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Cleanup planned at Fargo's International Market Plaza after white supremacist vandalism

Cleanup volunteers are welcome, and donations are needed to add surveillance cameras to the building's exterior, said Fowzia Adde, executive director of the Immigrant Development Center, the organization that owns the building.

Fowzia Adde, executive director of the Immigrant Development Center in Moorhead, looks at vandalism on International Market Plaza on Main Street in early September 2022.jpg
Fowzia Adde, executive director of the Immigrant Development Center, looks at vandalism on the International Market Plaza on Main Street in Fargo in early September 2022.
C.S. Hagen/The Forum
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FARGO — More than a week after the International Market Plaza was vandalized by white nationalist messages, a cleanup is being organized for this weekend.

The messages were spray-painted or stenciled onto murals hanging outside the building, at 1345 Main Ave. in Fargo, with the words " Patriot Front ."

Volunteers and market employees will be taking the artwork down for repairs, said Fowzia Adde, executive director of the Immigrant Development Center, the organization that owns the building.

The cleanup is slated to begin 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18. Cleanup volunteers are welcome, and donations are needed to add surveillance cameras to the building's exterior, Adde said.

The Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that formed after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit that tracks hate groups.

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The International Market Plaza houses about 18 businesses owned by recent immigrants who manage shops, restaurants and grocery stores.

One of the shop owners, Jihan Brifki, helped set up a GoFundMe website with the goal of raising $15,000 to repair the vandalized artwork. As of Friday, more than $3,500 had been raised.

On Sunday, artists who painted the murals are expected to take part in the cleanup. Meals will be provided and a security company will be present, Adde said.

Patriot Front vandalism has popped up across the metro area in recent months, and police are investigating.

In July, Patriot Front graffiti was discovered at the Red Raven Espresso Parlor , which is preparing to move to a new location, and similar stickers were also found throughout downtown Fargo.

In August, red, white and blue stenciled signs for Patriot Front appeared in the pathway that runs underneath Interstate 94 at Ninth Street South.

Earlier this month, residents at the Woodrow Wilson Apartments on the western edge of downtown Fargo found fliers from the group on their cars.

C.S. Hagen is an award-winning journalist currently covering the education and activist beats mainly in North Dakota and Minnesota.
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