MINOT, N.D. — Last night the Grand Forks City Council gave approval to a controversial corn milling plant to be built by a Chinese-owned company named Fufeng.
The project is controversial for a lot of reasons, from not-in-my-backyard concerns about smell and traffic and zoning to growing domestic concerns about China’s presence in our economy.
That’s a healthy debate to have, but things got a little bizarre at the meeting last night when a right-wing activist and frequent fringe candidate for public office, Michael Coachman, attempted a citizens arrest over the project.
“This is what is talked about as a citizen’s arrest by a private person,” Coachman told the council after a testy back-and-forth with Mayor Brandon Bochenski over his address (Coachman lives in Larimore, not Grand Forks). He said he could make the arrest on the authority of state law and “god the father and the holy spirit.”