Inauguration day car caravan in Milwaukee demands action on immigrant rights
Milwaukee, WI – On January 20, the date of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, the Brown Berets of Milwaukee led a rally and car caravan demanding the incoming administration take action to resolve issues regarding immigrants. The three broad demands were: 1) Put an end to the policy of family separation; 2) Close the concentration camps; and 3) Provide an immediate pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. Other demands were put forward that delved into more particular circumstances, but these three formed the thrust of the action.
Nearly 30 cars joined in the car caravan, marked up with messages of “Abolish ICE” and “Full rights for immigrants now!” The rally started at the corner of South 16th Street and National Avenue on Milwaukee’s Southside, home to a majority of the city’s Latino community. From there, the caravan traveled west to South 27th Street, where the cars stopped, and attendees gathered to hear speakers.
“Over the next 100 days, we must be relentless on our demands,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, a prominent immigrant and workers rights non-profit. “And that’s why we stand here in solidarity today, because we’re gonna make sure that [the Biden administration’s proposals] are not just promises but that we actually see some proof of many years of struggle. Sí, se puede!”
After the speeches, the car caravan rolled out once more. The route took the caravan across the bridge on 27th Street that divides the Northside from the Southside. The procession stopped just past the midway point to unfurl a banner with the demands on it. After the banner drop, the caravan made its way back to the starting point where final remarks were shared.
The Brown Berets made clear repeatedly that they look forward to working together with the various mass organizations in Milwaukee to achieve their goals and advancing the struggle of oppressed people in the city. Their message of a united front of progressive organizations is a continuation of the theme that developed over the summer uprisings. The historic narrative of segregation in Milwaukee was challenged by the mass demonstrations that brought together people of all nationalities in the fight for justice.
The continued development of unity between organizations like the Brown Berets, Voces de la Frontera, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, among others, bodes well for the future of the movements for equality, justice and liberation in the city.