Help Get Out The Vote in Georgia!

Voter registration in Georgia closes on December 7th and the polls close on January 5th. How can you help ensure voter turnout?

  1. Help others get familiar with the candidates and where they stand on the issues – while there are many nonpartisan sources of information, we recommend that you share this Nonpartisan Voter Information Guide put out by the Campus Election Engagement Project.
  1. Donate to one or more of these People-of-Color-led groups that are doing the work: 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

5680 Oakbrook Parkway, Ste. 148

Norcrosse, GA 30093

404-585-8446

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR)

7 Dunwoody Park, Ste. 110

Atlanta, GA 30338

770-457-5232

The New Georgia Project 

830 Glenwood Ave., SE

Suite 510-221

Atlanta, GA 30316

404-996-6621


Transformative Justice Coalition

1816 12th Street, N.W. Suite 410

Washington, DC 20009

The Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

1666 K Street, NW, 4th Floor – Suite #440

Washington, DC 20006,

  1. Search the internet for “phone banking in Georgia” opportunities. There are many nonpartisan groups that can help you with this.
  1. Partner with the Transformative Justice Coalition and The Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. Their goal is to send postcards to 1 million Georgia voters. Find out more and sign the nonpartisan agreement here.

Building Unity – This is a shared project that is pulling groups together to help Wisconsin build a well organized, united movement of movements for Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Democracy.  Order postcards from Building Unity here.

A very special thanks to the co-sponsors: ALEGO, Transformative Justice Coalition, NAACP – Dane Co. Branch, FUS – Madison, WI Network for Peace & Justice, National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter. End the Wars Coalition, SOULS,  Interfaith Peace Working Group, Pierce Co. Grass Roots Organizing, United As One, All Of Us Or None-WI, WI UU State

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The Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission is Moving Ahead with Three Finalists for MPD Chief

You can see on our website a joint statement regarding criteria that the Milwaukee NLG joined in signing, at https://nlgmilw.wordpress.com/2020/11/13/our-criteria-for-mpds-next-police-chief/

The finalists are: Malik Aziz (major in Dallas Police Dept), Chris Davis (deputy chief with Portland Police), &  Hoyt Mahaley (FBI Agent). 

Image from Urban Milwaukee, photos provided by the Dallas Police Department, Portland Police Bureau and FBI

We encourage you to give input: Questions for the finalists are being collected and collated now through this web portal: https://city.milwaukee.gov/fpc/Outreach/Public-Comment-Form- 


The Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission allowed for the public to hear from the three finalists in response to questions on November 7 and  21, 2020. You can  watch the first hearing here, and the second hearing here.

The Fire and Police Commission has said its goal is to name a new chief by December 3. Thanks to Molly Collins of the ACLU-WI for some of this info!

We invite you to better understand the FPC by viewing this very informative talk which we organized with the ACLU of WI: “Accountable to Whom and for What? A Historical View of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission” by public historian Will Tchakirides,” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxd_e25kT3c

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OUR CRITERIA FOR MPD’S NEXT POLICE CHIEF

The “People’s Flag” of the City of Milwaukee

The City of Milwaukee is at an inflection point. Milwaukee is in the process of hiring a new police chief to lead a police department in desperate need of change for decades. If we care about our city, then we have to care about the future of the Milwaukee Police Department. The organizations listed below have come up with the following criteria to guide the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners as they select a qualified police chief.

A new chief must commit to:

Reforms to MPD’s Traffic and Pedestrian Stop and Frisk Practices

  • Commit to adopting the reforms mandated by the ACLU’s 2018 Settlement Agreement with the City of Milwaukee, as well as by the recommendations noted in a U.S.
  • Department of Justice report related to MPD’s discriminatory stop and frisk policies.
  • Publicly acknowledge that MPD has not prioritized compliance with the 2018 Settlement Agreement and develop a collaborative relationship with the Independent Monitoring Team to ensure MPD is in compliance with the Agreement

Transparency and Accountability

  • Embrace meaningful civilian oversight of MPD.
  • Demonstrate experience leading institutional law enforcement reform efforts that did not result in an increased police department budget.
  • Issue strong policies that develop law enforcement training, create meaningful mechanisms of oversight, and hold officers accountable.
  • Promote transparency and the public’s right to know.
  • Lead organizational culture change efforts.

