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.


Report from Rally/Meeting with Chancellor

Over 70 students, professors and teachers assistants picketed outside the chancellor’s office, as four organizers met inside with the chancellor to demand that he drop the threat of academic punishment for the 16 student protesters who were arrested during the March 4 National Day of Action for Education Rights.

“15 police in riot gear were inside the building protecting the chancellor,” noted Students for a Democratic Society organizer Rachel Matteson who met with the chancellor. “We won two basic demands today, which were to have the chancellor participate in a public forum about the demands of the UWM Education Rights Campaign and to have more investigation into the excessive use of police force on March 4, but the academic punishment of the protesters is still uncertain and the much larger struggle for student and worker rights must continue.”

Many students report that Chancellor Santiago had ready three swat vans, two police wagons, 20-30 police in riot gear and six cops on horseback - all hidden behind the university dormitories.

SDS is excited to see the chancellor finally meeting some demands of the campaign, and we hope to continue the positive movement. We are still demanding that all charges be dropped against the 16! Education is a Right!


5 Events to Support the 16 / Education Rights!

Friends in the Struggle,

The fight for education rights has made a tremendous leap forward this week, but we still need your support now more than ever as reactionary forces are on the attack.  16 people were arrested by repressive and overly aggressive police a week ago, and we are planning several events in the coming days and weeks to raise the issue of education rights, and justice for the 16!

TONIGHT (Wed) 7pm, Bolton 150
"What Really Happened on March 4th?"
Chancellor Santiago presented his side of the story through major media outlets and an all-student e-mail. In his version, a rabid mob of students attacked the police and bombarded Chapman Hall with “ice chunks.”  Now it’s time to hear what REALLY happened, from people who were actually there. Come to the town hall/teach-in to talk to eye witnesses and participants or share what you saw.

Call the Chancellor!
Please call the Chancellor’s office in support of the UWM Education Rights Campaign and against police aggression at the protest on March 4th!  Call the Chancellor' s office at: 414-229-4331  Email at:

Education Rights Vigil
At this time, Chancellor Santiago has agreed to discuss with ONLY 3 students about only academic punishment of the 16 arrested protesters.  This will be a silent vigil on the outside of Chapman Hall to show solidarity with the Milwaukee 16 and to reflect on the fact that there are powerful forces out there that would like to see students and worker voices silenced.

Fundraiser Potluck for the Milwaukee 16!
The Cream City Collectives (732 E. Clarke St.) are hosting a fundraiser potluck for the Milwaukee 16 this Sunday @ 7pm.

TUESDAY (March 16th)
"Know Your Rights Training"
with the ACLU Student Alliance
This is an important training to understand your rights when protesting, and what to do if you are arrested.


SDS Condemns Repression of Education Rights Rally 
Drop All Charges Against the Milwaukee 16!  
Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) is proud of the 250 students and workers who stood up for the March 4th National Day of Action to Defend Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

The university administration is intimidated by the UWM Education Rights Campaign, an alliance that Milwaukee SDS helped create of over 20 organizations that are demanding to lower high-level administrative salaries, democratize the school, and establish just policies for workers and students.  

Milwaukee SDS condemns the police who used violence and arrests to silence the protest. Furthermore, Milwaukee SDS condemns the university administration for responding to our just demands by defending this repression.  “We condemn the university administration for silencing our message by portraying student protestors as violent,” said SDS Milwaukee member Jacob Flom.

Students and Workers Denied Access to Chapman Hall

The demonstration peacefully marched to the Chancellor's office to deliver petitions and make a statement that students and workers will fight cuts to education. Instead of acknowledging the protest, the Chancellor and university administration locked their office doors and called the police, watching from the windows of Chapman Hall as students were maced and beat up by campus police.

The media did not cover the hundreds of students who were blocked out of a public building by UWM Police Chief Michael Marzion, who taunted protesters by saying it was his personal decision to do so. Chief Marzion, who can be seen in video footage kicking and shoving protesters, allowed police forces to use violence and mace on students and workers. 

Administration Ignores Demands of Students and Workers

Chancellor Santiago still has not addressed the demands of the Education Rights Campaign.  Instead he has chosen to support the police’s use of mace against non-violent protesters and the arrests of innocent students and bystanders.

Rachel Matteson, another SDS member states, “He has attempted to delegitimize the campaign by circulating lies about the conduct of the protest that he did not even attend, another refusal to hear student voices.  He continues to criminalize students in the media and by university e-mail.” 

