Arson attack suspected after HQs of 3 Minnesota conservative organizations burn

The groups affected were the Center of the American Experiment, the Upper Midwest Law Center, and TakeCharge.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
An arson investigation is underway in Minnesota after a building that houses three of the state's most notable conservative organizations was engulfed in flames on Sunday morning.

Ashlee Sherill, a public information officer with the ATF, confirmed that the fire is being investigated as an arson, according to Alpha News. However, there were no further details on the investigation, including whether or not authorities have a possible suspect or suspects.

The investigation is being conducted by a multi-agency task force which includes the FBI, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the Hennepin County Fire Investigation team and the Minnesota State Fire Marshall Division. The incident occurred around 2 am on Sunday. The Golden Valley Fire Department was dispatched to 8421 Wayzata Blvd.

Due to the location of the fires inside the building located in Golden Valley, one of the presidents of an impacted non-profit organization believes that conservative organizations were deliberately targeted.

"The fires were obviously set by someone. They targeted conservative organizations. They didn’t firebomb the chiropractors or psychologists or Manufacturers Alliance. We are working with authorities to try to identify the perpetrators," said John Hinderaker, president of the Center of the American Experiment (CAE).

The conservative organizations that lease office space inside the building include Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), TakeCharge, and CAE. TakeCharge and CAE are situated on the first floor. The third floor is home to UMLC. All three groups suffered significant fire damage, while other renters did not.

CAE is a think tank located in Minnesota that does research on topics including health care, education, and the economy that have an impact on Minnesota families, while TakeCharge dispels the myth of institutional racism and informs communities about the risks associated with DEI. 

According to the organization's website, UMLC supports "pro-freedom litigation safeguarding against government overreach, left-wing special interest agendas, constitutional violations, and public union corruption."

All three organizations released statements following the incident and asserted that these attacks would not silence their efforts.

"Attempts to silence us won’t work," said Kendall Qualls, president of TakeCharge. "We’re promoting the bold truth that the crisis in the black community is not due to racism but to fatherless homes. This act emboldens us to be stronger and louder."

James Dickey of the UMLC weighed in and called the incident an act of "domestic terrorism."

"It’s deeply troubling that we may have been a target of arson — an act of domestic terrorism — because of the work we do on behalf of the people of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We hope that the authorities will bring those responsible to justice, and we will do everything we can to help those efforts," said Dickey.

"Most importantly, we’re grateful that our team is safe and, to our knowledge, nobody was harmed in the fire. It’s very sad to see the extensive damage to our office suite and also to Center of the American Experiment and TakeCharge," Dickey added.

It will take months to fix the building, which has been declared uninhabitable.

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