21st Century Policing Tactics

  • Demilitarize MPD—including a commitment not to use weapons such as tear gas, which has been banned in warfare.
  • Protect the right of free speech and protest.
  • Follow 21st century best practices, including de-escalation tactics and diversion programs.
  • Advocate for reduced incarceration, improved conditions of confinement, and rehabilitation.
  • Address mental health crises with mental health professionals, not law enforcement.

Addressing Biased Policing

  • Work collaboratively with diverse communities to hold officers accountable for biased policing.
  • Work with immigrant communities and not use local police resources for federal immigration enforcement.

Signed,

ACLU of Wisconsin

Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC)

Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin Unitarian Universalists

Coalition for Justice

Dontre Hamilton’s mother, Maria Hamilton

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

The League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County

MICAH (Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope)

Milwaukee Turners

NAACP Milwaukee Branch

National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter

Pastor Walter Lanier

Progressive Baptist Church

Reverend Joseph H. Jackson, Jr.

Sr. Rose Stietz, OP

Wisconsin Justice Initiative

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Letter to Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee

December 4, 2020

Dear Committee Members,

On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, we write to encourage you to collectively prioritize vaccination within Wisconsin’s prison communities. These communities are very vulnerable, and should be a public health priority. 

Outbreaks in prisons drain healthcare resources, mostly in Wisconsin’s already under-resourced rural health infrastructure. This will increase the delay of access for rural community members who must wait as local hospitals put healthcare on hold to focus solely on COVID19. In this case, protecting the rights of prisoners also aligns with our state’s public health.

Thank you for your consideration,

Art Heitzer, Steering Committee

Emilio de Torre, Steering Committee

Colleen Cullen, Steering Committee

Sameena Mulla, Steering Committee

Ramon Valdez, Steering Committee

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National Lawyers Guild Condemns Wauwatosa Police Department’s Escalation of Violence Against Protestors and Use of Selective Policing

October 14, 2020 — The Milwaukee Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild condemns the Wauwatosa Police Department’s selective and excessive measures to disburse and punish peaceful protestors. Local residents from both Milwaukee and Wauwatosa have gathered nightly since Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm’s announcement that no charges would be brought against Officer Joseph Mensah of the Wauwatosa Police Department. The WPD and other law enforcement agencies operating under their guidance have used military surplus vehicles, tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against protestors and commuters, in addition to unfairly detaining and citing them for curfew violations. 


It is clear that Wauwatosa sought to limit constitutional rights by instituting a selectively enforced curfew. This 7:00 pm curfew carried an excessive penalty of up to $1000. Ironically, police have targeted protestors protesting violent police behavior, while allowing others who were accosting demonstrators to freely move through Wauwatosa in defiance of the order. Once the curfew was lifted Wauwatosa Police continued to behave unprofessionally and violently toward demonstrators and commuters. 


The NLG calls for rigorous investigation into the presence of armed provocateurs who have been harassing protestors, legal observers, and area residents; and also demands an equitable application of the law. The NLG demands that Wauwatosa Police Department and their subordinates (including law enforcement from West Allis, Eau Claire, Whitefish Bay, Menomonee Falls, Ozaukee County, Waukesha, Racine, Lacrosse, Winnebago, Oak Creek, Kenosha and Brookfield) cease implicitly approving the actions of potentially armed counter demonstrators. 

Given recent events in which outside provocateurs and armed groups have murdered protestors in Kenosha, openly traveled there to “loot” and potentially “take out” protestors, and plotted to kidnap Governor Megan Whitmer of Michigan, the Wauwatosa Police Department needs to investigate the presence of armed provocateurs instead of appearing to give them free range in and adjoining the Wauwatosa community. Additionally, the WPD needs to begin using de-escalation tactics when working with demonstrators who are gathered to protest the WPD’s history of fatal force. 


Press contacts: Ramón Valdez brownbuffalolaw@gmail.com 414.643.7400 Emilio de Torre emilio.de.torre@gmail.com 414.305.8569 
                                                                               

For additional reading, see this article from Urban Milwaukee.

