Hoosiers gathered at the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, June 6, 2020, to protest recent police killings of black Americans.
On Saturday, the ninth consecutive day of protests in Indianapolis, service workers staged a walkout along Massachusetts Avenue and hundreds gathered at the Indiana Capitol building for a sit-in.
The demonstrations are in response to recent police killings of black Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Dreasjon Reed in Indianapolis. It’s the second weekend since protests began. Marion County is under curfew Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. and lasting until 6 a.m. Sunday.
While last weekend’s protests morphed into riots, demonstrations have ended peacefully every day since Monday.
Follow along here for updates.
Mayor Hogsett addresses protesters
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett appeared on the statehouse steps around 4:45 p.m, saying “After I listen, I need to act. And if I don’t act, you need to hold me accountable.”
Sit-in begins at Capitol building
Speakers took to the microphone in front of hundreds of protesters attending a sit-in at the Indiana Capitol this afternoon.
One speaker read a long list of names of people of color who were killed by police, including Dreasjon Reed of Indianapolis.
The reading was followed by a moment of silence for victims of police brutality. Later, one speaker said changing the status-quo, “takes tears. It takes blood.
“It takes money. It takes stress. It takes unlearning, right?” she asked the crowd. “Because we’ve all been conditioned to be racist, anti-black. To be misogynistic, to be capitalistic. And because of that we are all contributing to white supremacy.”
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The speaker, who was with Indy10 Black Lives Matter, then asked the crowd to stay engaged and demand action, including releasing the names of the officers involved in the Reed shooting.
Protesters flock to Statehouse lawn
Just before 3 p.m., around 500 people were gathered on the Indiana State Capitol lawn, where a sit-in was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. More than 3,500 people have RSVP’d to the Facebook event.
One protester said, “I like wanna cry this is so beautiful.” Hundreds held signs with messages like, “Change. Now. We are not asking,” and, “Get mad today. Get even Nov. 3.”
It was Kiarah Summer’s first day protesting, but she said she felt it was important for her, her mom and her brother to come out.
“It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “George Floyd isn’t the first. Hopefully, he’s the last.”
March leaves Monument Circle
Around 90 protesters left from Monument Circle and started marching toward the City-County Building around 2 p.m. The crowd eventually started making its way toward the Indiana State Capitol building.
Protesters block intersections
At the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Alabama Street and Vermont Street, two women led a group of service workers in a melodic chant of the names of black Americans killed by police. Names like Dreasjon Reed, Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor.
Starbucks workers in aprons held signs that said “Service industry solidarity,” “no justice no peace,” “and justice for Dreasjon Reed!” There did not initially appear to be much police presence as protesters blocked the intersection. Officers on bikes showed up around 1:40 p.m. to direct traffic.
The protests are part of a planned service worker walkout aimed at shedding light on racial injustices.
Saturday’s planned events
A restaurant worker walkout is scheduled for 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday. Workers are asked to take to the streets in the following areas of Mass Ave., Virginia Avenue, Broad Ripple/SoBro, Irvington, Georgia Street/Meridian Street. The event aims to “peacefully shed light on the racial injustices experienced by black and brown communities.”
From 3 to 5:30 p.m., there will be a “sit-in against racial injustice” at the Indiana Statehouse. Roughly 3,500 people have RSVPd to the Facebook event.
IndyStar staff contributed to this story.
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