Two ACORN offices, one in Boston and the other in Burien, Washington (south of Seattle) have been attacked and ransacked. In Burien, the office was vandalized and computers were stolen. In Boston, the burglar alarm was torn from the wall, along with internet and phone lines. Computers and coins from a vending machine were stolen.
Police have taken photos and fingerprints and are investigating.
Velvet Revolution is offering $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for break-ins at the ACORN offices in Dorchester, MA and Burien, WA. If you have any information about these crimes, please contact Chris Leonard or Mimi Ramos of ACORN at (617) 436-7100.
In an ACORN press release, Mimi Ramos, Head Organizer of ACORN's Massachusetts office, said "Voter suppression is their goal, but we will not allow the actions of political hacks and zealots to intimidate us or keep us from exercising our most fundamental right -- the right to vote."
According to CBS News, "a representative from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now said he did not know if the break-in was politically motivated, but called the timing 'suspicious.'"
As reported by McClatchy:
Attorneys for the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now were notifying the FBI and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division of the incidents, said Brian Kettenring, a Florida-based spokesman for the group.
Kettenring said that a senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland, after appearing on television this week, got an e-mail that said she "is going to have her life ended."
A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of "We know you get off work at 9," then uttered racial epithets, he said.
Kettenring said that ACORN had received growing amounts of hate mail in recent weeks, but "the campaign debate sort of tipped it over to a scary point, where raising allegations of voter fraud went from a cynical campaign ploy to really inciting racial violence."
Since McCain's remarks, ACORN's 87 offices across the country have received hundreds of hostile e-mails, many of them containing racial slurs, Kettenring said. "We believe that these are specifically McCain supporters" sending the messages, he said.
The e-mail to the Cleveland employee was traced to a Facebook Web page in the name of a Baltimore man. It featured a photo of a McCain-Palin sign.
We fear that the attacks and death threats against ACORN are not over yet. We believe that the "red meat" the GOP ticket is throwing to their supports, including lies and distortions about ACORN and the work they do, will incite further criminal acts and possibly violence.
McCain, during the October 15, 2008 presidential debate, said that ACORN is "on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, and maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."
Palin has said ACORN engages in "voter fraud" (which is a lie) and that "we can't allow leftist groups like ACORN to steal this election." She told a right wing radio host that ACORN is responsible for the "unconscionable situation we are facing now with voter fraud."
Velvet Revolution believes John McCain, Sarah Palin, the GOP, and certain individuals in the media share partial responsibility for the criminal acts, death threats, and racist comments leveled at ACORN. The lies, distortions, and attacks on ACORN by the McCain/Palin campaign and the GOP are reprehensible.
We join Mr. Kettenring of ACORN in calling for McCain and Palin "to tamp down the fringe elements in [their] party."