Milwaukee, WI - The first meeting for the Coalition to March on the DNC took place on the evening of October 11, concluding with a demonstration and rally. The coalition is comprised of many progressive activist groups united around nine demands - or points of unity - that serve as a basis and also a guide to action. Some of these points are “Legalization for all; no more deportations” and “Fight to expand union and worker rights.”

The coalition plans to march during the Democratic National Convention next July. Though a request for a permit to march has been submitted, the coalition is still awaiting a response from the city of Milwaukee. It has been months since the request was made. The coalition is prepared to pressure them on the issue.

The meeting itself was brief. It began at Milwaukee’s City Hall to discuss the points of unity as well as a set of principles designed to keep the coalition cohesive over the coming months. Around 40 activists from a variety of groups across Milwaukee and the broader Wisconsin and Midwest areas were in attendance.

After the meeting, coalition members took to the sidewalks, walking alongside a portion of the proposed route they hope to march in July. There were a number of chants reflecting the points of unity, as well as the frustration over the delayed permits. They chanted “What do we want? Permits! When do we want them? Now!”

The demonstration finished at Dontre Hamilton (or Red Arrow) Park, where several speakers voiced their support of the coalition, as well as their anger with the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party’s actions. Many speakers also touched on the specific conditions of Milwaukee, from the increasing police budget to the lack of urgency to address the city’s lead water pipes.

Ryan Hamann, one of the lead organizers of the Coalition and member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, stated, “The purpose of our action here today was to bring our people together and show the city that we mean business.”

“Mayor Barrett and the city of Milwaukee are quick to roll out the red carpet for the rich and powerful while putting up roadblocks for activists here,” Hamann continued. “Milwaukee is our town and we’re going to march whether the city government permits us to or not.”

Though there was a strong turnout of a variety of organizations, the coalition is seeking to grow and expand its outreach within the coming months to encompass more of the people’s movements. The next organizing meeting is set for November 8 at 5 p.m. at the Peace Center in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.