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Third 'People's Inauguration' addresses proposed Indiana hate crime legislation

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The 3rd 'People's Inauguration' hosted at the Islamic Society of Michiana was held Sunday. The event, put together by the Michiana Social Justice Coalition, addressed the proposed hate crime legislation currently making its way through the Indiana General Assembly. 

"We’re here gathering with hundreds of people, letting the state of Indiana know that we won’t tolerate racist acts," said George Garner, the Interim Director of the IUSB Civil Rights Heritage Center.

The event brought together more than 20 organizations. 

"It shows that while things are happening nationally, there are people that are affected locally and there are people who are working to make those changes," said Garner.

Indiana is currently one of five states in the US that does not have any laws addressing hate crimes. A bill was brought before the Assembly last year, but ultimately failed.

Proponents of the legislation believe there is more support from lawmakers to pass it in this year's Assembly.

"It looks like this year in the Indiana legislature that can actually happen," said Garner. "In order to get that passed we need to have thousands of Hoosiers gathering together to proclaim that Indiana is not a state that should allow hate crimes."

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