GOP debate in Milwaukee draws attention, protesters to the city

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MILWAUKEE — Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee offers the candidates one more chance to distinguish themselves from their rivals. It's also a chance for plenty of groups to grab a piece of the national attention.

Activists for immigrants rights, civil rights and a living wage are planning to converge for a late afternoon rally and march downtown.

Protesters from Voces de la Frontera Action, Black Lives Matter and the Fight for $15 plan to join ranks in a show of strength that leaders hope will help establish the groups as a powerful voting bloc.

These groups plan to converge at City Hall in Milwaukee ahead of the debate, and they'll then march to the Milwaukee Theatre on Tuesday evening.

Fight for $15 protest

Fight for $15 protest

Just after dawn on Tuesday, Fight for $15 protesters rallied near 25th and Wisconsin. This was part of a nationwide protest of fast food workers -- some of them opting to walk off the job Tuesday as they fight for $15/hour.

"People are on government assistance right now, even though they have jobs. There`s people out there working slave shifts that still need government assistance and that`s not right," Payton Smith said.

Luis Miranda, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, says the DNC supports the fight for $15/hour.

"We support an increase to the minimum wage, definitely. I think $15 is fine. I think what we`re doing is leaving it to our candidates to get into their specific deals but we are supportive of a higher minimum wage," Miranda said.

Fight for $15 protest

Fight for $15 protest

Prior to the march and debate Tuesday evening, Voces de la Frontera welcomed Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers. Huerta calls Donald Trump the face of the Republican Party, and accuses him of dehumanizing Latinos.

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta

Huerta says his primary opponents are no better.

"When we think about people like Rubio and Ted Cruz, even Jeb Bush, who speaks Spanish, they may have a Spanish last name -- but they do not have a Latino heart because they don`t care about immigrants. They don`t care about our community," Huerta said.

These protesters say Latino voters could swing this swing state next fall.

"If we do not vote, the haters will win, and we cannot allow that to happen," Huerta said.

Groups gather to protest against GOP Milwaukee debate

Groups gather to protest against GOP Milwaukee debate

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