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People across Wisconsin prepare for the trials of Derek Chauvin and Michael Mattioli

By Ryan Hamann |
March 5, 2021
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Milwaukee, WI - Most people in the movement know that on the morning of March 8, Derek Chauvin, one of the most recent killer cop out of the Twin Cities area, goes on trial for the murder of George Floyd. What many of those same people don’t know, however, is that another killer cop from the Midwest goes on trial on March 8 for a similar act of murder. Michael Mattioli, an officer with the Milwaukee Police Department, strangled Joel Acevedo to death at a house party in April 2020 while off duty.

Organizers and activists across eastern Wisconsin are planning rallies for March 8 in solidarity with Minneapolis and Milwaukee.

Answering the call of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, both the Milwaukee and Wisconsin (serving primarily the greater Fox Valley area, including Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh) chapters intend to host protests in their respective communities. Other groups joining the actions are The People’s Revolution MKE, Fox Valley Food Not Bombs, United Action Oshkosh, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

“It’s important that we take to the streets and demand justice for Joel Acevedo, George Floyd, their families, and all those who have been directly impacted by police crimes,” said Alan Chavoya, a member of the Milwaukee Alliance branch. “Unless the people fight back, the status quo remains intact, and the status quo dictates that police can murder Black and brown people and not face charges. The demands are clear: we demand justice, and we demand it now.”

Community organizers aren’t the only people who will be making their voices heard come March 8. Student activists with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at both UW-Milwaukee and Lawrence University (Appleton) intend to host actions on their campuses to show solidarity in the struggle for justice.

“On March 8, the newly-established Lawrence University Students for a Democratic Society chapter will host an on-campus rally, which shall center on the demands to imprison killer cop Derek Chauvin and charge him with second-degree murder,” said Terrence Freeman, the leader of the new student group.

Freeman continued, “Throughout history, revolutionary students have always fought against injustices and stood in solidarity with oppressed peoples. It is important that contemporary students maintain these traditions by continually demonstrating and fighting for a better world. Importantly, LU SDS will be an outlet to make tangible social transformations both on and off campus.”

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