street Pub – watching the world cup at Global Market – favorite ethnic restaurants – Taco trucks – having people from a variety of ethnicities and/or backgrounds smile and say hello as I walk down E Lake. Are all apart of a block north or south of the the E Lake corridor.
E Lake is bitter sweet. It’s easy to be fond of her and have compassion after she has been violated, but truth be told E Lake also represents oppression and victimizing the vulnerable. Drug dealers, pimps, addicts stealing and youth being taken advantage of are all part of the past darkness. I have seen grown men running away with elderly woman’s purses, young teen girls staggering and getting into cars with strangers, and too many gun shots over the years.
For 5 nights the riots put So Mpls on high alert. It was surreal in that during the day felt safe, but each night violence and fires were a high threat and Police and the Fire department were unable to respond.
I experienced the unrest in several rolls. As a resident of South Mpls, as a father with a family in arms way, a homeless outreach worker who had been bringing meals to a homeless encampment 2 blocks from the 3rd precinct building, a leader of a community who staff and volunteers live 2-4 blocks from Lake St & Nicollet, Soccer coach of teens that live on the Lake St corridor (within 2 blocks of Lake St), Pastor of a perish along E Lake St that has the book ends of the 3rd and 5th precinct buildings, the area where the lion share of the violence took place.
to be continued:
SOURCE MN INC. P.O. BOX 8212 MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55408 612.822.5200