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Milwaukee: Charges against anti-Nazi student dropped

By Kellie Lutz |
September 29, 2019
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Milwaukee, WI - A rally to support Grae Hosmanek at her court hearing on Friday, September 27, was cancelled due to the charges against her being dropped.

On May 6, Hosmanek was arrested and charged for vandalism on UW-Milwaukee’s campus. She took hold of a reactionary student’s sign that had a swastika and other antisemitic language on it. This student was holding the sign near an event that was being hosted by a Jewish student group.

Hosmanek had attended two court hearings, and the hearing on September 27 would have been the third one.

Young People’s Resistance Committee (YPRC) and Milwaukee Area Labor Council’s Young Workers’ Committee (MALC-YWC), as well as other supportive students from UW-Milwaukee, helped bring Hosmanek’s case national attention.

In response to the charges being dropped, Omar Flores, a member of YPRC, stated, “It’s great to see the UW-Milwaukee community stand up for what is right; especially when the university’s administration refuses to do so. I’m glad YPRC can show that the only action that works is direct action.”

YPRC helped Hosmanek bring attention to her court hearing by hosting the rally. During this time, Hosmanek made a GoFundMe for her legal expenses. Members in YPRC helped spread this around while promoting the event. This eventually grabbed the attention of members in MALC-YWC, who helped with making handbill fliers to pass around, and mailed a letter to Milwaukee’s district attorney in solidarity with Hosmanek’s stance.

The letter stated, “We believe it is the duty of organized labor to actively participate in the struggle against the rise of fascist and white supremacist ideology. Therefore, as a committee of young labor leaders and activists, we ask District Attorney John Chisholm to drop the charge against Grae Hosmanek resulting from her brave and commendable intervention to defend victims of hate speech and threats on UWM's campus.”

In order for Hosmanek’s charges to be dropped, she must complete ten hours of community service. Although not fully content with the outcome, Hosmanek acknowledges the effort put in by local organizers.

“So thankful to all of you who have stood beside me in this fight. Thank you for everything,” Hosmanek said. “You are all so incredible, I can’t believe it’s finally over, such a weight off my shoulders. Let’s hope no more signs need tearing up.”