Your Liberation Center in action: Another month in the struggle

On a weekly basis, the Liberation Center hosts and organizes a wide range of events—from rallies and protests to community events and educational and political programs—all while maintaining open office hours, providing up-to-date news and analysis on our site through the Indianapolis Liberator, keeping the city informed about upcoming actions and campaigns, and continuously improving our space for the people of Indianapolis!

Just think of what we’ve accomplished together since the grand opening of our new space on October 5, less than two months ago. We have definitively entered a new era of building people-power in this city. To see what your donations support, read on, check out this snapshot of our October activities, and go to our Sustainers page.

Among other activities, throughout November, we:

  • organized our inaugural event in our ongoing “First Friday” series;
  • helped organize and lead multiple protests against racism at Newfields, for justice for victims of IMPD violence, and for Palestinian liberation;
  • organized and chartered bus to Washington, D.C. for the historic National March for Paletine;
  • held political mutual-aid and other community events;
  • participated in student-organized educational events and workshops;
  • hosted an ongoing student-initiated petition in support of Palestine;
  • organized a standing-room only forum on joining one of our member-organizations;
  • helped organize and host an election-night watch party

We are only able to accomplish so much because of the community’s support. Working together, not competing against each other, is what will allow us to build a better city and a better world. Become a Sustainer or make a one-time donation today!

Lights out at Klufields

Immediately after the racist Newfields’ Board of Trustees fired the first Black woman to lead the city’s main art institute, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette (after 15 months of successful service), and replaced her with a rich white banker with no relevant qualifications, the Indianapolis Liberation Center kicked into action. Community leader Wildstyle Paschall approached the Center about taking action, and we worked together to organize around 50 community members days later. At the protest, which was covered by several outlets including the IndyStar and the Indianapolis Recorder, the community demanded the reinstatement of the widely popular Dr. Burnette and the immediate resignation of the racist Board members who voted to either fire or force her out by other means. At the rally, speeches by Paschall and ANSWER Indiana co-coordinator and Center organizer Noah Leininger made it clear: the community will not stand by while the wealthy use our institutions for their own benefit.

Organizing a bus for the historic National March for Palestine

In more than a month since Palestine rose up in resistance against Israeli occupiers, support in Indianapolis has continued to grow to unprecedented heights. Embarking on a new endeavor, the Indianapolis Liberation Center and ANSWER Indiana chartered a bus to Washington, D.C. for the historic Nov. 4 National March for Palestine to ensure Indianapolis was represented. Over 50 people joined us for a long but inspiring journey to a demonstration that was organized nationally in just over two weeks and that turned out around 500,000 people!

We want to thank everyone who supported this effort by purchasing a ticket for themselves or others, donating to subsidize the overall cost, or buying solidarity tickets!

Launching our “First Friday” series: “Uniting voices for immigrant rights”

This month was the first exhibit in an ongoing First Fridays project we’re calling “Unleashing the creativity of the masses.” Our inaugural event, “Uniting voices for immigrant rights,” featured a curated exhibition of political poster artwork from the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance, Cosecha Indiana, and the Alliance for Immigrant Justice, amplifying the diverse voices united in the struggle for justice in a world divided by imperialism. It included a talk by featured artist Peter Julian, coloring, socializing, and politicking.

This was also the first event hosted by the Arte Mexicano en Indiana Gallery at the Indianapolis Liberation Center. The social justice-focused gallery is unique not only because of its focus, but because each month it will highlight political artworks and feature artist talks and/or presentations by those in the political struggle addressed in the exhibit. It is also an opportunity for Indianapolis to build a community of cultural activism.

Local protests to Free Palestine and end U.S. aid to Israel!

On Nov. 5, the same morning we returned from D.C., we were on Monument Circle to keep the momentum going for the second local protest that week. On Nov. 1, we organized an emergency protest to stop the Genocide in Gaza with our allies, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, the Middle Eastern Student Association – IUPUI, ANSWER Indiana, Students for Socialism – IUPUI, the Indianapolis Liberation Center, Jewish Voice for Peace – Indiana, and others.

On November 18, the Palestinian Youth Movement, the Middle Eastern Student Association – IUPUI, ANSWER Indiana, Students for Socialism – IUPUI, the Indianapolis Liberation Center, and PSL Indianapolis organized a large rally in support of the brave Palestinians. The students, workers, faith leaders, and other community members at the rally were there to demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine as part of an unprecedented global movement for a Free Palestine.

The next week, as part of the November 24 “Shut it Down 4 Palestine” international day of action, the same organizations above changed “Black Friday” into “Solidarity with Palestine Day.” After a rally at the Castleton Square Mall, protesters took to the streets to disrupt business as usual. The disruption was largely supported by those blocked in traffic, who clearly grasped the significance of Israel’s ongoing genocide against Palestine relative to their shopping or travel concerns of that day. It was also an important opportunity to escalate the struggle here, after months of weekly rallies at Monument Circle.

