Listen MKE: Local Activist Says Protests Could Continue Until Demands Are Met

Jun 11, 2020

WUWM is partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee PBS and the Milwaukee Public Library on an initiative called Listen MKE. Its goal: help north side residents get the information they want and need.

More specifically, we want to better understand what's most important to people who live in these Milwaukee neighborhoods and help fill information gaps.

In light of recent protests against police violence and systemic racism, the Listen MKE team hosted a Facebook Live event with a community organizer and a religious leader. They discussed the community’s demands for change, police-community relations, and what happens after the protests.

James Causey, projects reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and WUWM’s Race & Ethnicity reporter Teran Powell, were joined by Markasa Tucker, the director of the African American Roundtable, and Pastor Walter Lanier of Progressive Baptist Church.

Tucker explained demands that the AART, and dozens more organizations, are standing behind.

"Some of the demands that we have are specifcially for public safety," Tucker says. "We know that the police do not keep us safe; they are not intervening bodies; they are reactionary bodies. And so we have asked for a $75 million divestment from MPD to reinvest back into building healthy communities that can thrive. Another one of our demands the rights of protestors being respected and no harm come to them."

Groups are also demanding justice for Joel Acevedo, who was killed by an off-duty Milwaukee police officer in April.

Pastor Lanier discussed the role the church should play. "The church is a body that is supposed to be a voice of justice," he says. "The church needs to walk alongside the community, to hear what is the heart of the community? What are the demands of the community? How can we amplify the voice of community? How can we speak truth to power?"

Tucker says, right now, she doesn't think the protests will stop until the demands are met.