On July 31st, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak announced plans for an “Abolition on Every Block Party,” and a handful of collaborators with both ABOLISHmke and the MKE Lit Supply put one together for 2pm-10pm on the 3000 block of Buffum street in Harambee, Milwaukee.
In preparation for #ShutEmDown2021, we’ve been working for a couple months on building coalitions throughout the city to see what kind of support we can pull together. In addition to spreading the SED2021 message with our community, this block party was also a good opportunity to continue the ongoing conversations and planning for August 21st — September 9th.
This article is part three in our series on legislation to create snitch houses, also known as “COP houses” across Wisconsin.
In the last article we showed how putting a snitch house in a targeted area reduces crime in that specific area, but increases economic and emotional strain for targeted residents. People experiencing stress are more likely to resort to crime, they just go somewhere further from police presence to do it.
At the May 18 hearing, committee member Sue S Conley, a democrat whose district borders zigzag tightly around Janesville, making the neighboring districts more solidly republican, recognized this dynamic. “You come into a neighborhood,” she said, “you establish the house […] did the problem just shift to another neighborhood?” Van Wanggaard’s response was a gleeful “sometimes,” but Taylor cut him off with a more diplomatic response that acknowledged the real problem. She went onto a tangent about drug dealers operating out of their cars rather than drug houses to be more mobile. Her statement reinforced, rather than allaying, Conley’s concern. Then Wanggaard burst back in with a great real-life example.