In the tradition of speaking truth to power, AFSC staff and supporters joined over 5,000 Hoosiers gathered to support workers rights at the Indiana Statehouse since Monday, February 21.
Union members, faith leaders and community members from around the state gathered to tell lawmakers that they would not support the controversial "Right to Work" bill, or any others that would take away workers rights and end collective bargaining power for many Hoosiers.
On Tuesday, February 22, AFSC’s Erin Polley joined several union members, peace and justice activists and faith leaders in a sit-in to block the entrance to the state House chambers.” Hundreds gathered by to chant in solidarity with us and sing "We Shall Overcome," Erin said. Refusing to vote on the legislation, Indiana House Democrats fled to Illinois, and Gov. Mitch Daniels said he would not force them to return.
The next day, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma came to the Statehouse halls to speak to some union members. A small crowd gathered around him and his staff while Brian Bosma explained the process of reintroducing the "Right to Work" bill and promised that it would not sneak in as an amendment.
Among the crowd was the Mayor of Hobart, IN, Brian Snedecor, who introduced himself to the speaker. Erin reports the mayor pled with him “to listen to the workers at the Statehouse. This is the shrinking middle class, these are real Hoosiers who represent Indiana's long history of labor rights. Listen to them, please."
While many of the House and Senate bills expired for this session, the Democrats and social justice activists continue to protest these sustained attacks on American workers. In fact, thousands more have descended on the Indiana Statehouse, rallying in the halls and holding signs on the Statehouse lawn.
On Monday, February 28, actor Danny Glover joined the protest, Erin reports. “He called the legislation an attack on workers, and said he felt empowered by American families standing up and speaking out for their rights.”