Brawl over white-only church in western Minnesota ends in court
MURDOCK, Minnesota (FOX 9) – The fight for a white-only church in western Minnesota has found its way to court.
One of Asatru’s People’s Congress leaders asked a judge for a restraining order against the organizer of an opposition community group trying to educate the public about the church in Murdock, Minnesota .
This organizer, Victoria Guillemard, is a second year law student at Mitchell Hamline.
Members of the community took to the streets last fall when followers of the Asatru People’s Congress sought to acquire the abandoned church for their own worship services. A pastor told a crowded town hall meeting that their services were reserved for whites.
The opposition to the AFA quickly formed its own organization called the Murdock Area Alliance Against Hate, of which Guillemard is one of the founders.
âOur main goal is to educate our community and members of our community about the negative impact of racism and white supremacy on communities like Murdock,â she said.
AFA chief Jason Plourde took her to court to seek a restraining order. He maintains that Guillemard “harassed him through social media accounts.”
The judge ruled that the AFA was a “public interest” group. The judge also said that Plourde “had failed to establish that the respondent had targeted or harassed him”.
The judge went on to say that Guillemard’s opinions were “public business and that she has the right to voice those concerns under the law.”
The restraining order was denied. The issue follows the line between freedom of religion and free speech, but the judge ruled that the social media talk had “not reached the level of harassment required by Minnesota law.”