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Milwaukee: Large protests against police crimes

By staff |
May 30, 2020
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Milwaukee protest against police crimes.
Milwaukee protest against police crimes. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Milwaukee, WI - Several marches were held in Milwaukee on May 29 to demand justice for George Floyd, an African American man who was murdered by Minneapolis police. Protesters were also demanding justice for Joel Acevedo, a Chicano murdered by an off-duty Milwaukee police officer.

Protesters met up on the corner of N 27th and Center, where they heard various community speakers demand justice in their communities. Organizers from UW Parkside Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Young People's Resistance Committee were handing out fliers for an organization that will primarily focus on demanding community control of the police.

Protesters marched down Center Street to the freeway and took up all three lanes. Milwaukee police attempted to arrest people but caught very few. They made their way to the courthouse to demand the release of the people who were caught. After roughly a half hour of chanting and demanding their release, the protesters were released from the courthouse.

After this victory, the protesters made their way back to N 27th and Center. After reconvening, organizers of the protest encouraged people to travel over to S 45th and Cleveland for a protest being held outside of Michael Mattioli's house, the cop who murdered Joel Acevedo. A march down Miller Park Way ensued.

Protesters were held up from taking over the freeway by several cops in riot gear. Protesters occupied the intersection of Miller Park Way and National for almost the entirety of rush hour. Police started to bring in reinforcements to break up the protest and the protesters began to make their way down National towards the downtown area. Several people came out of their houses and cars to join the protest.

There were an estimated 1500 protesters at the peak of today's demonstrations, with many people leaving and coming back throughout the day.

On top of this incredible show of support from both the North and Southside, many people across the city called Mayor Tom Barrett's office demanding that the city reopen the only no-symptoms-required COVID-19 testing center on the Northside.

“The outpouring of responses, full voicemail box and direct messages are a clear sign of us being frustrated with the mistreatment. Every time Tom Barrett or Milwaukee government officials do something to inconvenience us they will be met with a response,” said Lauryn Cross, one of the organizers of the call-in action. “If we can’t meet them in the office, we will show out in the streets."

The actions today on the Northside and Southside of Milwaukee are a significant development in organizing. Milwaukee's Northside is home to a largely Black population while the Southside is primarily Chicano. The unity of Black and brown struggle is an extremely significant development in Milwaukee that will lead to the change both communities desperately need.