Library union president: Liberation Center “helped ignite the fire in all of us”

When we collaborate, we are more than the sum of our parts. With every volunteer, donor, and sustainer, the Liberation Center’s capacity doesn’t increase, it multiplies. In a society that continually divides us against each other, it takes work and sacrifice to collaborate and build unity. But when the people unite, we lose our fear of those in power and gain confidence in ourselves and each other.

Michael Torres remembers meeting the Liberation Center and saying, “this is what we need. We need an organization that is not afraid to stand up to our leaders and say, ‘you’re wrong, and this is what we need to be done!'” Torres, a library worker and President of AFSCME Local 3395/Indy Library Workers Union, is one of the people who have struggled alongside the Indianapolis Liberation Center and, as a result, continues to support our project as a volunteer, advocate, and a sustainer.

Watch and listen to the video or read the transcript of Torres’ brief remarks from last month for yourself and join our community in supporting the struggle, the city’s independent community center, and our liberated space!

Torres speaks at the Center on Nov. 7, 2023


“You talk about people being fearless in the face of whoever there is? They don’t care and that is what this city needs! We’re too timid. We’re too soft. We’re too quiet.

And when Stephen introduced me to the Liberation Center, I would say, ‘this is what we need.’ We need an organization that is not afraid to stand up to our leaders and say, ‘you’re wrong, and this is what we need to be done!’ (applause)

The best experience we had was with the Indianapolis Public Library. If you guys have been paying attention for the last year and a half, we ousted a leader who said she was never going to leave. Well, what did she do? The board asked her to leave, ‘politely;’ but she’s gone.

And now, we still have more struggles. We have a leader who–I can’t say he’s even a leader. We have an appointed CEO who never applied for the position. We had someone who had a vision, who embraced the workers, who was a frontline worker. And now we’re still dealing with that right now but we’re kind of working things out right now

And we’re hoping that…We still need the community to be engaged because that’s what caused all of this. That’s what the Liberation Center [did]: came and helped ignite the fire in all of us.”

Featured photo: Michael Torres speaks at a community meeting on April 6, 2023. Credit: Indianapolis Liberation Center