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In a significant–if temporary–victory, on June 24 Marion County Judge John Hanley ordered Gov. Holcomb to halt the cessation of federal pandemic unemployment benefits. Holcomb was among at least 20 other state governors who, in late May, announced they’d end the $300-weekly expansion to unemployment benefits, which 170,000 Hoosiers rely on. Another 70,000 “gig” workers would have lost benefits if the decision was implemented.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation began organizing nationwide almost immediately. On June 1, PSL Indianapolis organized a statewide day of action to demand Holcomb reverse his unnecessary and cruel decision. In Ft. Wayne, Terre Haute, and Indianapolis, people took to the streets in outrage.
In Indianapolis, our protest was co-sponsored by the DSA and occurred immediately in front of the State House. Judge Hanley’s order was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis and others to challenge the decision.
The 70,000 gig workers mentioned include people working through the gig economy but also includes independent contractors, self-employed workers, and small business owners who make less than $5000 a year–these are critically necessary funds which are already insufficient to meet people’s basic needs.
The order, accordingly, only lasts until a final decision is reached on the lawsuit. Unsurprisingly, Gov. Holcomb’s representatives told IndyStar that they’ll challenge the order. This shows that if we protest, we can win, but every victory is temporary under capitalism. We must continue the struggle to make our victories secure.