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‘No justice. No peace:’ Black Panthers protest at Summerfest; promise to continue disrupting major events

Black Panthers protest at Summerfest

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Black Panthers on Tuesday, May 21 protested at the Summerfest headquarters — making good on their promise to disrupt some of Milwaukee’s biggest events until lead laterals are removed from homes in the city.

King Rick with the Black Panthers made the promise May 7 during a Milwaukee Common Council meeting, telling city leaders: “You’ve got billions of dollars in construction on the upper east side and downtown Milwaukee, but what do you have in the black and brown communities? You have crumbs, and we’re going to sit here and tolerate that?! No. We are not going to tolerate that any longer. No justice. No peace. That’s what is going to happen. Oh, no. Until dynamics change, you’re not going to have any fun.”

City leaders have said lead paint is a bigger problem. Still, in March, the Common Council voted to replace lead pipes — a process expected to take years. The Black Panthers and Freshwater For Life Action Coalition — clean water advocates —¬† said the city is out of time, promising to disrupt some of Milwaukee’s biggest events.

During Tuesday’s protest, the Black Panthers, noting the lead laterals are responsible for elevated lead levels in children on Milwaukee’s north side, voiced frustration regarding economic and social disparities in the city.

“In downtown Milwaukee and the Upper East Side, you have billions of dollars worth of infrastructure, but in the black and brown communities, you have crumbs,” said King Rick.

The group said they’ll continue disrupting major events, including Milwaukee Bucks games and the Democratic National Convention, until their message is heard and action is taken.

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