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Park name change press conference held in Milwaukee: ‘Honor a freedom fighter, not a fascist!’

By staff

Milwaukee, WI – On April 24, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression hosted a press conference to publicly announce their campaign to change the name of Lindbergh Park to Lucille Berrien Park and fund the renaming by defunding the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s overtime budget.

Lindbergh Park is named after Charles Lindbergh, who was recognized at the time as a famous pilot. A few years after the park was named, Lindbergh became a prominent figure in the fascist America First movement in the U.S. He had received recognition for his work in the U.S. from Hermann Goering on behalf of Adolf Hitler. Lindbergh Park is located in the 53206 ZIP Code, which has the highest rate of incarcerated Black men in the country.

Lucille Berrien is a lifelong freedom fighter who helped lead the fight for fair housing in Milwaukee. She was a part of the Black Panther Party for a time, as well as the founder of the original Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression in 1973. Berrien has fostered hundreds of children in the Milwaukee area and is the first Black woman to run for mayor in Milwaukee. Her ties to the community surrounding Lindbergh Park are strong to this day, as she used to live right across the street from the park.

Newly-elected 10th District County Supervisor Priscilla Coggs-Jones spoke to the importance of figures like Lucille Berrien, who had a profound impact on Coggs-Jones’ work. County Supervisor Coggs-Jones stated, “We are here today in representation of everything you stand for – from the enthusiasm, to your compassion, to taking back our community.”

Most notably, at 93 years old, Lucille Berrien came out to join the press conference in support of the effort to rename the park and fund the renaming by taking money from the sheriffs.

Lindbergh Park was created to take money out of the police budget and put it into the community. The need for this is still alive today. MAARPR reported that after several months of canvassing, it has become clear that the community unanimously does not want to see the sheriff’s department funded more. Instead, community members have expressed that having well-maintained parks and access to jobs and opportunities is preferable to the over-policing that is so rampant in this area.

Follow the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Facebook page for more updates on the campaign.

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