MILWAUKEE – As thousands descend on downtown Milwaukee this week for both the Republican presidential debate and the RNC vendor fair, one area activism group plans to lead a protest of the event starting at Red Arrow Park.
The Coalition to March on the RNC in 2024 laid out both their plans for Wednesday, as well as their larger goal of protesting the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next July. Coalition Co-Chair Omar Flores says their protest Wednesday is expected to attract thousands, and will take place with or without a permit that the group has currently not received.
“We’ve tried to put in a request for a permit for the RNC next year…their response is that they can’t even look at it until they have guidance from the Secret Service” Flores said Monday. “The one for Wednesday we didn’t even bother because we knew the response would be the same.”
The group said they expect the police response to be similar to that exhibited during the protests that took place in the summer of 2020.
“If we do see an intensified police presence, that is pressure from the RNC…to brutalize and hurt us, and take away our civil liberties.”
Despite reports that the Republican National Convention is expected to bring in 200 million dollars of revenue to the area economy, Flores says that most of the region’s average citizens won’t receive the benefits of that added economic stimulation.
“For the average everday citizens…we don’t really see the benefits in terms of economics with the RNC coming here, whether its for the debate or for the convention. Mostly it’s going to be business owners and elected [officials] seeing the profits and the benefits of having those people here.”
In a statement to WTMJ, the Milwaukee Police Department said they “respect the rights of all individuals who wish to peacefully express their First Amendment rights. We continue to work with our community and system partners to build a safer city together.”