The Fight for Housing, 1967-68 & Milwaukee NAACP Commandos

McCallister, Mike
Date Written:  2018-03-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23288

A history of The Commandos, an offshoot of the NAACP Youth Council formed in Milwaukee in the 1960s. Their main fight was against segregated housing.



On August 9, 1966, the Ku Klux Klan bombed Freedom House, the Milwaukee NAACP headquarters. Two days later, armed young men set up a security detail at Freedom House. They called themselves the Commandos. That October, the NAACP Youth Council Commandos was formally affiliated.

The formation of the Commandos was not universally applauded. The Milwaukee Journal compared the Commandos to the Hitler Youth and Chinese Red Guards. The morning Milwaukee Sentinel called them "vigilantes."....

The Commandos proved to be an essential part of what was to come.

Following the Eagles Club campaign, the Youth Council and Commandos sought a new target. When Vel Phillips' latest attempt to pass her open housing ordinance in spring 1967 was defeated again, the NAACP Youth Council decided to take up this fight.

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