Ep 23: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win part 2 (special episode)

This is a special edition of the ABOLISHmke podcast.

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Ep 22: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win part 1 (special episode)

This is a special edition of the ABOLISHmke podcast.

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ABOLISH MUNICIPAL COURT

It’s literally attached to the district 1 police station.

“Municipal courts, as we are fond of saying, are not broken. They are a coercive apparatus perfectly suited to limiting the mobility (physical, economic, and political) of racialized subjects. They will produce what they are designed to produce until they are abolished.” – Brendan Roediger

Milwaukee exercised its option to create a municipal court in 1975. Since that time, Milwaukee Municipal Court has played an important role in legitimizing police, expanding the scope of the legal punishment system, and has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from Milwaukee residents, primarily Black residents who are experiencing poverty. In 2015, several of Milwaukee’s Common Council members publicly considered abolishing the municipal court. This piece will explore the harms perpetrated by the municipal court and show that Milwaukee Municipal Court must be abolished. 

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How to defund police and sheriff now!

Demonstration in Wauwatosa, June 2020.

People have overwhelming come out to say: we want fewer cops, and more investment in people and communities. But right now: our work is at risk!

Politicians in Milwaukee are making decisions that will either continue the city’s carceral and white supremacist approach to public safety, or depart from it to invest in people and communities. This is a time when we need the whole city talking about the budgets, and particularly about defunding police. If you haven’t contacted your local representatives yet, on both the city and county level, now is the time. 

What’s at stake this week:

  • 195 more cops. Mayor Tom Barrett proposed three police recruit classes of 65 cops each, which will cost Milwaukee $6 million. Common council will approve it next Monday unless we stop them.
  • Harm reduction in the jail and house of corruption (HOC). A committee of the county board is hearing a resolution about giving people held in the jail and HOC free phone calls and video visits on Friday, October 29, at 10:30am. 
  • $3 million increase for county sheriff’s office (MCSO). County exec David Crowley proposed raises for MCSO staff, but the county board can shut him down. 
  • $700,000 for lakefront surveillance. Crowley also proposed a system to expand MCSO surveillance and violence on the lakefront.
  • Divesting $11.3 million MCSO. County board members introduced 24 amendments that will take money from the sheriff and put it into human needs and real public safety. 
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Close Youth Prisons Part 3: forty-six million 

The people’s revolution marching, September 2020.

This is the last in a three-part series about closing the illegal youth prisons in Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake (LH/CL). Part one outlined the best, fastest way to close these prisons. Part two re-examined the sordid tale of compromises that left the prisons open, and the millions of dollars the democrats are trying to spend on new ones. In this part, we’ll take a look at what could be funded with those millions instead. 

The actual needs of Milwaukee youth

Democrats are trying to spend $42-46 million on a new prison in Milwaukee county that would cage 36 children. At the low end, that’s $1.17 million each child. Last February there were 22 kids from Milwaukee county in LH/CL who this new prison would be built for. That’s about $2 million each child. That’s ridiculous.

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Close Youth Prisons Part 2: the wrong way

This is the second in a three-part series about closing the illegal youth prisons in Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake (LH/CL). Part one outlined the best and fastest way to close these prisons: by eliminating the Serious Juvenile Offender Program (SJOP) and adult sentencing of youths. These bad laws were inspired by the racist “superpredator” myth which requires the state to lock some kids in extra harmful “type 1” facilities. In part two, we’re going to examine why that didn’t happen, and the foolishness that happened instead. 

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Behind the headlines on the governor’s violence prevention funding

Tony Evers visits Milwaukee.

On October 13, governor Evers almost kind of started making an investment in alternatives to state violence in Milwaukee. He came here to announce $45 million from Wisconsin’s recovery act (ARPA) funds would go into “safer communities and violence prevention.” 

Unfortunately, as with his pardon announcements, this is another of his misleading headlines. Behind the headlines, nearly half ($20 million) of the allocated funds are going to supporting victim services through the department of justice. We know them from their work obstructing the release of old law prisoners. That is not violence prevention.

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Close Wisconsin’s illegal youth prisons NOW!

Fireworks set off outside the prison in protest and solidarity with the youth, September 2021.

This article is the first in a three-part series.

The Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons (LH/CL) in Irma, WI have been illegally confining children since July 1, 2021. More than seventy percent of the kids are Black, and nearly half are from Milwaukee county. Starting in 2010, kids in these prisons successfully exposed horrific abuse practices by staff. By 2017, the kids and their advocates had drawn investigations from the media, the state, and federal agencies. They built so much momentum that the legislature passed and the governor signed Wisconsin act 185, which required that both prisons close by January 1, 2021. 

Unfortunately, when that date approached, rather than closing the prisons, politicians passed a new law pushing closure back to July 1. The second deadline passed this summer, and the prisons were not closed. No new law extended the deadline. The state just continued operating illegally. 

Which sends a pretty clear statement: Wisconsin politicians are willing to ignore and violate state law when it comes to abusing Black kids from Milwaukee.

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Big government republicans introduce liberty-restricting bills

MAGA republicans v the cops they claim to love on January 6th during the dumbest insurrection.

Republicans have long claimed to be the party of small government. Their policies almost always tend to revolve around opposition to the dreaded “government overreach,” a key talking point of theirs. Nowadays, they stand united against anything that has to do with vaccines & masks. Historically, they’ve opposed seat belt laws & taxing cigarettes, among other widely popular policy proposals. They stand for individual liberty!

That is, unless it is your right not to be kidnapped and put in a cage or murdered in the street. Republicans stand firmly behind the armed gangs of terrorists that patrol our communities and “keep us in line.” On its face, a believer in small government supporting police reeks of hypocrisy. Until you consider that these believers in small government are the ideological descendants of slave owners and genociders and that the function of the police is to maintain white supremacy and disrupt worker collaboration & unionization. They are class traitors plain and simple. Which is why “small government” conservatives support them. They’re pawns in the game against the poor. 

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Ep. 21- Governor Tony Evers Could:

This is an audio version of “Governor Tony Evers could:” published at ABOLISHmke.com on October 10, 2021.

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