By WI BOPM
In response to the Ferguson Grand Jury decision to not indict killer cop Darren Wilson, numerous protests including direct action events, took place throughout Wisconsin November 24 and 25.
“We are here to stand in solidarity with the efforts of Ferguson where it is about justice for Michael Brown. However, it is also more broadly about the issues of state violence against Black communities. In Madison it looks like mass incarceration. We outnumber every city in the nation in terms of locking up Black men, and Black women. That’s a problem. Something needs to be done about it,” said Brandi Grayson of the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition at a community event in Madison November 24.
On November 25, hundreds of multinational protesters from the coalition and members of numerous student, labor and community organizations such as Freedom Inc., (http://www.freedom-inc.org/) protested at the City Jail in Madison, circled the state capitol chanting “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and then occupied the County Board meeting room. The South Central Federation of Labor (http://www.scfl.org/) issued a call to support the majority youth and students leading the protests, many of whom were from local campuses including the Madison Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In Milwaukee November 25, members of the immigrant rights organization Youth Empowered in the Struggle (https://www.facebook.com/YESstudents), the Black Student Union, Progressive Students of Milwaukee , the ACLU, the IWW, the MGAA, AFSCME Local 82 and others participated in a “Solidarity with Ferguson Die In” at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union. Students gathered in the rotunda of the Student Union chanting “We are Michael Brown,” and “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” and then dozens fell to the floor for a few moments for the die in and then a speak out took place.
“I am not a target,” said Lavelle Young, 22, president of the BSU. “I should not be a target because I’m a Black male. I look at Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin as my brothers and it hurts me to see them gone,” said Young.
YES and Voces de la Frontera (http://vdlf.org/) issued a statement November 25 encouraging its members to participate in protests against the Grand Jury decision. Their statements reads in part: “…Our struggles are connected, and from Ferguson and Ayotzinapa to Milwaukee and Racine, and we must stand together as one to stop police violence against our communities. Voces and YES urges community members to join the protest movement led by Milwaukee families affected by police killings, the Coalition for Justice.”
Following the UWM protest November 25, a multinational rally of hundreds sponsored by the Coalition For Justice (https://www.facebook.com/justicefordontre) led by youth and students and supported by members of many labor and community organizations, took place at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee. A march to the Grand Avenue Mall, the Bradley Center and other locations followed. Red Arrow Park is the site of where Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old Black man was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney April 30 who has yet to be charged with any crime. The rally, sponsored by the Coalition For Justice, led by the Hamilton family, demanded justice for Mike Brown, Dontre Hamilton and all the other victims of police terror.
Upon the news of the Grand Jury decision on November 24, Maria Hamilton, Dontre Hamilton’s mother said: “My heart goes out to Michael’s mom and family members. I’m going to pray that God will uplift them in their time of need and I would love to say at this time, I feel what she’s going through and I would like to tell her to keep her head up and let her know that we’re fighting with her.”
Other protest actions took place at the Kenosha County Courthouse steps November 25 and in Oshkosh.
Future actions are in the planning stages.