Milwaukee, WI - The student and youth leaders of the Chicano student group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) are at the forefront in building for July 29, the National Day of Action Against SB1070. They have set forth the plan for a massive march and demonstration in downtown Milwaukee.
On July 22 MEChA held a community forum on Arizona's SB1070 and HB2281 as an effort to build for the July 29 action. Community members and several organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) attended and engaged in planning sessions and discussions on Arizona, ICE and police collaborations (which are on the rise in Milwaukee), recent raids and the impact that the national day of action will have nationally and locally.
"It's important for the Milwaukee community to stand up and make our voices heard not only to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Arizona but also to shed light on the ways in which we are experiencing anti-immigrant oppression here. Our Latino working class communities have been the sites for large escalations of police presence unlike that any other part of the city. As immigrants we are criminalized and racially profiled. The reality is that people don't feel safe in their own neighborhoods. They may be trying to silence us with fear but we simply cannot and will not stand for it," Anahi Sanchez, member of MEChA de Milwaukee, told Fight Back!.
Jeanette Martín of the Milwaukee and Madison MEChA chapters said, "July 29 will be a day to lay down the semillitas [little seeds] of education about our own struggle and it is our duty, as organizers, students and folks concientes of these injustices, to make sure we keep watering that seed and have community water it too."
Milwaukee's action is taking place in concert with the hundreds of actions all over the country in solidarity with those in Arizona fighting SB1070 and the wave of attacks that have hit the Chicano, Mexicano and Latino community there. The slogans they are raising include "End police/Ice collaboration!" "Stop separating families. End the raids!" and "Boycott racism! Say no to Arizona's SB1070 & HB2281."
Valeria Gonzalez of MEChA de Milwaukee stated, "These new Arizona laws and their copy-cat laws in states around the country are all manifestations of a civil rights crisis people in power are causing for the Chicanos, Mexicanos and Latinos by attacking the immigrants and undocumented people of our communities. This will be a historically momentous day when people all over the country stand together and demand an end to this unjust treatment."