#blacklivesmatter

As a womyn of color living in Milwaukee, WI I am faced with many challenges. Often I think about my two sons and how uncertain their futures are living in this very divided city. As the climate of the country is shifting and people of color are rising up against injustices involving the ‘justice system’, police brutality and murders, I too began thinking about the value of my own life and my children’s lives. We are all in this together and we need to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters by using civil disobedience as a common tool to dismantle the corruption currently woven throughout the various police forces. Now is the time to take a stand and fight for what you truly believe in. We must not wait for the oppressors to determine when the ‘right’ time is to start resisting. Let us not stand idle. Tension has been growing in my city surrounding the murder of an unarmed black man named Dontre Hamilton at the hands of MPD. We want justice and we want it now. These photos were taken one evening after several protestors interrupted the flow of traffic on the freeway during rush hour and were arrested. People stood downtown waiting for the release of these protestors, they chanted, spoke and recounted their own lived experiences with the justice system. There were people of all colors, religions, and professions who came out in support. While things were peaceful and non-violent that quickly erupted when a woman walking past the doors of the building got ambushed by MPD as they attempted to pull her inside, several protestors also tugged on her in resistance to the police. The police pushed her to the ground, punched her and threatened to taze her, it all ended in arrest. The police agitated and provoked the crowd, within minutes dogs were brought out, at least 100 cops surrounded us and several paddy wagons were parked. People began to run (including myself) afraid of what was happening. I was there after a long day because I felt compelled to show solidarity and because my calling as a photographer pulled me to want to document history. I had never experienced the feeling I felt that night, fear of fighting for what you believe in and risking everything because I was exercising my basic civil rights. In the end, I made it home, there was no one else arrested and I caught some powerful images that I hold sacred to my heart.

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