Appleton, WI – Around 50 people from across northeastern Wisconsin gathered on March 8 in response to a national call to action put out by the National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression that is demanding charges be brought against Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd last May. Though the trial is expected to last weeks, multiple grassroots organizations from nearby cities vowed to stand in solidarity with each other and to not let the local communities forget about victims of police brutality and systematic racism.
Cassandra Ross, a local community activist stated, “It will save a lot of Black lives. Black people, for example, stand before racist judges and receive maximum, sometimes over max, time for crimes they committed while others who are white commit the same crime and get a slap on the wrist.”
Activists were also protesting in support of justice at another trial that began on the same day as Derek Chauvin’s. Michael Mattioli, an off-duty Milwaukee Police Officer, murdered Joel Acevedo at a party in April of last year and is facing charges as well.
In addition to justice, another theme at the event was solidarity, an aspect which continues to be important to many organizers. TJ Hobbs, a community organizer in Oshkosh, said “We are all connected, and when any part of our community is being targeted, we are all being targeted. It is crucial to care and to be vocal because our words and actions have the power to shape real change in our communities.”
The rally was called jointly by the Wisconsin National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression chapter (serving the Fox Valley area primarily), United Action Oshkosh, Fox Valley Food Not Bombs, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
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