Statement on Saturday night, last chance for RSVP Thursday, and updates.

Quick updates:
-Last chance to RSVP for our Solstice dinner this Thursday night. More details and RSVP here. Please RSVP by the end of the day today so we can plan to have enough food.

-Safer Use Society is cancelled this Wednesday, 12/20. Instead Thrive4Change will be hosting a holiday open house at their new storefront at 11002 Detroit Ave. Check out T4C's calendar here for more info on that.

-Save the date for New Years Eve, Sunday, 12/31 from 7-8:30pm for a noise demo in front of the (in)justice center at W Lakeside & W 3rd.

Statement on Saturday's Event:

On Saturday night, the Rhizome House (a radical social center on Lee, near Cedar Rd) hosted a wonderful bingo night benefit for the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund which was organized by Safer Heights. At the beginning of the event well known racist and Zionist Alexander Popivker, who has been banned from CSU for yelling racist things at Palestinian students and vandalizing banners for their student groups, began pacing in front of the space with a large Israeli flag. Last night outside of the Rhizome House, he was being annoying and insulting, crowding the door, and clearly trying to spark a confrontation (while he filmed, of course).

Around an hour into the event, another local business owner showed up and immediately began escalating the situation. Mr Popivker opened the door and yelled something inside, while the business owner tried to force his way in, kicking and hitting people in the process. They were pushed out of the space, forcefully, with the help of many of the participants at the event. We Keep Us Safe! The business owner then proceeded to try to get people to hit him so he, in his words, could shoot people in self-defense, while motioning for his waistband. The Zionists called the police, who made them go across the street, and they eventually left. The event continued and raised over $650 for PCRF.

We all know that the far-right is willing to do some pretty unthinkable things, but tonight a fundraising event for a children's charity, which was attended by children and many members of the Palestinian and Jewish communities in Cleveland, was overtly attacked and the people that perpetuated this assault need to be held accountable by this community.

At the Rhizome House, we believe that people are not defined by their worst moments. So we are giving these two individuals a chance to apologize publicly on social media within the next week, accompanied with a  $250 donation to PCRF and a permanent commitment to stop their violent and racist harassment of fundraisers, protests, and informational events. By harassment, we mean everything from filming and following people to yelling insults to threatening to murder us. In the meantime, we are utilizing community connections to establish dialogue with the business owner to work towards repair and de-escalation. PLEASE DO NOT JEOPARIZE THIS PROCESS BY PUBLICALLY NAMING THEM in connection with this post.

If they are not willing to make this right, we will encourage everyone to boycott these individual's businesses. And we will let people know that they have threatened to shoot people in our community, so people can make their own decisions about how to protect themselves and interact with that risk. We do not need people in our community who violently attack others, simply because of their race or political views. We desire for everyone on Lee Rd to feel safe and secure. Please do share this post with your neighbors and local community organizers, so that everyone can stay safe and informed.

The Rhizome House has been an open anarchist space for over a year at this point, and we have never had to deal with violence before. The first time our space was attacked was not by Neo-Nazis, Proud Boys, or members of Patriot Front, it was extreme Zionists, which should tell a lot about the moment we are in. Hopefully this sparks some soul-searching in communities that support these attacks on people trying to help children survive a brutal war and occupation. Above all, we hope that everyone involved continues to seek healing, repair, on-going dialogue and community safety.