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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.

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