Wisconsinites Risk Arrest to Oppose #HostForHate One Day Before Trump Rally
Cindy Breunig, Groundwork: 608-219-0782
Christine Irvine, SURJ: 704-813-3361
Janesville - Today at 6:30pm six people locked themselves together using PVC pipe in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express Janesville, surrounded by two dozen others, to demand “Holiday Inn: Don’t be a Host for Hate”. Tomorrow the hotel’s convention center is scheduled to host Donald Trump, in spite of Holiday Inn’s alleged policy that the chain "doesn't tolerate racial discrimination".
The six Wisconsin residents, five of whom are white and one of whom is biracial, said in a statement: “Donald Trump’s hate speech has had real, violent consequences for Wisconsinites, and there should be costs to companies like Holiday Inn that profit from his hate-mongering. Trump’s racism has emboldened violent attacks on people of color across the country - eroding safety for Holiday Inn’s clients and employees of color, to say nothing of millions of others.”
Shawna Lutzow of Beloit, WI, which is a few miles from Janesville, risked arrest today because, she said, "I will not tolerate hate and bigotry. Trump's tactics have encouraged people to speak out and act out on their racism and I am fearful for the future. I feel like it is my responsibility, as a white person, to put my body on the line in the name of justice and I am prepared to do what it takes to stand up to hate."
All six Wisconsinites are members of Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national network of 30,000 people and 150 chapters & affiliate groups taking action to end white support for racism, and Groundwork Madison, a community organization working to achieve racial justice and equity in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Holiday Inn agreed to host the event tomorrow despite Trump’s discriminatory views and the pattern of violence directed toward peaceful protestors and people of color in his audiences. Given recent threats of violence toward local protest organizers, concerned community members are calling upon the Holiday Inn to keep this hate out of Wisconsin.
Donald Trump is running on a platform that fuels violence towards immigrants, Muslims and all people of color. In Southeastern Wisconsin, we are still reeling from the recent hate crime murder of neighbors for not speaking English.
More Statements by the Blockaders:
Kristen Brock-Petroshius, Groundwork Madison & Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ):
"I don't want to live in a world where my kids are taught to fear and hate Muslims, immigrants, Black people and queer people. Trump is inciting state and vigilante violence that targets these communities, including my own family. I am scared for myself, my kids, my country and I am acting to show the world we can choose a path of justice."
Ali Brooks, Groundwork Madison:
"I cannot sit by and hope that the extreme racism and nationalism Trump has incited will go away if we just ignore it. When my family members, neighbors, and people I love- immigrants, Muslims, Black people, queer and trans folks, people with disabilities- are being targeted by violence and hateful rhetoric, the risks are too great."
Harry Gilbert, Groundwork Madison:
"I understand my/our acts of resistance today to be not only against Trump, his power, his virulent brand of rhetoric, and his policies of violence; I understand our actions to be a critical refusal of his conditions of possibility: capitalism, white supremacy, cis-hetero-patriarchy, empire. I understand that the historical context through which he has emerged is a context that I share, and in that sense, I have an unpayable debt to which I am accountable.
Z! Haukeness, Groundwork Madison & Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ):
"The tolls of the Trump effect are real, both with hate crimes like the killings that happened in Milwaukee recently, and the hateful anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ legislation that has been spreading quickly across the country. I am taking action to shut down Trump and to shut down hate speech that is endangering the lives of the people I love. As a white person I can't sit by and see the violence ratcheted up against people of color in my life, as a trans person, I know Trumps hate targets me too."
Johanna Heineman-Pieper, Groundwork Madison:
"In my heart I believe standing up to this hate is the right thing to do. As a gay person of color, I directly feel Trump's threats and I am afraid for what that means for our community. While I am fearful of violence from counter protesters, I have always been one to stand up for what I believe in and am willing to do whatever it takes. #NoHateInOurState #BlackLivesMatter"
Shawna Lutzow, Groundwork Madison:
"I am taking action because I will not tolerate hate and bigotry. Trump's tactics have encouraged people to speak out and act out on their racism and I am fearful for the future. I feel like it is my responsibility, as a white person, to put my body on the line in the name of justice and I am prepared to do what it takes to stand up to hate."