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Four Marquette University Students Arrested While Demanding School Make Changes

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Marquette student Joseph Martinez and three other students were arrested for sitting in campus intersection to put pressure on University officials (Photo credit: Joe Brusky of Overpass Light Brigade).

Marquette student Joseph Martinez and three other students were arrested for sitting in campus intersection to put pressure on University officials (Photo credit: Joe Brusky of Overpass Light Brigade).

Milwaukee, WI - It’s safe to say that Marquette University officials now recognize the seriousness of demands brought forth by students last November after a powerful action took place on campus, Monday afternoon. Four Marquette students were arrested while sitting down in the middle of the 16th and Wisconsin Avenue intersection. This followed a spirited march around campus culminating in the final act of civil disobedience.

 

Back in November of last year, a group of concerned students at Marquette University presented a list of demands to the Marquette President, Administration and Student Body.  The Ad Hoc Coalition of and for Students of Color asked that the university immediately begin to find solutions to these problems affecting minority students on campus. Since, the school has created a Presidential Task force and a subcommittee of MUSG on Diversity and Inclusion, but students have been unhappy with the slow response from officials prompting the march and intersection shutdown.

 

Marquette University students shut down in middle of busy intersection to put pressure on the school to address their demands (Photo credit: Joe Brusky of Overpass Light Brigade).

Marquette University students shut down in middle of busy intersection to put pressure on the school to address their demands (Photo credit: Joe Brusky of Overpass Light Brigade).

The group met at 3:00pm in front of the Alumni Memorial Union, where different student speakers spoke to each of their demands. Nate Hamilton (brother of Dontre Hamilton) and Curtis Sails from the Coalition for Justice also addressed the students before they marched, expressing support for their demands.

 

The students have made the following demands of administration:

  1. Re-crop the Marquette University’s seal which depicts a biased and impartial narrative of Marquette’s initial relationship with Indigenous peoples to include the Illinois peoples whom are welcoming and guiding Marquette

  2. The expansion of the core curriculum to include 2-3 more diversity and inclusion required courses that unambiguously address the realities of white privilege and oppression at Marquette, in Milwaukee, and in our nation

  3. A dialogue and reflection based training on How to end discriminatory violence in the classroom and in the campus community  for Faculty/Administration/Staff, New student orientation and beginning Service Learners

  4. The further development of the Bias Incident Report System to include an anonymous submission option and a student response team inclusive of student leaders, residence hall RAs and Diversity Peer Coordinators. We hope that the Bias Incident Report System can also influence a No Tolerance Policy for discriminatory violence. We define discriminatory violence as physical harassment, language, exclusion or imagery that targets an individual or group based upon their race/gender/sex/class/national or cultural identities

  5. Increased initiatives to recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds – especially students from Milwaukee’s community. Currently the racial makeup of the city of Milwaukee is less than 50% white, while all racial minority groups combined only represent 20% of Marquette’s student population. This is unacceptable. Increased initiatives to recruit and retain Milwaukee students from diverse backgrounds can include: implementation of more mentorship programs that will engage MPS students in the Marquette environment and the support of Youth Empowered in the Struggle’s initiative which seeks to provide scholarship opportunities to undocumented students.

  6. Increased initiatives for community engagement that genuinely respect the dignity of Milwaukee and its people. This can include but is not limited to: a family weekend that is culturally inclusive for low-income/first generations students and increased Center for Intercultural Engagement funding

  7. DPS community relationship building efforts vs. heightened criminalization of the Milwaukee’s Northside community and Marquette students of color. Please reference the attached suggestions for DPS commissioning (below)

  8. We call for the University to responsibly invest in companies that adhere to our Catholic and Jesuit ideals of promoting the betterment of the human community, therefore reconsidering its investment policy and divesting from companies that take part in the abuse and repression of human basic rights

  9. The implementation of an annual Presidential Forum on Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice which will provide an opportunity for faculty, administration, students and community members to engage in dialogue surrounding social justice issues in our communities

The four students arrested were released late Monday night after posting bail. Each was given disorderly conduct charges. A donation page as been set up to help pay for citations as well as the costs of bail. Students plan to keep the pressure on university officials until they start to see action on the issues brought forward.

 

View more photos from the action here.

Marquette University Students Stage #BlackLivesMatter Die-In

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Photo credit: Claire Elizabeth

Photo credit: Claire Elizabeth

This just happened minutes ago on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

#BlackLivesMatter #DontreHamilton #MikeBrown #EricGarner

 

 

***UPDATE***

After leaving the campus union, students took to the streets shutting down the street in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse and jail for several minutes.
The students are also protesting the deputizing of their university public safety department. This would give the university it’s own police department operating outside of the control of the Milwaukee Police Department.
Photo credit: Josh Del Collie

Photo credit: Josh Del Colle

Striking Palermo’s Workers Take Their Boycott Message to Marquette University

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The Boycott Palermo's informational picket line ran right next to the student line waiting to get into the basketball game

Milwaukee, WI - As a line of hundreds of Marquette University students continued to build for their home game basketball game of the year versus fellow Jesuit University rival Notre Dame a different line also began to form. This line was equally as loud and visible despite visibly less numbers than the huge student turnout for the final home game of the year. This was a Boycott Palermo’s Pizza informational picket line aiming to educate game goers about the ongoing strike and boycott at the local pizza company, where workers were illegally fired for organizing a union.

Striking Palermo's workers and MU students band together to bring their message to waiting students.

Striking Palermo’s workers and MU students band together to bring their message to waiting students.

According to their Facebook page, the informational picket was organized by the MU Coalition for Worker Rights to:

“…demand that Marquette University cut its contract with Palermo Villa, Inc.

Marquette University, despite being an affiliate of two international groups that support fair labor rights, has a contract with Palermo’s Pizza, a company that fired dozens of workers this summer for attempting to form a union.

The MUCWR stands in solidarity with the Palermo workers, and is urging Marquette to stand behind its principles and international agreements by cutting its contract with this exploitative company.”

 

The Boycott Palermo's informational picket line ran right next to the student line waiting to get into the basketball game

The Boycott Palermo’s informational picket line ran right next to the student line waiting to get into the basketball game

A group of about 40 workers and their supporters held signs, marched, chanted, passed out literature explaining the labor dispute, and generally made themselves visible engaging many passersby and game attendees into perhaps pondering why their university was drawing such a spirited protest. Check out our video below from Saturday’s event.

Bringing Palermos Boycott to Marquette from Occupy Riverwest on Vimeo.