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Milwaukee youth and community mobilize again in defense of women’s and reproductive rights

By Ryan Hamann |
May 18, 2022
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Marching against attacks on abortion rights in Milwaukee.
Marching against attacks on abortion rights in Milwaukee. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Milwaukee, WI - On May 12, students at Golda Meir School organized a walkout near the end of their school day in protest of the Supreme Court majority opinion report that was leaked on May 3. Children from all grades at Gold, from third to the twelfth grades, participated in the action. One sign read, “Forced pregnancy is a crime against humanity.” Some of the older kids led their peers with some chants which drew support from cars driving by.

Later that weekend, organizers with the Milwaukee International Women’s Day Coalition, together with nearly 150 community members and supporters, took to the streets of downtown Milwaukee on May 14 in response to a national day of action called for by Planned Parenthood. The event began and ended at Zeidler Union Square.

The march route brought the crowd to the steps of the U.S. Courthouse, home to the Milwaukee office of Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. People gathered around the front of the building with their signs and banners and chanted “Keep abortion safe and legal!” and “What do we want? Choice! When do we want it? Now!” before settling in for some speeches.

The leading organizations within the coalition – the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Students for a Democratic Society, the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization – all had speakers at the event.

Amada Morales, representing the Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, spoke about the far-reaching family planning programs in Cuba, including nearly 32 weeks of paid maternity leave and abortion on request.

“Who here is pissed off?” asked Nadezdha Young Binter of FRSO Wisconsin, drawing a roar from the assembled crowd. “I sure am. We know the consequences of repealing Roe. We know this is a decision that will ruin and in some cases end the lives of women and trans people capable of pregnancy, people who already face many extra barriers to getting adequate medical care.”

“We know the people hit hardest by this will be from the working class, especially Black, Chicano and indigenous people. And we know this won’t end here – this sets a precedent to destroy rights for LGBT people and other oppressed peoples in this country,” she continued. “But we know what we have to do – we have to stand up and fight back! That’s how working people have always won their rights.”

Many of the people who came to this third mobilization did so looking to find ways to get involved and advance the struggle. It remains to be seen how the fallout from the leak will influence the opinion of the Court, but what is clear is that the masses are ready and willing to take up the fight if the Court holds to this reactionary position.

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