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Indianapolis protest organizers use march to spur voter registration

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Your vote matters: That’s what protest organizers and some of Indy’s most influential black athletes shouted to the crowd Sunday afternoon as they marched from monument to monument, fighting for change.

Organizers wanted people to know that they should continue to march, shout and make their voices heard now. But they also need to be ready to make their voices heard when it comes time to decide who is making the laws in our city, state and country.

Big names like hall-of-famer Tamika Catchings and Butler basketball coach LaVall Jordan took to the streets alongside protesters.

Protesters marched from the Capitol, to the War Memorial, and finally to Monument Circle. The protest was similar to what’s been happening constantly since George Floyd was killed by police, but on Sunday, each stop included a new element: voter registration tables. Local celebrities and athletes took to a megaphone to applaud the crowd, speak their minds and talk politics.

“We have got to vote! If you are not registered to vote, you’ve got to get registered to vote,” Catchings said. “I want to be an example for our younger generation and I want to help them figure out, ‘Hey, we need to make change to the legislation. We need to make change by voting, we need to make change by knowing who we’re voting for.'”

So for people to take action quickly, at each stop along the three-hour march, there was a table set up registering people to vote. That way they have both a physical and a legislative voice.

“If there are elected officials that are in office, we can blame the police, we could also blame the legal system, but we also have to blame the people that sit behind the legal system,” organizer Amp Harris said.

Fatima Fahnbuleh was one of nearly 600 people who registered to vote at the protests over the last two weeks.

“If we want changes, if we want good governance, that’s how we can do it, is by voting,” Fahnbuleh said.

But organizers don’t want it to stop there. They want people to work the polls so more polls can be available in Marion County. Especially after Hamilton County had even more polls for less people.

“That ratio of polls to people is not equivalent,” One speaker said. “In Marion County it is by far less.”

And organizers hope that as protests continue and changes are made, the voices speaking out against injustice grow come election day.

“History is happening!” LaVall Jordan said. “Don’t miss it. Jump in, find your row and let’s get to work.”

If you aren’t registered to vote, but would like to be- all you have to do to get started is visit indianavoters.com. If you’re out at a protest, there are most likely going to be voter registration stations open if that makes things more convenient.

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