Kenosha WI – On August 21, members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression joined in a Kenosha rally and march marking the first anniversary of the attempted murder of an African American man, Jacob Blake. Blake, a Kenosha resident, had stopped to break up a fight one year before. When police arrived at the scene to respond to a resident’s call, they immediately assumed Blake was at fault, and seven shots were fired into his back. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down due to this attack. The incident led to what is now known as the Kenosha Uprising.
The event was held outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, where many of the protests took place last summer – those protests were met with extreme police violence. This year’s crowd of roughly 200 people was composed of Kenosha locals, as well as attendees from various other parts of Wisconsin and many people from BLM-Chicago and Lake County.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who protested Blakes’ shooting last year, provided the sound system and stage for the event. Speakers included Robin Williams, mayoral candidate in Houston, Texas, Dr. Umar Johnson, Jacob Blake Sr., Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s sister, and the aunt of Breonna Taylor.
Both Robin Williams and Dr. Umar spoke on the need to hold politicians accountable to action in ending police violence. The family’s demands included the immediate firing and indictment of Officer Rusten Sheskey as a step towards getting rid of the system that allowed this in the first place.
“We do not need reform, we need to get rid of the whole system and start from scratch,” said Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle.
Jacob Blake joined by phone later in the day to express his gratitude for everyone’s support in his recovery, and in the fight for justice on his behalf. The Blake family has continued to express their support for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC), and Blake’s cousin has been active in fighting for the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance in Chicago. The family had an audience with Joe Biden last year and spoke with him specifically about their desire to see CPAC pushed nationally.
Justice for Jacob continues to fight to see their demands met through rallies, marches and calling elected officials. They have stated they will not stop until Shesky is fired and indicted and would like to see the fight for justice continue on.