The "People's Convoy" gathered on the south lawn of the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday.
According to one attendee, the group had taken inspiration from the "Freedom Convoy" of Canadian truckers protesting Covid-19 vaccination requirements.
They began their rally by circling around the statehouse, honking the horns of their trucks adorned with American, Gadsden, and Trump flags, despite an article in their website explicitly proclaiming non-partisanship, and that convoy members were to "fly only Country and State Flags."
John Eaton, an activist and rally organizer from Bargersville Indiana, shared "Freedom, border security, election integrity and stopping the indoctrination of our youth" as the most important issues for him in the upcoming election.
Speakers at the rally included Rhonda Miller, president of Purple for Parents Indiana, an organization that opposes Social-Emotional Learning and comprehensive sex education in the public school system. They are notable for their criticism of the research of Alfred Kinsey, founder of the Kinsey Institute of Sexology at IU.
Jon Schrock, a field representative for the John Birch Society from Knoxville, Tennessee, also spoke at the rally. The John Birch Society, founded in Indianapolis in 1958, is widely considered a far-right fringe group, notable for spreading anti-communist conspiracy theories, opposing federal civil rights legislation, and more recently mask mandates.
The People's Convoy claimed to be fighting for freedom and the Constitution, which they viewed as being threatened by emergency COVID-19 measures, Critical Race Theory and a lack of integrity among public officials.
Schrock blamed the failure of the bill on establishment "corruption," specifically attacking the Chair of the Indiana House Education Committee Robert Behning. "Vote him out!" the crowd yelled in response. "We don't have time for him!"
Schrock also attacked conservatives, stating that "If you haven't been called a racist this past year, you ain't doing your job."
Also attending the rally was state delegate-elect Rochelle "Freedom Fighter" Fox.
"I'm originally from Chicago, which is really breaking my heart today, because I never thought when I came here years ago that I would see my city fall into disrepair," Fox said. "There is too much government in everything we do, and we're paying for it whether we like it or not. They think because the majority of people are uneducated, that they can keep duping us."
If elected, Fox would serve as an elector for the Indiana Secretary of State, Treasurer and Auditor, among other more local positions.
Claiming "God is on our side," Schrock and others were unconcerned about the public scorn which followed them. Despite being labeled as "radicals," "terrorists," and "revolutionaries," they hope for success in the upcoming elections.
Their hopes were boosted Monday evening when a leaked majority opinion from February suggested that the Supreme Court might overturn Roe. vs. Wade, handing the authority for abortion-related legislation back to the states.
The group plans on returning to the statehouse next month.
The primary elections are Tuesday, May 3, and University Library will host a polling station. Registered voters can visit Vote411 for more information about who is on the ballot and where to vote.
Jacob Stewart is a sophomore neuroscience major and has been writing for the Campus Citizen since October of 2021.