By Alan Schultz
Whether you recognize May 1st as “May Day,” “International Workers Day,“ or “A Day With Out Latinxs & Immigrants,” you’ll find revolutionary change at the heart of it. May 1st, 1886, is largely recognized for a nationwide strike called for by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (the precursor to the American Federation of Labor) in their demand for an 8 hour work day. In this era it was not uncommon to have children of elementary school age working 10 to 16 hour days 7 days a week. 400,000 people took to the streets in Chicago on May Day alone.
Tragedy struck though, on May 3rd, 1886, when, during a massive rally at Haymarket Square in Chicago a bomb was thrown into a crowd of police officers. One died immediately, 6 others were also fatally wounded, and another 70 or so were injured. The police opened fired on the rally goers and to this day there remains no knowledge of how many lives were lost in total. In the aftermath, a political witch-hunt was conducted. Eight men -all anarchists or socialists- were arrested and tried in front of a rigged court. Four of the men were executed by hanging, one committed suicide while in prison, and the last three were pardoned six years after their conviction in 1887. Of the four men hanged, one was Albert Parsons, a white radical and prominent political figure, who was married to Lucy Parsons, the famous black/chicana/indigenous anarchist, who later went on to be part of the inaugural founding of the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. Continue reading “May First”
What: #CLOSEmsdf Campaign Launch Anniversary Event
When: Thursday, June 28, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Hephatha Lutheran Church, 1720 W. Locust St., Milwaukee, WI 53206
Visit https://actionnetwork.org/events/closemsdf-campaign-launch-anniversary-event-get-involved to RSVP for this event.
Join us in celebration of the progress we have made since the initial launch of the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign in June of 2017! Joining the event will be a distinguished panel of #CLOSEmsdf Campaign leaders to discuss the momentum that has been built while explaining the work that needs to be done in 2018 and beyond!
2018 will be a crucial year for the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign. We need your help guarantee that this year will be remembered as a year of historic change. Join us and get involved in the movement for justice and equity!
“It’s unconstitutional, inhumane, unjust and also absolutely unacceptable for a prison, in the inner city of Milwaukee or anywhere else, to be overly populated with people who haven’t been convicted of crimes. It is inhumane to have three people reside in a cell designed for only one person; be exposed to cruel and unusual punishment; deprived of natural air, sunlight, human contact, appropriate health care, dental care and mental health care; and denied accurate legal assistance, law library access and opportunities to effectively rehabilitate and be providers.” #CLOSEmsdf Campaign Leader Ventae Parrow
#CLOSEmsdf Campaign Leader Ventae Parrow, who was recently detained at MSDF for nine months, understands that the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Ventae recently argued that it is time to shut down MSDF and build communities in a piece that he wrote for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Click here to read the piece.
2018 is a going to be a crucial year for the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign. We need your help to ensure that this year will be remembered as a historic year for change. Join us at the next monthly #CLOSEmsdf Campaign meeting in Milwaukee on Tuesday, April 17th at 6 pm to get involved with the movement for equity and justice.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1934974013391756/ to RSVP and for information.
If you do not live near Milwaukee but want to get involved, please contact Mark Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about how you can help advance the campaign .
I have been in and out of the system since 2008. There were times that I may have deserved to be incarcerated, but there were also times like this one [in Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, or MSDF] that I don’t deserve to be.
Not even offering minimum requirements for prison programming
For MSDF to be considered a prison, they have no kind of programs as far as vocational goes. I’ve been locked up for a month now. I have written the program director just to ask for different modules to do while being incarcerated and I’ve gotten no answer. It’s been two weeks since I sent my request.
I’ve been placed in a “boat” [plastic sled-type bed on floor] for sleeping arrangements at the beginning of my stay here. The food that they serve us, I feel as if I’m getting a children’s plate. For people without money on their books, they used to give soap every other day, now they only give it once a week.
Shut it down
MSDF, in my thoughts, should be shut down. I thank you for allowing me to share my concerns.
John Chisholm, Milwaukee County DA, discusses reentry programs and problems on RiverWest Radio:
You should hold people accountable for what they do. But you should not use the supervision period for perpetual confinement. It’s not in people’s interest or the state’s, in terms of how much we spend on individuals who are incarcerated….
And just as importantly, it has detrimental effects in the community itself, which extends to other members of the community who are often dependent on them for income and support. …
The ultimate goal isn’t to say “gotcha” on a rule violation and send you back to prison….What we need to work on is connecting people with the resources they need to help them be successful. That’s not only the most effective thing to do but the best thing for the community – to integrate everyone back into the community in a safe and productive way.
See the full interview and other programs at http://www.riverwestradio.com/show/expo-ex-prisoners-organizing/
The #CLOSEmsdf Coalition will host a news conference and rally as part of Cut 50’s nationwide Day of Empathy. The rally will build empathy for all Wisconsinites who are behind bars, and protest the unjust incarceration of Ventae Parrow and thousands of others being inhumanely detained on crimeless rule violations and allegations.
On Tuesday, March 6 at Noon members of the #CLOSEmsdf Coalition will testify outside the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) at 1015 N 10th St.
Speakers will include:
Charles Hampton and Sylvester Jackson, EXPO
Bernadette Parrow (Ventae’s aunt)
Ben Turk, Milwaukee IWOC
Ronald Simpson-Bey, Just Leadership USA
Just Leadership USA, a #closemsdf coalition partner, believes that America’s most challenging barrier to expansive, systemic criminal and juvenile justice reform is the absence of clear and consistent leadership by those who have been directly affected by our failed criminal justice policies. Through our Emerging Leaders trainings and our 12-month Leading with Conviction training, JLUSA is building a nationwide network of advocates and organizers united by a shared vision for justice reform. Apply now at bit.ly/el2018wi