Silent protest at Indiana Statehouse to address unheard bills during legislation session

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Leaders of the African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) are hosting a silent protest inside the Statehouse at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

AACI said prominent local Black leaders will hold signs of bills that should’ve been heard or bad bills that need to be stopped.

Policy advisor of the coalition Marshawn Wolley told News 8 the protest is also in response to the attempted silencing of Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) leaders during the legislative debate on HB 1367.

Wolley said the silent protest will be limited to less than 20 people due to concerns about COVID-19. Social distancing will be enforced including wearing masks. Protestors will begin on the fourth floor and transition to the second floor.

AACI released a statement below:

We are appalled at the disrespectful treatment of members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus during the legislative debate on HB 1367. At a time when we should be advancing public policies that
afford equal opportunities to individuals and communities, we have spent several weeks opposing numerous bills designed to exacerbate such inequities. The entire tone of this legislative session has raised serious concerns about whether Black Hoosiers can be treated equally in this state. We have seen proposed cuts to mental health, education bills that continue to unlevel the playing field for urban and underrepresented students, no additional funding for food deserts, undermining of tenant protections during an economic decline and pandemic, and efforts to undue community-based solutions for police reform. The Republican delegation, even while claiming to propose solutions for Indianapolis and its urban core, has made no effort to engage our community—even on the issues that disproportionately impact our community. Nationally, we have noted the rise of racism and its normalization. We stand in solidarity with the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and all legislators that fight for both root cause solutions and against policies that maintain systemic racism in our society. We expect that the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore set a tone of civility and enforce it among the members of the Indiana General Assembly.