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Author: Lee Matz

Dontre Hamilton Park: New proposal could end opposition to renaming Red Arrow Park

Milwaukee-native Dontre Hamilton was 31 years-old at the time of his death, which came on April 30, 2014 when he was shot by police officer Christopher Manney at Red Arrow Park downtown. The social justice protests that erupted after Dontre’s death brought renewed awareness to the Milwaukee public about the issue of police brutality directed at Blacks in the community. The daily marches, nightly vigils at Red Arrow Park, and calls for Police reform foreshadowed what would follow in 2016 with the death of Sylville Smith in the Sherman Park neighborhood, and the explosive national reaction to George Floyd’s...

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Each empty chair has a story: Memorial honors Milwaukee’s 600 victims of the COVID-19 pandemic

A handful of Milwaukee’s political, spiritual, and community leaders gathered in the open field of MacArthur Square by the County Courthouse on October 27, surrounded by 600 empty chairs to publicly mourn the loss of local residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 600 deaths in Milwaukee County in just seven months…

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Voting Rights Are Human Rights: A look at how Shepard Fairey installed Milwaukee’s new social justice mural

Internationally acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey and his Obey Giant team painted a visually stunning 7,400 square foot mural entitled “Voting Rights Are Human Rights” in Milwaukee. The mural was originally part of a national tour to support the 2020 election season, by creating public art with a theme and a mission towards getting out the vote.

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A hot mess inside a dumpster fire: Milwaukee’s Democratic supporters watch first presidential debate

Democrats in Milwaukee held a watch party in the Beer Garden outside of the Fiserv Forum on September 29, for the first presidential debate between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Roughly two dozen people attended the private event, social distancing and wearing PPE, to watch what CNN’s Jake Tapper called “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.” Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley spoke to the small crowd before the debate began, emphasizing the impact of the pandemic on the watch party. Trump’s failed response to COVID-19 has...

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Civil Rights groups offer words of healing to Kenosha until Mayor John Antarmian upends the effort

Civil rights groups led by Forward Latino gathered in Kenosha on August 24 to offer words of support and healing to a traumatized community with a unified press conference, until altered plans by Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian threw the effort into turmoil. Social tensions became inflamed after a news conference with Kenosha Mayor John Antarmian, originally to be held in a park, was moved inside the city’s public safety building. Hundreds of protesters rushed to the building and a door was snapped off its hinges before police in riot gear pepper-sprayed the crowd, which included a photojournalist. Civil rights...

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