Uprising underway in Kenosha, WI after the police shooting of Jacob Blake
Kenosha, WI – Hundreds of people rallied at the scene of a shooting that took place around 5:30 pm on August 23. After breaking up a fight between two women, Jacob Blake, 29, attempted to return to his vehicle. The entire time, an officer with the Kenosha Police Department had a gun pointed at him. As Blake tried to enter his car where his children were buckled in the back seat, the officer grabbed hold of the collar of his shirt and fired his gun at point blank range seven times. Blake was taken to the hospital. As of the writing of this article, he is in stable condition.
Riot police assembled at the scene of the shooting as the crowd began to gather, including members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Those assembled quickly grew restless in their anger. Squad cars were smashed and Molotovs thrown. The people chased the cops away and then set off on a march to the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) downtown.
When protesters arrived at the KPD building, they rallied in the front parking lot. As the crowd swelled, SWAT trucks and riot cops rolled onto the scene. Tear gas was deployed, but not enough to disperse the crowd. The riot police formed a line and attempted to push the crowd away from the building and out of the parking lot. The people met them with linked arms and prevented their advance. Holding strong, the people chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Jacob Blake!”
Eventually, the riot police began to retreat into the police station. People from the crowd threw fireworks behind the row of cops. Then the second wave of tear gas was fired into the line of protesters, this time in a more substantial quantity, forcing them to break up. In spite of these efforts, the people would not quit. More cop cars were smashed and other vehicles used by KPD to block roads were set on fire.
Protests demanding justice for Jacob Blake are being planned across Wisconsin, including in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Appleton, and other places. Cops continue to kill or try to kill Black men and other people even in the midst of the largest civil rights uprising in the history of the U.S. The people demonstrated tonight in Kenosha that they are not standing down.