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.


Solidarity: Major Labor Union Struggle Underway in Illinois

Milwaukee SDS stands in solidarity with the union workers of UE Local 1174 in their fight to keep Quad City Die Casting open. We condemn the Wells Fargo bank for refusing to finance the factory in Moline, Illinois. This outrage comes after Wells Fargo received $25 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money in a bailout earlier this year. Wells Fargo is sitting on the money. So now a locally owned factory employing over a hundred workers is being forced to shut their doors. However, the union workers are fighting to save their jobs!

SDS is joining with the demand of the UE workers that Wells Fargo finance the company so they keep their jobs. Like the Republic Window and Door workers in Chicago this past December, it is unacceptable that a huge bank receives billions in bailout funds yet hangs the workers out to dry. Wells Fargo received $25 billion dollars from the recent bailout.

We are calling on all students and youth to hold protests at their local Wells Fargo banks and to express solidarity with the workers in Moline. Support the Quad City workers and their jobs! Pressure Wells Fargo to extend a line of credit to the Quad City Die Casting factory.

Further, we are asking students to go to the factory in Moline, Illinois and stand with the workers while they are fighting for their jobs.

Make the rich pay! Keep Quad City Die Casting open!


SDS Up Against New Military Recruitment Tactics at Summerfest

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) located Military recruiters on duty at Milwaukee’s largest music festival, Summerfest, this time, as professionally trained promotional models. Encore Nationwide, an independent contractor for promotional advertising, provides U.S. military recruitment teams with America’s top aspiring models to seduce young men into joining the military. As contractors, Encore models are hired into general positions and are then purchased to do promotional work by various paying companies, one of which happens to be the U.S. Air Force. The models are not required to have experience with the U.S. military, but are given the go ahead to use their good looks and one line marketing slogans to lure hopeful young people into the Air Force.

One of these slogans is, “Join the Air Force, get a free education,” a calling that is sure to round lower income youth yearning for the unaffordable college degree or Students for a Democratic Society investigating the scene. SDS member and Air Force veteran, Jacob Flom, asked about the details of this unbelievable benefit as if he were interested in joining the military. The models had no problem guaranteeing that his college tuition would be paid for in full, if he joined the military. Although, they were unable to explain the details of the G.I. bill, they answered other questions about the U.S. Air Force with the same certainty before admitting that they themselves had never had actual experience with any part of the U.S. military. Fortunately, there were specially trained recruiters nearby to suavely answer more detailed questions after the models had gotten the hook. Though Jacob refused to be directed toward the recruiters, he wasn’t sent away without his U.S. Air Force merchandise of choice, a hat, given to him only after he had signed an interest card with his full name and date of birth.

This year’s addition to the old recruitment campaign stood outside of the Virtual Army Experience video game that had been banned at last year’s festival after a flood of anti-war activists and parents protested its focus on young teenagers. The game, which glorifies the U.S. military in virtual combat scenarios, underwent a slight modification making realistic targets stationary rather than moving in order to avoid problems. Summerfest executive director, Don Smiley, has refused to reveal the dollar amount of the U.S. military’s festival contract, but surely it was enough to open the gates to still unsatisfied anti-war organizers.

To redirect the scores of misled youth in line for the video game, SDS handed out “anti-business” cards displaying information about their organization while making statements like, “Join the movement, not the military.” While recruiters pled us to leave their station, excited teenagers exclaimed, “I’m with you, SDS, but I really want to play this game!” Hopefully their young minds will be strong enough to ward off the psychological persuasions of the recruiters who continue their pursuit with slogans such as, “Empower yourself; defend America.”

If the unjust recruitment tactics of the U.S. Military aren’t enough to reveal the truth about its profit driven wars, Iraq veterans can explain the cold end of the so-called bargains conveyed by the new recruitment models.

Soldiers, who have had actual experience with the U.S. military, have confirmed that such guarantees were only marketing strategies. Many Iraq War Veterans have been denied G.I. rewards due to far-fetched hidden stipulations or have unknowingly agreed to pay reductions. The lucky recipients of G.I. funds have found that their benefits have failed to cover even one quarter of a modern college tuition. Flom states, “I joined the air force to pay for a private school education, but when I got out I found out that it would still barely cover a public school, and that was only because of the state benefits that Wisconsin had.” His benefits have been subject to change since he has been out of the military and he has not been offered funding for graduate school. While beautiful women are guaranteeing aspiring college students a free education, most university attending Iraq war veterans are burdening the weight of college loans in addition to varying levels of post-traumatic stress disorder.

But, the promotional models are also suffering an unfair burden. Encore has faced many legal complaints due to its unjust employment practices. One common accusation is that Encore guarantees jobs to women only to deny them of the position when a more profitable opportunity arises; leaving employees unexpectedly broke with no source of income. Women have also complained about non-payment for jobs completed. Encore has been known to hold the money made by its employees in interest bearing accounts where additional income can be generated for Encore’s executives. Models who do receive their payment in full can expect it at the very last minute.

When employees begin to catch wind of Encore’s scandalous practices, they are simply removed from its employment list with no warning or notification. For resulting official complaints, Encore keeps a variety of well articulated excuses to maintain its legal immunity to injustice, while creating poor reputations for honest employees. At the end of the month, all is justified by the exorbitant sums of money accumulated by Encore’s directors.

