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Coalition to March on the DNC joins march against Trump in Oshkosh, WI

By staff |
August 18, 2020
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(Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement)

Oshkosh, WI - On the afternoon of August 17, a large crowd of people marched and rallied to protest the arrival of President Donald Trump at Wittman Airport. Answering the call put forth by a handful of organizations, most of whom are members of the Coalition to March on the Democratic National Convention, over 120 people gathered in the parking lot of the Lake Aire Shopping Center, just a half mile from where Trump spoke.

Despite releasing information on road closures earlier in the day with different information, the police on hand changed which roads were closed and where. This threw a wrench into the plan for the march, but organizers adapted quickly. After a few chants to get the crowd in the mood, marchers pushed forward with a large banner that read “We can’t breathe.”

With the change in route, the march took a more residential path. The protest cut right through blocks with plenty of Trump supporters, but the chanting from the marchers was deafening, drowning out whatever the counter-protesters were saying. Some people came out of their homes to cheer as the march moved down the street.

Without access to 20th Avenue, the street Wittman Airport is on, let alone to the area in front of the building where Trump was speaking, march leaders had to make do with what was available. The march ended in front of the police blockade preventing access to 20th, right next to the Southside Oshkosh post office. Speakers from organizations that led the march shared their messages with the gathered crowd.

The main thrust of the action was denouncing President Trump’s role in escalating the racist attacks against Black men and other oppressed people by police and vigilantes, but the speakers touched on a range of topics pertaining to Trump’s time in the White House.

“We can all agree that Donald Trump is a racist, a bigot and a warmonger. He is an enemy of the people. But we must also understand that Trump is just a symptom of a much larger problem, not the cause of the problem itself,” said Ryan Hamann, one of the co-chairs of the Coalition to March on the DNC. “Like I said earlier, we need to organize in our workplaces against the boss, in our communities against racist killer cops and other oppressive institutions like ICE and rich slumlords, and in our schools and on campuses against out of touch administrators and racist policies.”

Hamann continued, “All of these things that we must struggle against are tools of the ruling class used in their war against us, the working class, and we need to meet them with the force of the organized masses of working and oppressed people if we are ever going to win this fight.”

A small but very vocal group of fascists gathered behind the rally. With their loud megaphone, they shouted racist, sexist and bigoted expletives, all while other Trump supporters watched and said nothing. Despite all their noise-making, the fascists tucked tail and got out of the way the second the mass of protesters began marching back the way they’d come.

While the event was a protest of Donald Trump and everything he stands for, it also served as an appropriate kick-off to the weeks’ worth of events and actions planned in Milwaukee and other places connected to the DNC. The Coalition to March on the DNC is building momentum for their main action at 5 p.m. on August 20 in Milwaukee’s Dontre Hamilton (Red Arrow) Park.

At the rally and march, the Coalition will demand that Democrats like Joe Biden and local figures like Mayor Tom Barrett put an end to the police killings of Black men and other people. In addition, they will be joined by several families from across the state who are victims of killer cops. The families of Alvin Cole of Milwaukee, Jonathon Tubby of Green Bay and Isaiah Tucker of Oshkosh will be present to demand justice for their loved ones.

Despite the decision by Biden and the Democrats to stay home and shelter themselves from the movement for Black lives in the streets of Milwaukee, August 20 is shaping out to be a can’t-miss event.

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