Author: Claudio Martinez

Milwaukee Laborfest: Latino and immigrant workers outline the stakes in Wisconsin’s mid-term election

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the progress working people have made over decades to create better lives for ourselves and our families, ensure safer workplaces and build a stronger economy. That was why unions were more popular on Labor Day 2022 than at any time in the past 50 years. Working people are in the midst of the largest organizing drive in history to protect their rights and American democracy. The Labor movement in Milwaukee is standing up for democracy in the workplace and at the ballot box. Because of those joint efforts, President Joe Biden...

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Mauricio Ramirez: Covering a downtown building with a photorealistic mural of Giannis Antetokounmpo

On the basketball court, Giannis Antetokounmpo stands at 6’11” tall. He is a dominating presence even in the National Basketball Association. But an even larger presence of the two-time MVP and NBA champ looms over anyone walking past the office building at 600 East Wisconsin Avenue. Rendered by artists Mauricio Ramirez and Tone Gómez, the 54’ by 56’ mural is the latest effort by the Milwaukee community to show appreciation for the remarkable athlete. Ramirez, who has painted many large scale murals, in Milwaukee and across the nation, has a distinctive style of using prismatic fragments of colors to...

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Vigil for Vanessa Guillen: Latino community calls for further investigation into soldier killed on Army base

A candlelight vigil was held July 6 at Kosciuszko Park on Milwaukee’s south side to remember U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen, who was subjected to sexual harassment, then murdered and dismembered. Several hundred people gathered at the memorial event to demand justice for the family of Guillen. The vigil was organized by student activists Melissa Soto and Deisy Espana, and coordinated by Forward Latino, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to assisting the Latino community. As the vigil began, a large group of Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched into the park and joined the event. Speakers included Milwaukee County Supervisor...

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Black Lives Matter street mural suffers rain damage following installation at Harambee intersection

A multicultural assortment of volunteers from the community joined together on June 19 to paint a Black Lives Matter street mural covering the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Locust Street, adjacent to the Milwaukee Police Department’s District 5 building. Within 24 hours of completion, the creative effort suffered sizable damage due to a thunderstorm. The words “Black Lives Matter” have been painted in giant letters on streets across the nation following the example of Washington DC, after peaceful protesters were attacked with tear gas by military forces acting under the orders of President Trump. Representing...

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Police-Free Schools: LIT student activists help convince MPS to end contract with MPD and redirect funding

In a unanimous decision at the Board of Directors meeting for the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) on June 18, a resolution was passed to end the district’s contract with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). The vote was a victory for Black and Brown students, and the culmination of 2.5 years of work by Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT) students to defund police at MPS. Learning institutions nationwide have been calling for the removal of law enforcement officers from their environment in the wake of the murder of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police. “The Milwaukee Public School...

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George Floyd Memorial Mural: Artists unite to inspire change for communities of color in Milwaukee

In less that two weeks since the death of George Floyd, and many days that saw protestors fill the streets of Milwaukee to demand equal justice, local artists and residents came together on June 4 to create a mural in his memory and for others people of color brutalized by law enforcement officers. Artists transformed the building at the corner of North Avenue and Holton Street on the Riverwest-Harambee boarder with Black Lives Matter artwork. The visually creative memorial was meant to honor Floyd but also be a place where residents could find healing and inspiration. The owner of...

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