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The Pizza-Powered People’s Uprising

Wisconsin protesters enjoy donated pizzas from an eco-friendly pizza store.


Photo: BlueRobot (flickr)

An Ian's Pizza has been supplying donated pizza to Wisconsin protesters. The movement has been called the "Pizza-Powered People's Uprising."

Ian’s Pizza has to cut off donations for pizza when they reach $25,000 per day, because that’s the maximum amount of the pizza the double-staffed restaurant can produce.

Of the 19 employees working, one has the sole responsibility of answering the phone as calls pour in from all 50 states and over 24 countries. Even sympathetic Egyptian protesters from Cairo have called in.

Feeding The Protest

At the beginning of the Wisconsin protest over Special Session Senate Bill 11, Ian’s Pizza donated 60 slices to protesters camped in the state capitol. People appreciated the gesture, and some folks donated money to make more pizza for the protesters.

As posts about the donated pizzas began appearing on Twitter and Facebook, buying pizza for protesters went viral. Throughout the last few weeks, Ian’s Pizza has been constantly delivering to the protesters, sometimes 30 pizzas at a time.

“Whoever thought a deliveryman would be in the middle of something like this?” said Paul Sarnwick, an Ian’s Pizza employee. “People have been saying, ‘Thanks for feeding us. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to stay here and rally.’”

In fact, this movement has bee called the Pizza-Powered People’s Uprising.

Innovative Pizza Ideas

Although it’s only been open for a year, Ian’s Pizza has become known for its environmentally friendly attitude and unique pizzas. They are an almost completely plastic-free business, using compostable utensils and bowls. They also use waste-reducing water and light fixtures, and they encourage customers to bring their own boxes. And, local ingredients are used as much as possible

Unusual pizzas are the norm, as can be seen in February’s specialty pizzas:

  • Not-As-Sloppy Joe: ground beef, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar
  • Beef Stroganoff: egg noodles, beef, and mushrooms
  • Hooked on Hummus: hummus, grilled onions, red peppers, and smoked gouda
  • Chicken Paprikash: chicken breast cooked in tomatoes, sour cream, and potatoes

Ian’s Pizza is perhaps most famous for it’s Macaroni and Cheese Pizza, which was a favorite for the protesters.

“The noodles are soft, but not mushy, and their pizza has an interesting white sauce base that uses crème fraiche as well as melted cheddar. It’s really, really good,” said one customer.

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Julie Rooney

Julie Rooney is a vegetarian, musician, and artist who primarily works in video and new media. Currently she is the director of Low Road Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art gallery located in Greencastle, Indiana.

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