This only furthers students’ and workers’ frustration with a university administration that sits on six-figure salaries, caters to wealthy investors, and continues to ignore those who are struggling for basic rights in a time of economic crisis and cut backs to education.   In addition, the 15 people charged for demonstrating on March 4th face a total of $4,255.50 in fines—almost a semester of tuition at UWM! The administration is victimizing already financially struggling students with these charges. 

We view the university administration as hypocrites when they talk about student violence because this is the same university administration that turns their backs to violence as they create business deals with war profiteers.
Racial Profiling

"I came to this rally to make a statement for education rights," stated Brien Roufus. "I was the only African American in a peaceful crowd and I was singled out in an aggressive arrest."

Milwaukee SDS deamnds immediate justice for protestor Brien Roufus. Roufus, as seen on video, was a peaceful protester and backing away from police before UWM Police Chief Michael Marzion walked straight up to him and said "you look like the perfect person to arrest." Zipping on plastic cuffs and jerking Roufus into Chapman Hall for arrest, Roufus' wrists were cuffed so hard his wrists bled.

Milwaukee SDS Demands Justice

1. A public hearing with Chancellor Santiago to hear the demands of the UWM Education Rights Campaign and to discuss the effects of the economic crisis upon this university.   
2. All charges be dropped against those arrested and charged
3. Resignation of UW-Milwaukee Police Chief Michael Marzion for excessive use of force

Education Rights Movement Perseveres 

Our demands give the public university administration the opportunity to stand with students and workers instead of with the private businesses responsible for this economic crises. On March 4th, the university administration got a small taste of what it’s like when they stand on the side of the bankers and politicians that expect students and workers to pay for their economic crisis.

The details of the March 4th protest overshadowed the plight of the students and workers at UWM who continue to bear the weight of the economic recession as Chancellor Santiago and other high level administrators maintain six figure salaries and cater to the interests of the bankers and politicians.

The events that occurred reveal the administration’s refusal to acknowledge the struggles being faced by students and workers.  Chancellor Santiago still will not address the demands of the Education Rights Campaign.  The administration’s legitimization of violence used against the protestors and the lies that were constructed to place the blame on the students and workers is unacceptable. 

SDS member Molly Ubbesen asserts, “We will continue to fight for democracy and justice at our University.”   
Education is a right! 
Drop all charges against the Milwaukee 16!

Some More Videos

The People United, Will never be Defeated!

Student journalist being arrested, from his perspective


Students and Workers Stood Up for Education Rights!
Administration responded with police repression

Over 250 Students, Faculty, and Workers joined in on the largest Education Rights action in University of Wisconsin Milwaukee history on March 4th, 2010. After a rally bringing attention to massive tuition hikes and pay cuts facing the university, students chanted “Education is a Right!” and marched towards Chancellor Santiago’s office. This was part of a National Day of Action for Education Rights, where over 200 cities protested cuts to education.

University Students, Faculty, and Workers marched side by side towards Chapman Hall to demand a meeting with the Chancellor, where police had surrounded the building. The Chancellor has continuously refused to meet with the Education Rights Campaign, Students, or Teacher’s Unions to discuss the budget crisis. The rally, organized by the Education Rights Campaign at UWM, a coalition of over 20 groups, demanded the Chancellor take a significant pay cut from his $307,000 salary before cutting staff pay by 5%, and laying off workers.

About 200-250 people gathered at the Chancellor’s front office door, where 3 police officers refused to let anyone inside. Protestors chanted “Who’s school? Our school!” Police allowed one member of the Campaign to deliver almost 1000 signatures to the Chancellor’s secretary. The petition demanded the Chancellor take a pay cut, involve students in decision making, freeze tuition, notify the public of what is being cut, and allow groups to demonstrate for education rights.

Police told students that the Chancellor was “not around today” when some members at the back of the crowd saw the Chancellor sneaking in the back door. The rally quickly circled the building, picking up more interested students along the way. Having failed to enter the front door, students went to the back door chanting “Student rights are under attack! What are we gonna’ do, stand up fight back!” With no luck at the back door, the rally kept circling to the main entrance, growing increasingly frustrated that nobody from the administration would address the massive group.

