I-69 protestors dog Kernan
Standing in the back of a pickup truck with a bullhorn, Jeff Stant, Marion County Green Party coordinator, rallied the crowd with chants of “no I-69” and “say it ain’t so, Joe!” Stant passed the tailgate to a number of speakers, including Steve Bonney, the West Lafayette man who hopes to sharpen blurry political boundaries by running for governor as an independent candidate on Indiana’s first-ever progressive platform. -William Boyd, wearing the bulldozer costume, was one of dozens who demostrated against Gov. Joe Kernan's plan to go forward with a new-terrain I-69.- “This highway is not economic development,” said Bonney in his statement of candidacy. “Instead, it is economic and cultural regression.” Quality of life issues and a sustainable future for Indiana are at the top of his agenda.
Gripped in the hands of protestors, the faces of the four elements — fire, air, water and earth — draped their vibrant ribbons across the crowd assembled in a triangle of grass across from The Abbey coffeehouse on Monday afternoon. The group of 50-plus had gathered along Massachusetts Avenue to protest new-terrain I-69.
Next door, in the historic Local 416 Firefighters Union Hall and Museum, supporters of Joe Kernan were throwing a fund-raiser. Police officers kept a watchful eye as well-dressed Kernan supporters ambled into the firehouse. Kernan’s support of I-69, for many at the protest, represents the further welding of the state’s Democratic and Republican parties.
“I’m very excited that there is potentially a third party option,” Michelle Sommers said. Bonney’s advocacy of sustainable agriculture resonates with her, she said. Kernan and Mitch Daniels don’t come close to representing her interests.
Many others at the protest agreed. “We really haven’t had a choice the last few elections,” Steve Fox said. Though in the past he has voted Democratic, Fox was pleased at the possibility of having another candidate to consider, and, like many at the rally, he was happy to sign Bonney’s petition.
The sun dropped behind the firehouse, and a few people remained, talking about peak petroleum production, when eyes fell on the door of Local 416. Joe Kernan appeared, surrounded by plain-clothes security personnel. Turning for a moment towards the group and waving, he ducked quickly into a Chevy Impala, taking cover from a sudden volley of “no I-69” chants.