Learning from students: Participating and supporting student-organized events and petitions

Part of our mission is building with and training a new generation of empowered residents, although we do not approach this as a paternalistic matter. We learn from our young people as well, and in November we were fortunate to do so on several occasions. First, on Nov. 9, one of our volunteers was part of the Middle Eastern Student Association at IUPUI’s panel and workshop, “The Untold Stories of Palestinians.”

On November 17, the Indianapolis Liberation Center was asked to host a joint student statement against Israeli’s genocidal campaign of terror in Gaza and in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle. Initiated and endorsed by dozens of student organizations at IU and surrounding universities, the petition has, as of now, garnered an additional 135 individual and nine organizational endorsements. This shows the community is with the city’s brave youth, the people of Palestine, and the majority of the globe and is unafraid of the desperate intimidation tactics deployed against us.

On November 15, organizers with the Indianapolis Liberation Center and the Students for Socialism at IUI participated in a workshop organized by the DePauw Muslim Student Association and the Democratic Socialists of DePauw about Palestine. Titled “Palestine in Context,” the panel of Indianapolis organizers and a recent DePauw graduate engaged over a dozen questions about the the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing and the Palestinian resistance against it.

Organizing and supporting actions with communities of recent IMPD victims

On November 11, 14, 21, and 28, the grassroots coalition consisting of the family and community of recent IMPD victims, religious leaders, Indianapolis Liberation Center, and PSL Indianapolis, held rallies and actions as part of a new community movement to demand an immediate end to racist police shootings and murders and for all killer cops to be immediately charged and ultimately jailed for their crimes.

The first action, called for two days in advance, took place at the Burger King where IMPD officer Nicolas Deem shot Frederick Davis for “trespassing.” Davis was the 14th person the IMPD shot at and the eighth person they shot and killed since the start of 2023. Family and friends of Davis, Gary Harrell, and Herman Whitfield III bravely took the microphone despite the visibly present IMPD cars monitoring the gathering, which was covered by local outlets including WRTV and CBS4.

The next two actions followed up on a promise made on Sharon Cannon, Davis’ aunt, made on Nov. 11: we aren’t stopping! Cannon called on the community to show up at Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ office on Nov. 14 to convene a meeting concerning the prosecution of murderous cops. The next week, on Nov. 21, the coalition demonstrated their commitment again. This time the protest was called by the growing coalition that now includes the community and family of another recent IMPD victim, D’Armon Lamont Graves, Jr., who the cops shot and killed on September 26. As has been the case for several weeks, the office locked their doors. This time, they offered up a new explanation: They claimed it was time for the office’s lunch and they had always done this. One community member visited the office at the same time the next day, and found exactly what one would expect: no intimidating security and no locked doors!

As a result, on Nov. 28, the weekly demonstration convened outside of Mears’ office before marching to the City-County Building to demand Mayor Joe Hogsett fire IMPD Chief Randal Taylor!

Community events: Political mutual-aid, kid’s clothing swap, and an election night watch party

With winter fast approaching, Indianapolis Liberation Center volunteers organized two important political-mutual aid events. First, on Nov. 11, as soon as the rally for justice for IMPD victims was over, we held a kids’ clothing swap at the Center. Our first clothing swap was, like many of our actions, initiated by volunteers and was even largely staffed by a first-time Center volunteer. As winter approaches, many families brought and/or walked away with gently-used winter coats, with remaining items donated to a local women’s shelter.

On Nov. 18, volunteers once again gathered to assemble Hope Packages for those most in need! During this month’s assembly, we made sure to include items such as gloves, hats, and handwarmers to help protect people from the cold. We were absolutely blown away by the passion and generosity of our volunteers present and those who provided the necessary items. Hope Packages meets once a month to assemble packages. Ensure Hope Packages has enough to stock their kits by purchasing items from their wishlist!

Earlier in the month, we helped put together and host a “People’s Election Night Watch Party” organized by the Assembly of the Unrepresented. The workers, community members, leaders, and organizers who came out and spoke that night weren’t so concerned with November 7 (election day) but with November 8 and beyond. In addition to brief remarks by Dr. Terri Jett, AFSCME Local 3395 President Michael Torres, and others, we heard newly-elected City-County Counselor Jesse Brown give his acceptance speech. A member of the Central Indiana branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, Brown is the first openly-socialist to run for and win a seat on the Council.

How to join the PSL: Become a fighter for socialism and liberation!

One of our founding member-groups, the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis, invited the community into our space for an orientation on the history of the Party, the necessity of building a revolutionary party before a revolutionary crisis emerges, and how it has supported and lead people’s movements in Indianapolis, across the nation, and throughout the globe.

Help us continue to expand our Center and community’s capacity

Maintaining, let alone continuing to expand, this level of activity isn’t possible without the continued support of the community. Our new Susatiner program gives the community the chance to make regular contributions of any size, providing us a reliable way to continue uniting the struggles of our people and building a world we deserve! You can also make a much appreciated one-time donation to our annual fund here.

We’re 100 percent volunteer run and community funded. Our financial independence is what allows for our political independence, and we appreciate the sacrifice of our members and supporters.

Through our continued cooperation and collaboration, we will reshape this city to serve all working and oppressed people. Together, we will win!