Other Group

AbolishMKE

AbolishMKE is a far-left activist and racial agitation organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The organization’s focus is the abolition of all jails and prisons. The organization also advocates for the defunding of police departments.

The organization demanded that Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) release inmates from Wisconsin’s prisons. The organization also called on him to veto increased spending approved by the Republican-controlled legislature on prisons. It also called on him to create a process through which every inmate in Wisconsin prisons can receive a pardon or at least have their pardon request seriously considered. [1]

It also works with self-described anti-capitalist and Marxist organizations such as the Midcoast Collective. [2]

Overview

AbolishMKE is a far-left activist organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The organization focuses on promoting the abolition of all jails and prisons in Wisconsin. In addition, the organization focuses on racial agitation. It also supports defunding the police. [3]

Its main product is a website that features analysis and news reports from a radical-left point of view. Its stated mission is “grappling with this city’s darkness and kicking it until it bleeds light.” [4]

The organization sees the prison system as trapping poor white people and non-whites and shipping them to “prisons up north” where they are abused and tortured to death. [5]

It also calls Milwaukee “the worst place for black children to grow up.” It also calls Milwaukee one of the worst-segregated cities in America. It also decries the fact that the city had a white mayor for 16 years “’cuz he once got hit with a pipe.” [6]

In addition, it attacks the fact that white people “stole” the land from the native Algonquian tribe. Finally, it says that Milwaukee is not “the good land” that the city claims to be on T-shirts promoting the city. [7]

Activism

In September 2021, activists representing the organization participated in a national day of action calling for the closure of prisons. The protest took place at the Green Bay Correctional Institution and was joined by the radical left Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and formerly incarcerated people. The protest called for closure of the prison and the release of all its inmates. [8]

In February 2022, the organization joined with other radical-left organizations in winning approval for “free or low cost calls” for inmates in the Milwaukee County jail. Among the organizations it worked with was the Milwaukee chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). [9]

The organization released an online petition that contained a series of demands to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) which among other things called upon him to release inmates from Wisconsin’s prisons. The organization called on him to veto increased spending approved by the Republican-controlled legislature on prisons. It also called on him to create a process where every inmate in Wisconsin prisons can receive a pardon or at least have their pardon request seriously considered. [10]

Partners

AbolishMKE has worked in the past with the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Its activism work has been written up in the PSL newspaper Liberation News. [11]

The organization also works with the self-described anti-capitalist and Marxist organization Midcoast Collective. It has raised money for the organization. [12]

Leadership

While the organization does not list its official leaders, two major organizers for the organization are Tai Renfrow and Ben Turk. They worked together at the Forum For Understanding Prisons, which is another prison-abolitionist organization. [13]

References

  1. “3 Demands to Decarcerate Wisconsin.” The Action Network. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/3-demands-to-decarcerate-wisconsin. ^
  2. “Resources.” MIDCOAST Collective. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.midcoastcollective.org/resources. ^
  3. “About Us.” ABOLISHmke. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://abolishmke.com/about-2/. ^
  4. “About Us.” ABOLISHmke. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://abolishmke.com/about-2/. ^
  5. “About Us.” ABOLISHmke. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://abolishmke.com/about-2/. ^
  6. “About Us.” ABOLISHmke. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://abolishmke.com/about-2/. ^
  7. “About Us.” ABOLISHmke. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://abolishmke.com/about-2/. ^
  8. Holmes, Isiah. “Prison Abolition Activists Join Nationwide Actions.” Wisconsin Examiner, September 3, 2021. https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2021/09/03/prison-abolition-activists-join-nationwide-actions/. ^
  9. “Worth Rises: Milwaukee Takes a Step toward Prison Phone Justice, Stopping Short of a Guaranteeing Free Calls in Jail.” WisPolitics, February 4, 2022. https://www.wispolitics.com/2022/worth-rises-milwaukee-takes-a-step-toward-prison-phone-justice-stopping-short-of-a-guaranteeing-free-calls-in-jail. ^
  10. 3 Demands to Decarcerate Wisconsin.” The Action Network. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/3-demands-to-decarcerate-wisconsin. ^
  11. [1]Taylor, Joshua Kendrick. “Community Rallies for Two Killed in Racine, Wisconsin, Jail.” Liberation News, July 21, 2021. https://www.liberationnews.org/community-rallies-for-two-killed-in-racine-wisconsin-jail/. ^
  12. [1]“Resources.” MIDCOAST Collective. Accessed October 31, 2022. https://www.midcoastcollective.org/resources. ^
  13. Holmes, Isiah. “Incarcerated in the Pandemic.” Wisconsin Examiner, July 21, 2020. https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2020/07/21/incarcerated-in-the-pandemic/. ^
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