[Editor's note: the latest in Phoenix Woman's series on making the most of Netroots Nation 2011 -- June 16-19, in her homeworktown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.]

One of the bits of local background noise you’ll be hearing during your Netroots Nation 11 weekend in Minneapolis will be on the looming state government shutdown. Despite poll after poll showing that Minnesotans both favor raising taxes (especially on the rich) to deal with the long-running Pawlenty Deficit, and favor Governor Mark Dayton’s plan to do so, the Republicans who control the state legislature refuse to budge or compromise in any way. In fact, as Bluestem Prairie blogger Sally Jo Sorensen reports, they even have a little “shutdown pool” going, taking bets on how long it’s going to be; that’s not the action of folks who are interested in holding good-faith budget negotiations.

There are at least a couple of ways one could fight back against this sort of asshattery: March on down to the State Capitol and make yourself heard, or show your support for two groups that Republicans seem to hate more than anyone else: poor people and brown-skinned people. Luckily, there’s a really easy way for you netrootsers to do the latter (and tweak the noses of some corporatist Dems as well):

WHAT: Benefit concert for CTUL workers’ center

WHERE: Gethsemane Episcopal Church
905 4th Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55404 (3 blocks from Minneapolis Convention Center, downtown)

WHEN: Friday, June 17, 9:00 pm – Midnight

WHO: Jasiri X and other live bands and DJs.

TICKETS: $10 donation requested at the door.
More info at www.ctul.net or on Facebook

Join supporters of the CTUL workers’ center on Friday, June 17th, 9:00 pm – midnight for a benefit concert with rapper Jasiri X, other live music and DJs. A $10 donation is requested at the door. Gethsemane Episcopal Church, 905 4th Ave S., Minneapolis (downtown, three blocks from Minneapolis Convention Center.) More information: www.ctul.net or on Facebook. Phone: (612) 332-0663.

Rapper and Netroots participant Jasiri X will headline a benefit concert for CTUL, a Twin Cities organization of low wage workers. CTUL and its organizers are raising funds to defend themselves against a lawsuit by the SuperValu corporation and to provide further support to the movement for workplace fairness that CTUL has been leading.

With the help of CTUL, workers who clean Cub Foods stores have been trying for over a year to engage Cub in a dialogue about fair wages and working conditions. Also with the help of CTUL, workers went on Hunger Strike for 12 days beginning at the end of May in a further effort to seek a dialogue. Now the parent company of Cub, SuperValu, is suing CTUL and its organizers personally. For more information visit: www.ctul.net.

As for the corporatist Democrats in need of tweaking: Some of my more avid readers may remember the name “SuperValu” from an earlier post of mine:

It will be interesting to see who sides with whom in this fight. Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 union, which has endorsed the campaign, are appearing at the CTUL protests in solidarity on the picket line with the CTUL hunger strikers. Sadly, some persons one would expect to be sympathetic to CTUL’s cause are in fact very friendly with Cub Foods management, and may well want to keep on the good side of Mike Erlandson, the former DFL party chair who now works for Cub’s parent chain, SuperValu.

I think y’all know what to do. Party on! (And check out Jasiri X’s YouTube channel.)