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Milwaukee protesters stand up to police brutality, storm Municipal Court

By staff

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Milwaukee, WI – More than 200 people gathered for a rally, Aug. 22, at Red Arrow Park in downtown here to continue the fight against the police brutality that’s directed against Black and Latino communities. Organizers brought public attention back to the many victims of police killings and white vigilantism, including Dontre Hamilton, Corey Stingley and Derek Williams. The rally was also showed solidarity with the people of Ferguson.

Organized by the African American Roundtable, Occupy the Hood and Youth Empowered in the Struggle, the rally took the streets and marched on the nearby Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) building. When organizers saw that the doors to the Municipal Court were left unlocked, they led an impromptu storming of the building, with more than 100 protesters pouring up the stairwell and confronting the police directly.

Refusing to leave until MPD Chief Flynn met with the families of police brutality victims, particularly in the case of Dontre Hamilton, where the police have failed to name the killer cop, protesters occupied the entrance of the building, spreading the occupation to the nearby balcony.

Speaking at the rally, Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) organizer Mario Gomez proclaimed that this protest – which included in its demands greater community control over the police and an end to police collaboration with ICE – marked a new beginning for Black-Brown unity in the city. “The Black community and the Brown community are taking justice into their own hands.” Bringing attention to the prolonged struggle that has been occurring over the past few years around police brutality in the city, he added, “We shouldn’t be here, but because they aren't willing to listen to us, because they aren’t willing to treat us with respect, with dignity, we’re out here. This is the roar of our community.”

Police representatives initially refused to meet with the demonstrators and sent riot police to close down the building. After a couple hours of rallying and refusing to leave, the police sent out a captain to meet with the organizers and the victims’ family members. The 65 remaining protesters then came outside, rejoining the motivated crowd and called for a continuation of the struggle. Marchers then seized the streets again, marching through downtown Milwaukee signing civil rights songs and chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!”

Another rally is being held in downtown Milwaukee this Monday, at 4pm. Follow link for more information:

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