Heart of the River hosts Protest Paddle


As we all know by now, House Democrats have been hunkered down out-of-state for over two weeks, in efforts to block an aggressive package of Republican reforms to the state's education system, to organized labor, and to GLBT and reproductive rights statewide.

If the thousands that have shown up downtown over the last few weeks in protest of the GOP agenda are any indication, it's clear Hoosiers have plenty to say about what's going on at the Statehouse right now.

The next 24 hours present two huge opportunities to make your voice heard. A rally tomorrow looks to be the biggest single-day protest yet, with organizers predicting a crowd of more than 25,000.

But tonight, Hoosiers will also have a chance to speak with and hear from House Democrats directly — by way of a phone-in town hall meeting. Anyone with a phone is welcome to join the discussion.

Most of the 37 Democrats who left town, including House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer, have been staying in Urbana, Ill. — placing them out of reach for a fair part of the public. That makes tonight's conference call a unique opportunity amid the political drama that's unfolded thus far.

A press announcement from the House Democratic caucus explains:

Hoosiers will have the chance to call in, hear directly from lawmakers and ask them questions about what can be done to join the fight.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. (Eastern Time), 6 p.m. (Central Time). It is expected to last one hour.

To take part, call 1-916-469-4760, then enter 561385.

Whether you agree with the Democrats' efforts or not, it's clear there's a lot at stake in this Republican-controlled legislative session — from the future of unions and schools, to the future of Planned Parenthood, reproductive rights, and equality in marriage.

Regardless of whether you phone-in, there's also tomorrow's "We Are Indiana" rally, beginning at 10 a.m. at the corner of W. Washington St. and N. Capitol Ave., near the Statehouse. Demonstrators for every cause at stake will be there, from union workers to teachers to marriage equality and reproductive rights supporters.

For more details, visit the Facebook page.