On Wednesday, August 14, I distributed flyers about Wisconsin’s Act 292 at various coffee shops in and around Milwaukee. In total, I visited six coffee shops in and around Milwaukee’s many neighborhoods, including Hi Fi Cafe, Coffee Makes You Black, Anodyne Coffee, and Stone Creek Coffee.
Act 292, also known as the “Unborn Child Protection Act” or called the “cocaine mom law” by some, allows the state to take certain pregnant people into custody, assign a lawyer for the embryo or fetus but no lawyer for the pregnant person including at important early stages of the proceeding, and send the person to drug treatment, psychiatric hospitals, or even jail – regardless of whether drug treatment is really needed. Act 292 was ruled unconstitutional in 2017, but is still being enforced due to the efforts of former Governor Scott Walker and former Attorney General Brad Schimel. Thousands of people have been subjected to the enforcement of Act 292 since its enactment in 1998; in addition, Milwaukee County had the highest rate of cases referred to the state under Act 292 in 2016, resulting in over 60 investigations of alleged “unborn child abuse.”
During the action, I distributed flyers at three coffee shops on Milwaukee’s South Side – Hi Fi Cafe, Anodyne Coffee, and Stone Creek Coffee on Barclay Avenue. I left five to 10 flyers at each location and made sure to place them in highly visible spots, such as a community bulletin board, near the cash register, or next to the coffee station. Prior to leaving the flyers, I spoke with coffee shop staff about the #WIFights292 campaign, and staff at both Stone Creek Coffee and Hi Fi Cafe encouraged me to leave more leaflets. After leaving the leaflets in visible locations, I snapped a photo to document the action.
The next coffee shop I visited is called Coffee Makes You Black, a Black-owned coffee shop located in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood. This coffee shop had an information table and a brochure table filled with different types of resources, such as posters promoting community health, educational movie screenings, free community events, and more. I left flyers on the community bulletin board and on the informational table with staff approval, and then documented my action. I then traveled to Milwaukee’s East Side and left flyers on the popular community bulletin board at Colectivo Coffee on Prospect Avenue. Finally, I left more leaflets on a smaller bulletin board at a popular Starbucks location on Downer Avenue.
Distributing crucial information in high-population and frequently visited areas, like coffee shops, is essential to educating Wisconsinites about our #WIFights292 campaign. Reproaction believes that every Wisconsinite has the right to be informed about the danger that Act 292 poses, and we’ll keep spreading information until Act 292 is either repealed or no longer enforced.