Milwaukee rally to mark January 6 anniversary focuses on the future
The official reason for the rally Thursday in the Rotunda of Milwaukee City Hall was to mark the first anniversary of the Jan.6 uprising at the United States Capitol.
But for the community and religious leaders, election administration officials and members of the public who gathered, it was more about looking to the future.
âJanuary 6 was a disaster against everything America is meant to stand for,â said Reverend Greg Lewis, executive director of Souls to the Polls. “We cannot just sit back and let these things happen. And it continues to happen across the country.”
A brief minute of silence followed as President Donald Trump stepped onto the podium in Washington, DC last year. The president’s speech preceded the violent demonstrations on Capitol Hill.
Speaker after speaker, from Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley to State Representative Christine Sinicki to former Wisconsin Election Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen, have expressed concerns about continued efforts to undermine the Wisconsin election.
Lewis listed a roll call of issues that concern him: voter access and suppression, including voter intimidation; gerrymandering; strict voter identification laws; limited drop boxes; complex registration rules; excessive purging of voters; Language barrier; limited or no accessibility for people with disabilities; and long queues.
âMost of these laws target people like me here in Milwaukee – black people, brown people, poor people, who have no voice,â Lewis said. “We should make it easier for people to vote, not make it difficult … I should be able to go to McDonalds, get a Big Mac, get myself a ballot, drop it in the box and someone will pick it up later – that’s how it should be easy, “he added.
Sinicki and others have mentioned the work of former State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, reviewing Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election for Assembly Republicans. Gableman’s review centers on an election that recounts, court rulings and independent reviews have already determined was properly requested for Joe Biden.
Thomsen denounced the Wisconsin Republicans’ attempt to overhaul the Election Commission – a bipartisan agency she created just five years ago.
“Everyone really, really wants to honor these people who died protecting our democracy. This battle is raging in our state,” said Thomsen, referring to the people who were trying to protect the United States Capitol a long time ago. year. “You can’t stop a tyrant until everyone stands up, can you? Robin Vos and his cronies are tyrants.”
Thomsen called on residents to contact the state assembly speaker and ask him to call off his attack on the electoral commission.
Sinicki said she was concerned Republicans would pursue changes to the way elections are administered in Wisconsin in order to have more control over their results. She cited legislation that would require the elected office of the secretary of state to oversee the elections instead of the electoral commission.
“It would be the nail in the coffin of our democracy,” she said.
âIt’s not about 2020 anymore. It’s about controlling who wins in November and beyond,â Sinicki said. “Regardless of our political beliefs or our ideology, I think the one thing we can all agree on is that our votes and our democracy are worth fighting for.”