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Postvile coming unglued

The Agriprocessors plant is shut down. Workers are not being paid. An estimated several hundred are stranded, broke, and out of work. And now, we have the first rumblings of a violent reaction.

Jeff Abbas, the indefatiguable force behind Postville radio, recorded a frightening interview this morning with a 50-year-old ex-Agriprocessors employee who warned that other former plant workers — some of them ex-cons and possessing firearms — were planning robberies around town and the kidnapping of the Rubashkin children. Abbas says the city does not consider the threat credible, but several law enforcement vehicles are expected in Postville tonight just in case.

A recording of the interview is here.

Meanwhile, a judge is expected to make a determination today about whether Sholom Rubashkin will be held in jail until his trial. And Postville’s Jewish community, which numbers in the several hundred, is beginning to feel the pinch. The kosher grocery is reportedly shuttered and folks are without food and — irony of ironies — kosher meat. And if that alone isn’t worthy of a novel, who comes to the rescue? Rabbi Morris Allen, he of Hekhsher Tzedek fame, whose Minnesota synagogue sent a trailer of food to Postville this week.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

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