Today, as millions gather around their television to watch the Super Bowl, union members and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators will gather in Indianapolis to protest social and political inequalities that harm American families.
A direct action event will take place at noon Super Bowl Sunday on the south lawn of the Indiana State House in Indianapolis, where Wednesday Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law HB 1001 attempting to dismantle union power and workplace democracy in Indiana. The occupation is in solidarity with trade unions across Indiana, including members of the National Football League Players Association.
“We want to do everything we can to ensure it remains peaceful,” Occupy Indianapolis organizer Greg Lambert said Friday of this weekend’s Occupy efforts.
“We don’t want to disrupt anything. We just want to protest, for people to see us and hear our message,” he said. “We’re not going to interfere with people and what they are doing.”
According to a joint statement by Occupy Indy and Occupy Purdue, Sunday’s event will use the State House as a people’s stage to rebuild solidarity and resistance. The event will be non-violent and geared towards all audiences including fans attending the New England Patriots-New York Giants football game. Organizers especially invite out-of-state guests to Indiana to come and see the real effects of Right to Work on workers’ lives so they might go home to warn their brothers and sisters of its consequences.
“Right-to-Work takes away our livelihoods, and further degrades the rights of workers which have been under attack since the day they were signed into law,” says Tracy Lubbehusen from Occupy Indiana. “If the people of Indiana and their families were not desperate, we would not be taking to the streets in these numbers. What are you supposed to do when your elected officials refuse to put people first?”
“We wonder how Mitch Daniels and the other 1% politicians attending the Super Bowl will feel when they see Unions, Occupiers, and other people they claim to represent standing together against attacks on worker’s rights,” says Rachael Perrotta, a participant in Occupy Chicago. “Even the NFL Player’s Association has condemned Right to Work. Our movement is growing more cohesive, entering into a new phase of coordinated organizing with our allies in labor.”
On Saturday, Occupiers and their allies gathered at the south lawn of the Indiana Statehouse to conduct a same sex marriage ceremony for about 40 couples in protest of the state’s 2011 ban on gay marriage. This was followed by a rally and march in support of Occupy Oakland.
Image Credit: Flickr – Aheram