Meetings every Wednesday at 7pm
UWM Union
2200 E. Kewnwood Blvd.
Meetings are usually in Union 280, otherwise check by the union elevators for meeting locations.


SDS Supports Speaker’s Right to Free Speech, Notes Conservative Union Contradictions

Press Release Dated 11/29/07

In a November 28 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, UWM student AJ Piwarun alleged that the attempted cancellation of a Conservative Union event entitled “Why I Left Jihad” was rooted in political bias. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at UWM vehemently disagrees with Mr. Walid Shoebat’s Islamophobic message, but our organization supports his right to speak at UWM; however, we must point out the contradiction embodied in AJ Piwarun. Allocating funds to SDS as a student Senator, Mr. Piwarun among others violated viewpoint neutrality as outlined by the United States Supreme Court case Southworth v. Board of Regents of the UW System. While The Conservative Union received funds for Mr. Shoebat, Piwarun, the group’s president, knowingly stood by as fellow student Senator Tobin Huibregtse lied, stating that SDS’ funds should be cut because “the most we ever gave for a speaker was 1000 dollars.” The Senate Appropriations Committee Minutes show that the Conservative Union received $5,000 for one speaker and the College Republicans, of which Piwarun is a member, received $3,000 for a speaker as well.

Furthermore, Piwarun violated SDS’ rights as we organized a speech by Dr. Peter Phillips whose event focused on Self Censorship in the Media. Ironically, Piwarun attempted to censor a speaker bringing attention to censorship and now finds himself in a position where he usually places others. Piwarun voted with the majority to cut SDS’ funding from $6,792 to $3,000. Of the 62 student organizations, five groups were pulled out for reconsideration based on their funding levels. SDS was singled out by Piwarun and other student Senators for political reasons, as exhibited by the clearly apolitical nature of the other four groups under review: Club Hockey ($22,900), Lady Panther’s Soccer ($19,445),Wrestling Club ($19,015). In addition, thirteen student organizations were funded $6,500+ with unanimous consent without review.

Mr. Piwarun has also argued that he was censored when not called upon in a Q&A session at an SDS sponsored speech by Winona LaDuke -- a speech he attempted to censor by cutting SDS’ allocation, threatening SDS’ ability to hold the event. The circumstances surrounding Mr. Walid Shoebat’s speech have been used to characterize the sponsors as victims. SDS will defend freedom of speech for all, but highlight the fact that the supposed victims in this case are typically perpetrators.


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A Few Members of SDS went to Water and Wisconsin November 16 for the Iraq War Moratorium. A very fun time. Remember this is a monthly event that happens on the third Friday of every month. We hope to see more people there next time!

We brought down the big heads which are always a hit.

Along with some Veterans against the war kids from La Escuela Fratney were there to show their support for bringing this war to an end. They were in charge for the chants most of the time yelling things like "What do we want PEACE when do we want it NOW" and "End the War!"

Overall there were roughly 30 people there all happy to see everyone else. All pumped to bring this war to an end!


8 Point Platform of SDS Milwaukee

We are the Milwaukee chapter of Students For A Democratic Society (SDS), representing the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. SDS is a nationwide, non-hierarchical student organization dedicated to increasing democracy in all aspects of common life. SDS began in the early 1960s, modeled on the example of the Southern civil rights group SNCC (the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee). Eventually SDS became one of the driving forces of the civil rights, anti-war, and free speech movements, reaching a peak membership of around 150,000 students and allies. By the end of the 1960s, SDS collapsed under the weight of conflicting ideas of militance, with assistance from the FBI's murderous and illegal COINTELPRO program. We are now bringing back the original focus of SDS, participatory democracy and peaceful activism for change. We are always organizing events in the Milwaukee area. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us!

1. We believe that the international military posture of the United States is fundamentally flawed.
The U.S. outspends every other government on the planet combined in order to maintain military bases around the globe, overthrow democratically elected governments, and develop weapons of mass destruction. We believe that the United States government pursues imperialist foreign policies which contradict the democratic ambitions of the American people and our brothers and sisters abroad. We believe that both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden deserve swift justice for their crimes against humanity, but we also feel that as Americans we should question why our tax dollars were used to fund, train, and otherwise support these men until only recently.

2. We believe that the ongoing war in Iraq is detrimental to the well-being of both the Iraqi people and the global community as a whole.
Our government's pursuit of this war is in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and the founding principles of the United Nations. The U.S. invasion of Iraq has set a dangerous precedent for unprovoked aggression and torture, has reduced the ability of the United States to defend itself, and does not reflect the democratic will of the American people. The perpetrators of this aggression should be held accountable for their deliberate abuse of information - by way of impeachment, trial for war crimes, or both.

3. We believe that the structure of unrestrained corporate capitalism is unethical and undemocratic.
Corporations are motivated by profits above all else. Unaccountable corporations - while achieving their monetary ends - destroy the environment, exploit workers, and deceive consumers. Contrary to the democratic principles of fairness, competition, and transparency, corporations maintain virtual monopolies at the expense of all but their investors. Furthermore, multinational corporations are the recipients of billions of dollars in tax exemptions and no-bid contracts from the U.S. government.

4. We oppose the efforts of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization to reduce "Third World" nations to a state of perpetual poverty and debt.
These institutions violate the sovereignty of nations, discourage democratic participation, and extract natural resources vital to the development of local economies; they work to exploit the poorest people in the world for the benefit of the extremely wealthy.

5. We believe that environmental policy, on all levels, must pursue immediate sustainability.
Contrary to well-funded propaganda, we believe that the members of our society are as willing to drive diesel SUVs as any other kind. The opposition to sane environmental policy does not come from the citizenry, and business can not be allowed to externalize the cost of pollution any longer.

6. We stand in solidarity with all members of our global society whose voices are muted, whose concerns are marginalized, and whose basic human rights are violated.
These members of society include: workers, women, people of color, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities, etc. We believe that equality and human rights are absolutely vital and must be fought for and defended locally (in the university and in the community), nationally, and globally.

7. We believe that the U.S. justice system is fundamentally biased and unbalanced.
We believe the profit motive must be removed from the building of prisons and the maintenance of a large prison population. We believe that, as a society, we must choose to fund schools rather than prisons; we must distinguish violent from non-violent offenders; we must join the rest of the enlightened world and eliminate the death penalty.

8. We believe that the University should be a place of learning and that students should have a larger voice in the structuring of the institution.
This includes both a student government and an administration held accountable by the student body. We believe that the transformation of universities into research facilities driven by profit and the corporatization of campuses violate the fundamental purpose of education. We will no longer stand by idly as the student government embezzles money, disregards the will of those they represent, and pursues and agenda which violates both the rights and the best interest of the students of this University.