Next summer, Milwaukee will host the Republican National Convention in July and Chicago will host the Democratic National Convention in August. Members of the public must work together over the course of the next two years to prevent acts of violence leading up to, during, and after both of these high-profile events.
This is not a matter that can be left to law enforcement, and we cannot simply hope to avoid catastrophe. The people of Wisconsin and Illinois must lead a proactive, coordinated, and widespread movement for peace that has the power to minimize political violence.
We can start by demanding that every person in a position of power or influence make a public statement condemning violence.
All politicians, party leaders, and pundits should be expected to unequivocally condemn political violence and pledge not to endorse or campaign for candidates that enflame, condone, or remain silent about violence. They should also promise that they will not enable or willfully ignore members of their communities that promote violence and spread hate.
Silence on this matter is not a winning strategy, and the people cannot allow apathy to be a viable position. A strong, vocal, and united front is needed against the threat of violence and the use of violence to further political agendas.
Contact your elected officials and party leaders now. Demand that they draw a hard line against violence. Working together we can hold individuals accountable and hopefully prevent any tragedies related to these conventions.
This letter was published under the title ‘Be proactive about 2024 convention violence‘ in the CapTimes, April 14, 2023. Send your constructive feedback on this project to Robert Beets.