As police stood in front of the door to the building, students continued chanting “Let us in!” for twenty minutes outside the Chancellor’s office. The crowd addressed the police, yelling “We’re on your side!” Several students moved to the front of the crowd and attempted to open the doors to the building, demanding a meeting with Chancellor Santiago. Police stood against the doors, and responded with kicks, punches, headlocks, and arm twisting. After those students were beat down, other protesters helped them out of the crowd. Protesters took turns addressing the crowd about the lack of democracy and student involvement in decision making at the university for another twenty minutes.

As students continued to speak out, and chant, police quickly snatched two protestors off the back of the crowd, hoping nobody would notice. The crowd turned around and followed the arrest yelling “Let them go!” Several police dragged two students 300 feet across the parking lot. Protesters were shocked and outraged, as a growing number of police became more aggressive with the two students. Protesters locked arms around the arrest scene and demanded that police stop brutalizing students.
solidarity forever, before the first attempt to enter Chapman Hall

The struggle continued all the way to the back door of the building, where police opened the door and threw the two students inside. As the door opened, police unleashed a barrage of pepper spray directly into the eyes and mouths of dozens of students and members of the press. Protesters screamed to the chancellor through the open door “Come meet with us, whoever you are,” hoping they could see, or speak to him. The chancellor did not respond. Members of the administration peered out the windows as police continued to attack students, throwing them to the ground, kicking, elbowing, punching, and arresting them. Some students threw snow balls at the building upon seeing the smug faces of the administration looking down from the towers of Chapman Hall.

Several Milwaukee Police Department vehicles swarmed the adjacent parking lot. Officers jumped out and pushed through students, threatening anyone around with arrest. Officers lined up and shook zip-tie handcuffs at students, grabbing at them, throwing them around, and tackling them. Police began chasing and tackling people randomly and arresting them. Police declared the protest an “unlawful assembly” and pushed the students across the parking lot, then across the street. Having scattered most of the protest, some students tried to reform in a picket line on the sidewalk, organizing students to march in circles. When one woman began leading chants, police crossed the street to arrest her, saying “you need to learn your lesson.”

Someone passed around an email list to provide legal support, when police attacked 3 students without warning for signing the list. 16 people were detained inside Chapman Hall including the Student Government President, members of the press, union representatives, and students. The administration released the Student Government President upon realizing the possibility for bad press. 15 others were charged with “unlawful assembly” and other ridiculous charges. The administration quickly held a press conference where they defended the disgusting actions of themselves and police. The media reported the administrations outright lie that students “thew ice chunks” and “punched police.”

Instead of meeting with students, and workers, the administration sent police to lock them out of the building. The Chancellor barricaded himself inside, and let police brutalize students at his own university. The Chancellor showed no respect for the already struggling students, in this time of economic and educational crisis. Students have a right to be heard by the administration.

Our own university administration will not allow students to speak freely to the people who make the decisions. Students and faculty have no decision making power in the university. Our only voice is through our organization, and through these struggles, we are stronger than ever! The administration WILL hear us!

We Demand:
1) A Public hearing with Chancellor Santiago about the economic crisis, its effects upon our university, and a discussion of our demands.
2) Drop all charges against the Milwaukee 16
3) Amnesty for the organizers of this event
4) An apology from the chief of the UW-Milwaukee police

Find videos and more at


Support the Education Rights 16!

Today, 16 people were arrested demanding Education Rights at UWM (see national news.) The Administration used the Police to block the message of students, faculty, and workers who were demanding education rights.

All those arrested have been contacted by SDS and are safe despite minor injuries from police harassment before and after they where in custody. We will continue to provide legal support for those involved.

This protest came as a result of the Chancellor's refusal to meet with us. We organized a peaceful protest. We believe students should have access to public buildings, including Chapman Hall. We recognize this was a traumatic event for our many peaceful protesters and we condemn the police escalated this event into violence. The behavior of the police was unacceptable and their reputation has been deeply damaged, as we're only fighting for workers like themselves to afford education for their children. The real victims today are the students, workers, and community that are struggling in this time of economic crisis.

1) Public hearing with Chancellor Santiago about the economic crisis, its effects upon our university, and a discussion of our demands.
2) Drop all charges against the Milwaukee 16
3) Amnesty for the organizers of this event
4) An apology from the chief of the UW-Milwaukee police

Please share videos of this event:

March 4th - National Day of Action for Education Rights at UWM

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society Condemn Police Brutality, Demands Justice, Continues the Struggle for Education Rights

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society Condemn Police Brutality, Demands Justice, Continues the Struggle for Education Rights 
18 arrested, 250 rally for education rights at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the March 4 National Day of Action for Education Rights

March 4, 2010 – Milwaukee, WI - Students for a Democratic Society is an organization that stands for social justice, peace, and equality.  In the face of massive budget cuts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, we helped form a campus-wide coalition for education rights, called the UWM Education Rights Campaign, consisting of dozens of organizations, including the professor and teacher assistant union.

