Major year of struggle for Milwaukee’s Young People's Resistance Committee
Milwaukee, WI — Like activists and organizers across the country, 2017 was a tremendously busy year for those in the immigrant rights struggle of Milwaukee, and the closing months were no exception.
November saw the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee chapter of the Young People's Resistance Committee (YPRC) host a rally and march to announce demands for a sanctuary campus status at their school. The group attempted to deliver a letter and statement to UW-M's chancellor, Mark Mone, but were denied the ability to meet with him. His secretaries gave activists the run-around, claiming he was in “back-to-back meetings” but speeches given by YPRC membership told the truth, Mone was too afraid to hear the voice of the students. YPRC will continue organized struggle to achieve sanctuary campus status for the benefit of all marginalized students.
In December, YPRC's UW-M chapter brought revolutionary Chicano organizer Carlos Montes to speak in Milwaukee. There was an amazing turnout, with over 50 people in attendance to learn about the history of the people's movement in Los Angeles, as well as the long struggle of Chicanos nationwide. Montes continues to fight against racist discrimination, gentrification in California, and U.S. war. Montes successfully bridged the gap between Los Angeles and Milwaukee to uncover some of the struggles that both communities face and discussed the importance of YPRC's 2017-2018 campaign – Legalization For All.
The community chapter of the Young People's Resistance Committee also saw incredible successes at the end of 2017. In November, they brought Cuban teacher and activist Griselda Aguilera Cabrera. Cabrera was still a child when she joined the mass movement to end illiteracy in 1961, after the Cuban Revolution. She was the youngest person to serve as a teacher during this historic time when the Cuban nation eradicated illiteracy in the span of a just a few years. YPRC hosted a once-in-a-lifetime event with Cabrera – the only event on her tour which was facilitated completely in Spanish. They showed the 30-minute documentary Maestra about the literacy campaign and had a Q&A style discussion. Cabrera discussed how the Cuban people have achieved so much against all odds, and commented on the work that still needs to be done.
In December, the YPRC community chapter stood up for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and DACA by hosting a rally at a prominent Milwaukee ice skating rink. The same night, the rink was hosting a “family night,” so YPRC took advantage of the opportunity to inform skaters about the danger of ending the policies – explaining how, without DACA and TPS, many families just like theirs will be torn apart. Several DACAmented people gave testimonies about the positive impacts DACA and TPS have had on their lives. YPRC loudly demanded legalization for all, a halt to the terrorizing of Black and Brown communities, and an end to tearing apart families!
The Trump administration continues to viciously attack immigrants and pushes its relentless violence on families, working people and immigrants fleeing wars and violence often caused by U.S. imperialism or natural disaster. Through YPRC, Milwaukee is fighting back against these attacks and struggling against the administration. 2018 will bring more victories, more resistance, and more justice!