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Press Release Regarding Kenosha Law Enforcement Actions

MILWAUKEE CHAPTER
633 W WISCONSIN AVE., SUITE 1410
MILWAUKEE, WI 53203
PHONE (414) 273-1040 x 12 EMAIL nlgmilwaukee@gmail.com  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Atty. Ramon Valdez, brownbuffalolaw@gmail.com,  414-643-7400

NLG Condemns Biased and Unprofessional Policing by Kenosha Police and Sheriff’s Departments

The National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter, condemns the unprofessional actions of Kenosha law enforcement in the strongest possible terms. Their selective policing of recent demonstrations according to an obvious racial and political double standard – bringing extreme force to bear against majority Black demonstrators, while tolerating and even encouraging the law-breaking of white counter-protestors – constitutes a severe dereliction of duty. The result of Kenosha law enforcement’s dereliction of duty and lack of professionalism has been murder and mayhem. Kenosha County residents Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber lost their lives. Gaige Grosskreutz, a young paramedic from West Allis, lost the use of his arm.

Ample evidence has emerged in video footage, eyewitness reports and the news media that the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department practiced selective, dishonorable, and dangerous policing during the demonstrations occurring from August 23 to September 2 to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the back seven times. Kenosha law enforcement used excessive force against Black, brown, white, and Indigenous protestors during the demonstrations, including tear gas and rubber bullets. They issued at least 94 citations to individuals for violating what has been revealed as an illegal curfew.[1]

In contrast, Kenosha law enforcement was seen passing out water and giving verbal support to white vigilantes, including those organized by the so-called “Kenosha Guard.” In doing, so Kenosha law enforcement legitimized the felonious acts of these armed vigilantes, who, in violation of Wisconsin law, assumed “to act in an official capacity or to perform an official function, knowing that he or she is not the public officer…that he or she assumes to be.” (Wis. Stat. 946.69 (2) a ).  Not one white counter-protestor was charged or arrested for violating the alleged curfew. Not one was charged with using their weapons in a threatening fashion, nor for wielding these weapons within 1000 feet of school grounds, as they did several times during their actions. Kenosha law enforcement’s double standard of aggressive policing of majority Black protestors to the point of civil rights violations, while tacitly endorsing disorganized white gangs with firearms is both dangerous and disturbing.

In their most horrific dereliction of duty, Kenosha law enforcement allowed white, 17 year-old Kyle Rittenhouse to walk past them after he had just murdered two people and wounded a third. Even with his hands in the air, holding the murder weapon, and being verbally identified as the shooter, Rittenhouse was neither detained nor questioned. Throughout the entire evening of August 25, Kenosha law enforcement bolstered Rittenhouse’s delusion that he was a “citizen soldier” in league with police. The National Lawyers Guild calls for the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department to account for that culpability.

To the world, it is clear that the Kenosha law enforcement has become politicized. It has punished demonstrators for protesting the treatment of civilians at the hands of the police, while allowing white law breaking vigilantes with weapons the opportunity to roam with apparent encouragement during the aforementioned curfew. It has selectively policed violations of laws and ordinances to only enforce them against Black people and those protesting the unjust treatment of Black people. And in an era where the Trump Administration, for its political gain, seeks to turn law enforcement into a spectacle to appeal to white nationalist sentiments, KPD and KSD took their place upon that stage. This politicizing of the police rekindles the corrupt precedent of leveraging police for the gain of politicians associated with the Tammany Hall era of pre-professional policing.

The NLG calls for Kenosha Law enforcement to immediately cease its double standard of policing along racial and political lines.  The NLG also calls for an independent investigation by the Wisconsin and U.S. Departments of Justice of the apparently biased policing conducted by the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha Sheriff Department on August 25 that resulted in two homicides and the wounding of at least one additional person.   

###


[1]http://www.aclu-wi.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/2020.09.08_letter_to_wisconsin_ag_re_kenosha_w-exhibits.pdf

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Welcome!

Check out our Facebook page, where we regularly post news items, press releases, and events!

National Lawyers Guild — Milwaukee Chapter

The NLG is a national non-profit legal and political organization comprised of lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers.  We represent progressive political movements, using the law to protect human rights above property interests and to attain social justice.

We hope you enjoy exploring this site and our Facebook page.

All interested lawyers, legal workers and law students are welcome to join!

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