The campaign organized a peaceful demonstration on March 4th, part of a national day of action to defend education ( The local campaign organized a speak-out to bring attention to our demands. The rally ended in a march to Chapman Hall, to deliver petition signatures to a Chancellor that has thus far refused to meet with us, instead choosing to introduce us to more campus police and locked doors.

250 students, workers, professors, teacher assistants, and concerned community members gathered today to show their support for the UWM Education Rights Campaign. SDS believes we had a great event, and are proud of the students and workers who rallied with us for education rights and stood their ground for over two hours as the police pepper sprayed, punched, and arrested over 18 people. 

"It is difficult to express how outraged we are of the use of police repression against a peaceful protest," commented student organizer Jacob Flom.  "We are outraged by the Chancellor’s unwillingness to come and meet with the peaceful assembly. Our thoughts and prayers go out tonight to the students who have been attacked, arrested, pepper sprayed, and injured. This campaign was about the tens of thousands of youth in our impoverished city who have absolutely no hope of attending this university due to a gutless university administration and politicians who instead give billions to war, occupation, and bank bail-outs."

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society demands all the arrested be immediately released. We will not stand for charges against our fellow protesters. Despite the violence, repression, and however the Chancellor is trying to depict this situation, we will continue forth with our campaign for education rights with more energy and vigor than ever seen before.

Read more about Students for a Democratic Society here: The UWM Education Rights Campaign can be read more about at

Kas Schwedrtferger

Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society



UW-Milwaukee to Protest Budget Cuts as Part of the National Day of Action for Education Rights

The UWM Education Rights Campaign consists of two dozen professor, teacher assistant, and student organizations and expects a large turn out for a rally and march in protest of the budget cuts at UW-Milwaukee.

Milwaukee, WI, March 3, 2010 -- Outraged over the budget cuts at UW-Milwaukee, two dozen professor, teacher assistant, and student organizations have formed the UWM Education Rights Campaign and are putting together a large demonstration on March 4th at 12:00pm in the UW-Milwaukee Union Concourse (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.) as part of a nation day of action to defend education.

While students and workers at university systems from California to New York will be on strike and holding all-day demonstrations, the UWM Education Rights Campaign will be hosting a speak-out at 12:00pm that will feature students who can no longer afford to go to school, professors and teacher assistants who are struggling to meet high educational standards, and workers who are facing lay-offs and furloughs. The speak-out will then turn into a march onto the Chancellor’s office to deliver a petition of over 1,000 signatures calling on the Chancellor to take a pay cut, to stop meddling in the affairs of the professor and teacher assistant unions, and to provide more transparency over the budget cuts taking place on campus.

“My fellow students did not create this economic crisis, yet we‘re asked to foot the bill with higher tuition and cuts to our education while the bankers get bailed out. I worked hard to make it to college and I am not getting pushed out without a fight,” stated Natasha Morgan, a native of Monroe, WI and student organizer at UW-Milwaukee.

The March 4th National Day of Action to Defend Education can be read more about at The ad hoc coalition consists of hundreds of endorsers, and states that:

As people throughout the country struggle under the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks. Budget cuts degrade the quality of public education by decreasing student services and increasing class size, while tuition hikes and layoffs force the cost of the recession onto students and teachers and off of the financial institutions that caused the recession in the first place.

The UWM Education Rights Campaign ( includes: Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association (MGAA), The Association of University of Wisconsin Professionals (TAUWP), Students Equalizing Rights Forever (SERF), Students United for Immigrant Rights at UWM (SURFRIR), Progressive Students of Milwaukee (PSM), UWM Association of South American Students (ASAS), Black Student Union (BSU), Jews for Justice, Systematic Peace Project, Colombia Action Network at UWM, Latin America Solidarity Committee, Latino Student Union (LSU), Black Graduate Student Alliance, National Society of Black Engineers at UWM (NSBE), and UWM English Education Association.

Michael Raspanti
UWM Education Rights Campaign
Milwaukee Students fro a Democratic Society
mraspanti39 at yahoo dot com