The exploitative techniques practiced by Encore are not unusual for an independent contractor nor is it that the U.S. government comfortably legitimizes these practices to falsely represent its services. While the military pawns are being moved across the board, from Iraq to Afghanistan, as a way to blind sight casual observers, these independent contractors are loading their pockets with the profits of war. As SDS and the rest of the anti-war movement continue to stand strong against the corporate elites backing U.S. interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere, the awareness of such corruption is rising. With no one interested in risking their lives to serve the interests of corporate elites, the U.S. government must resort to scandalous marketing techniques to convince citizens to do its dirty work.

Students Join 4th of July Parades in Revolutionary Spirit

This 4th of July, SDS celebrated revolution, and independence from empire. Students from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Marquette University jumped into two parades, holding multiple banners.

As we stepped into the first parade in Glendale, WI, we held a banner which read "Bailout For Education, Not For Corporations." Many people stood to cheer for the message. Other banners declared "End The Occupations, No War For Empire", and "No Human Is Illegal."

Although much of the parade crowd was delighted to see our message represented, the police acted quick to shut it down. After less than a minute in the parade, one officer on a bicycle demanded that we leave the parade, and threatened us with arrest if we did not comply.

Photo: A Glendale Police Officer tells SDSers to stop marching

Onlookers near us were shocked as police reprimanded peaceful free speech. Others were less forgiving, one American Legion member in the parade told the police to "Lock 'em up!" Another old man yelled "Go to Iran."

Photp: Parade groups show support for detained SDS members.

The police held us while the parade passed. They asked why we didn't have a permit to march. We explained that we had tried to receive permission to join the parade, but have always been denied. One officer said "political groups are not allowed in the parade." As the police held us, we were passed by the Milwaukee River Preservation, a group calling to "Save the Dam", and a candidate for Governor; Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican who refused federal bailout money for our city. Several other senators and politicians passed us over the thirty-minute "investigation."

When the parade ended, the police told us they were finished with "the investigation," and let us go.

After being released, we headed to another parade in Shorewood, WI.

The Shorewood crowd was overwhelmingly supportive of our parade contingent. Throughout the entire march, people were talking about SDS, yelling cheers of support, and clapping. We passed one police officer who got on her radio when she saw us, but police took no action to remove us. The cheering supporters caused this march to be a huge success, with our message reaching thousands of people who were glad to see people taking action against imperialism.

This Independence Day, students proved once again that a message of justice and peace can overcome repression and intolerance.

Photo: Families cheer, a young girl raises her fist!

Photo: Two members of Iraq Veterans Against the War march in solidarity.


SDS National Convention - July 10 - 12

Students for a Democratic Society 4th National Convention
Friday July 10 - Sunday July 12 - Middle Tennessee State University

Join students and youth from across the United States for Students for a Democratic Society's 4th National Convention. This year's convention will be in the lovely town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (nearest airport is Nashville), on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University. It's next weekend, July 10 - 12, so make your travel plans now! The convention will begin Friday during the day and run through Sunday, so try to arrive Thursday night and plan on leaving Sunday afternoon/evening.

Please register using this form.

In addition to discussing SDS work over the past year, we'll have lots of exciting workshops, anti-oppression and collective liberation work, trainings, and discussions of campaign strategy for the future. You don't want to miss it!!

Don't forget to check us out on Facebook.

And follow us on Twitter for updates:

Caucuses: If you are a member of a caucus in SDS and would like to claim time for your caucus to meet, please contact (


SDS Joins Labor to Protest Karl Rove, back Employee Free Choice Act

Photo: Members of Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society and labor activists march in solidarity for workers rights.

Angry students and labor unionists protested here against Republican hit man Karl Rove. The conservative lobbying group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) invited former Bush aide Karl Rove to speak against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). EFCA promises to make it easier for workers to form unions with less interference and dirty tricks from bosses. Unions and workers are demanding this new amendment to the National Labor Relations Act that will make forming a union a simple democratic choice.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce conference was closed to the public and the press, but 150 workers showed up at 8:00 a.m. outside to make their voices heard. Workers held signs in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act and chanted, “What do we want? Free Choice! When do we want it? Now!" The bosses at the WMC would not speak to the media, but passed out literature that opposed the EFCA.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is also opposing a measure that would make Milwaukee the third U.S. city to win paid sick days. The paid sick days ballot initiative passed in November with an astounding 69% mandate and would give all workers in Milwaukee nine paid sick days each year, a huge victory for all workers.

Milwaukee Hosts SDS Midwest Convention

This summer Milwaukee SDS hosted the Midwest SDS Regional Convention.

Fifty students from around the Midwest came together to host a wide variety of workshops including: Direct Action Training, Marxist Economics, History of Resistance in Columbia, Vision and Goal Setting, Oppression Workshops, Membership and Chapter Growth, and Managing Media.

We were also lucky to have two plenary speakers: an experienced student and labor organizer from Chicago gave a presentation on unity, struggle, and building a movement. A member of the Just Seeds radical artists cooperative inspired SDSers with a presentation of activist art, and visual resistance.

Midwest SDS officially elected their first regional representatives to work with the first National Structure.

Oh, and there was much free food, love and revolution.