Protest greets George W. Bush speech in Indianapolis

Posted April 17, 2010

George W. Bush was the keynote speaker at the anti-abortion Celebration of Life Event at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 15, 2010. While 4,000 “pro-lifers” paid $30-$70 apiece to hear him speak, George W.’s visit was also greeted by a sprited group of around 20 protestors opposing his anti-women’s rights stance, along with noting his nefarious activities in launching the war against Iraq and his general lying to the U.S. and world publics about what he was up to.

The demonstration was organized with little publicity and on short notice by Amy Shackelford, a soon-to-graduate senior in social work at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI). She also contacted and spoke before local media, and a story and pictures on the demonstration were posted the next day in the Indianapolis Star. Local TV news also interviewed her.

The demonstrators were overwhelmingly young, although there were seven older persons who also protested, long-standing Indianapolis political activists; the demonstrators were also overwhelmingly female, and the demonstrators were united in opposing both Bush’s anti-choice stance as well as his criminal acts in launching the war in Iraq. Opposition to both was vocally expressed by the demonstrators, and the demonstrators’ signs echoed both oppositions. Among the protestors was Allison Luthe, Community Organizer for Central Indiana JwJ. Many of the protestors were Amy Shackelford’s fellow IUPUI students.

The “pro-life” crowd that came to hear W. speak was 99% white; more men than women,although not disproportionately so; and judging by their dress, overwhelmingly wealthy (remember, they had to pay $30-$70 apiece to get in). Some of the “pro-lifers’ were volubly hostile to the demonstrators, although most just gawked at we protestors as though we were Martians for expressing our First Amendment rights.