Justice For Kionte Spencer! #whytheykneel

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He was 18 years old. A student at Hidden Valley High School. He was walking down the street near the group home he lived, listening to music with headphones on and *supposedly* holding a broken toy gun. Someone called the police saying he was pointing a gun at traffic, Roanoke County kops drove up behind him *supposedly* deployed two tasers that didn’t work and then shot him three times killing him. Police then investigated themselves, found no wrong-doing, withheld the names of the officers who were responsible and involved, withheld the multiple dashcam videos from the public and his living family (only playing a compilation of edited footage for his brother when faced with legal pressure from the ACLU), and faced no official consequences. Kionte Spencer’s life mattered. His death is a tragedy in#Roanoke. The injustice of his murder is one of the reasons #whytheykneel.



SIGN WI AFL-CIO PETITION: http://tinyurl.com/y8afh9mu

Late last week, Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) circulated draft legislation, LRB 2015, that would significantly weaken and gut Wisconsin’s FMLA. This draft legislation could be introduced any day…

Under the proposed draft bill, any business, and employee of that business, which is covered under the Federal FMLA will not have the additional rights afforded by Wisconsin’s FMLA.

This will mean that many workers will not have the following rights under Wisconsin law:

  • The right to substitute accrued time: Under Wisconsin’s FMLA, the employee chooses whether to substitute accrued paid leave of any type (e.g., vacation, sick, PTO) for unpaid leave. With the Federal FMLA, the employer can force the employee to substitute paid vacation, personal leave and compensatory time for any type of federal FMLA leave.
  • Intermittent leave: Under Wisconsin’s FMLA, workers can take intermittent leave for all family and medical emergencies in increments equal to the shortest increment permitted by the employer for any other non-emergency leave. Federal FMLA permits intermittent leave ONLY for serious health conditions, not for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Taking Care of In-Laws: Under Wisconsin’s FMLA, employees can use FMLA to care for themselves or their child, parent, parent-in-law, or domestic partner. Under the federal FMLA, employees are not allowed to use FMLA to care for their parent-in-law or domestic partner.
  • Part-time employees: Under Wisconsin’s FMLA, employees are eligible so long as they work at least 1,000 hours over the last year (on average just under 20 hours per week), and this includes paid time off. Under the Federal FMLA, employees are eligible for FMLA so long as they actually work 1,250 hours, this total does not include paid time off.

Weakening Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave Act goes against the Wisconsin values of fairness, justice and strong family support. Wisconsin’s Family and Medical Leave is a lifeline relied upon each year by countless workers going through the difficult task of caring for themselves or for a family member facing a medical emergency. It gives new parents appropriate time to bond and care for a newborn baby without worrying about losing their job.

Now is not the time to weaken FMLA. Rather, now is the time to strengthen its protections by allowing more – not less – workers to be covered by Wisconsin’s FMLA and to ensure that all workers receive some form of paid leave.

Contact your legislators today and urge them to keep Wisconsin’s strong FMLA protections in place by rejecting LRB 2015.



Madison, October 19: Stop The Anti-People “Riot” Bills!

12 NOON, October 19, Room 411S Wisconsin Capitol

Public hearing by the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety includes SB 303 which says a threat or act of violence by one or more people in an assembly of at least 3 people would constitute a Class I felony. SB 304 – blocking a throroughfare during a “riot” would be a Class A misdemeanor. SB 305 – a person participating in a “riot” who has a weapon, including a firearm can be charged with a Class G felony. You can register to speak or just register against them.


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Milwaukee, October 19: I Am Not Your Negro

Thursday, October 19 @ 5:00 PM & 7:00 PM
In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project,Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends-Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.
Click HERE to View the Trailer
Co-Sponsored by The Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, UWM Sociocultural Programming, and The Festival of Films in French
Don’t miss filmmaker Raoul Peck’s talk in the UWM Student Union, as part of UWM Student Involvement’s Distinguished Lecture Series on October 26th! Click HERE for more info.
(Raoul Peck, USA, English, 93 min, DCP, 2016)

Justice for Abdul


DONATE TODAY to Fight for Justice for Abdul Burnette and all Durham County Jail Inmates!  

Abdul Burnette, 20 years old was arrested on September 23 for three misdemeanor charges. Yet he was given a $10,000 bond, typical of felony charges. His father, also named Abdul, a leading fast food worker in the local Fight For $15 movement, attempted to post bond but was not allowed to bond him out. This is why we demand ABOLISH BOND!

Before being convicted of any crime, a judge sentenced him to a 60-day “Starr and Grad” drug rehab program inside the jail. This is why demand END CRIMINALIZATION OF PETTY MARIJUANA POSSESSION!
According to his family, he has mild autism and is not competent to stand trial. Due to his medical condition, he is required to take medication. The Durham County jail is now charging him $20 per pill that they administer to him. The family is not allowed to provide any medication they previously bought. This expense has been a burden on Abdul and his family while he is locked up. This is why we demand FULL ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE and END CONTRACT WITH ABUSIVE, EXPLOITATIVE CORPORATIONS

Earlier this year, on April 24 young Abdul was also assaulted by a Durham police officer, Officer Offenburg, on the corner of Fleetwood St. and S. Alston St. in east Durham. His father has filed a complaint with internal affairs of the Durham Police Department and it is still under investigation. This is why we demand END RACIAL PROFILING AND POLICE BRUTALITY!

“The Durham County jail is violating my son’s constitutional rights. We are going to keep fighting until we get justice!” stated Abdul Burnette, the father.

This same jail is scheduled to begin video visitation this week (Oct. 15) for families of those locked up, denying them basic right to visit their loved ones in-person, rather they will be forced to only communicate through a screen ran by a private corporation. This is why we demand FULL IN-PERSON VISITATIONS!

This past weekend, young Abdul was being picked on and attacked by another inmate. In his self-defense he fought back. He is now placed on “lock-back” solitary confinement for the next 30 days and all family visitations have been cut-off. This is why we demand END LOCK-BACK and SOLITARY CONFINEMENT! 

This is happening amidst many local struggles in the Durham County Jail including five deaths of inmates in recent years, including the death on March 23, 2017 of 17-year-old Uniece “Niecey” Fennel. This is why we demand NO MORE JAIL DEATHS!

Free Abdul Burnette now!

Abolish bond!

End Criminalization of marijuana possession!

Full access to affordable healthcare for all inmates!

End the contracts with the abusive, exploitative corporations!

End racial profiling and police brutality!
Full In-person jail visitation!

No more jail deaths!

DONATE TODAY to Fight for Justice for Abdul Burnette and all Durham County Jail Inmates!


Join the weekly demonstrations at the Durham County jail  (219 S Mangum St., Durham) sponsored by Inside-Outside Alliance — 6:00pm, Friday October 13 (and every Friday)

Justice for Abdul (Abdul Burnette)