Bold Non-Violent Civil Disobedience at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Veteran & Abortion Rights Activist Arrested for Protest Performance

Restore Nationwide Legal Abortion Now

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Thursday, July 29: Three people with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, LA and Vets Rise 4 Roe were forcibly arrested for participating in a non-violent civil disobedience and performance art piece on the steps of Chris Burden's “Urban Lights” at the LA County Museum of Art.  Two activists chained themselves to the posts of the iconic statue amidst fake body bags, hangers, and fake blood. They were covered in blood in a dramatic action to bring attention to all the lives the overturning of Roe v. Wade affects.

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Lavi Bourne, an artist who was one of those arrested said, “I am putting my body on the line here today as a call to action because we cannot sit idly by as we are robbed of our freedom, rights, and futures. No Business as Usual when you take away our rights. We demand nationwide legal abortion now.”

Even though there was zero damage to the sculpture, they are now facing charges of felony vandalism.

Another organizer, Olivia Merritt, did a dramatic re-enactment of the death of Gerri Santoro who died from a botched abortion in 1964.  Her image became a symbol of the fight to legalize abortion.  Olivia said, “I used this imagery to show people that though she died of an unsafe abortion in the 60’s, this is what we can expect in a post-Roe world. Without legal abortion, people will die. You can only ban safe abortion.”

Victoria Eggers, one of those arrested and an organizer with the LA chapter of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and Vets Rise For Roe said: “I enlisted to defend freedom, not to have mine stolen! Together we can rise up for equality and human rights. This is not a protest against LACMA, but a call to the arts community, and to all of society: Silence is Compliance. Start taking action and Rise up for abortion rights NOW.”

In an interview on The Michael Slate Show, Eggers said: “At one point, I was really proud of my service to this country, and then after the leaked draft decision to overturn Roe, it woke me up in a way that I wasn't prepared for. And I know a lot of other veterans weren't either... military sexual trauma is rampant, and there's women who get raped by their own peers, and have to deal with that....  And there's no protection for the people in the military who don't have a choice—who America just told that, if you're still in contract, you are no longer equal to your peers. But you still have to stand next to them, while you can become a victim at their hand.  That is not OK.”

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In an extreme show of force, over 50 police in riot gear arrested the activists and closed down the street in both directions.  As she was being handcuffed, Bourne said, “I'm doing this for the people! For human rights! For basic human rights! There's a war on my body right now and it is UNACCEPTABLE! The time is NOW for change!”

Luna Hernandez, an organizer with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and the Revolution Club, said “Forced motherhood is female enslavement. What happened here today is a call to action. A blue wave in the elections in November IS NOT ENOUGH.  We need a green wave of mass, sustained protest in the streets fighting for abortion rights to compel the rulers to meet our demand: restore nationwide legal abortion NOW.”

“I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” said Eggers, “And our constitutional rights are being eroded before our eyes!”

This action got extensive local news coverage. Within two days, funds were raised to reimburse a volunteer who fronted the exorbitant bail.

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