On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court struck down what had been a woman’s constitutionally protected right to determine when and if she would have a child. The Court dictated that the female enslavement of forced motherhood is no longer forbidden by the Constitution—and it was predicted that over half the states would move quickly to ban or seriously curtail the right to abortion and some forms of birth control.
People—including the millions who had been expecting and dreading this day but not yet fully confronting the reality of it—reacted with shock, outrage, and a whole range of other emotions. In DC, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (RU4AR) protesters who were conducting a vigil at the Court faced off against fascist anti-abortion protesters, as people began to flood into the area. Guido Reichstadter of Rise Up daringly scaled up the Frederick Douglass Bridge, took it over, and stopped traffic—not coming down for two days. All around the country tens of thousands poured out and expressed rage at the enormous crime that had just gone down.
The next day again witnessed crowds coming out in many cities, smaller but still angry and determined. Demonstrations would mushroom as bystanders joined in. Clearly there is untapped potential; but just as clearly this needs to be organized and given shape. People need to step forward to become organizers.
“This decision is illegitimate, it must not be accepted, and people across this country who do not want to see women forced into motherhood against their will, and a whole host of other outrages behind that, need to rise now in the streets in mass nonviolent resistance, to demand and fight to win the restoration of nationwide legal abortion now,” said Sunsara Taylor of Rise Up. She said RU4AR would be putting out a call soon and asked people to check the Rise Up 4 AbortionRights website.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Leads People In the Streets
When the Supreme Court decision was announced at 10 am, protesters from Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (RU4AR) were already outside the Supreme Court. They denounced the decision as completely illegitimate—and called on the masses of people to get into the streets immediately to demand: “The Federal Government Must Restore Nationwide Legal Abortion Now.” As the news of the decision spread, the Rise Up protesters were joined by thousands of others, jolted and fiercely outraged at the decision by the fascist majority on the Court. Rise Up calls for people across the country to get into the streets in “mass sustained nonviolent protests that cannot be ignored.”
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights featured in NewYork Times video of reactions to Overturning of Roe vs. Wade.
New York City
Friday, hundreds of people were in Union Square for a “day of” protest called by RU4AR. There was a march of hundreds for several blocks to join with thousands in Washington Square Park, and then a march of over 5,000 back to Union Square for a rally called by the mainstream pro-choice coalition. On Saturday, hundreds were back out in Union Square at an intense RU4AR rally led by young women. The masses at these protests were of very diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, and nationalities. When Carl Dix, representing the revcoms, dug into how what was needed to finally get rid of the oppression of women was an actual revolution, there was a roar from a significant section of the crowd.
Annie Day, from the National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution, at the RU4AR protest.
Noche Diaz, national spokesperson for the Revolution Club, speaking at the RU4AR protest.
Protesters marched onto and shut down the northbound side of the 101 freeway, one of the main freeways going through downtown LA. The action received nationwide attention on CNN and elsewhere.
LAPD viciously attacks courageous nonviolent protesters who had marched onto the freeway.
On Friday, a rally and march called by a mainstream coalition included thousands. The next day, several hundred rallied in the rain, and when the rally ended without a march, young members from the Revolution Club and RU4AR led a march in the rain through downtown. Later in the day about 500 people gathered at the Federal Plaza for a RU4AR rally and marched through the street for hours. On Sunday, RU4AR activists and members of the Revolution Club were out at the Pride Parade.
The Chicago Revolution Club at the Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights protests, on June 24 and 25, 2022. "There’s something wrong with America."
San Francisco/Bay Area
At least four protests took place on Friday. RU4AR activists joined in one and marched to a second at City Hall where thousands had gathered. Rise Up urged people to take to the streets, and about 1,000 marched through downtown streets. Hundreds went onto the freeway and stopped traffic. The next day, RU4AR marched through the Pride Celebration festival at the Civic Center. One report said, “At the sight of our march and hearing our chants, people were chanting, cheering, dancing, taking video. And one of the favorite chants which people took up with a passion was ‘fuck the Supreme Court’…” The activists, joined by several hundred, marched through major streets to the Castro district for a speakout.
On Friday, Texas Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and other groups rallied at the federal courthouse. There was a march of an estimated 10,000 people through the streets. The next day hundreds came together for a very loud “Everything but the kitchen sink” protest where people banged pots and pans through the streets of downtown. The social media graphic about this action said, “They want us back in the kitchen? We’ll bring the kitchen to them.”
Outpourings of Protest and Resistance
Across the country, from major urban areas to smaller cities, other protests called by various groups drew people into the streets after the Supreme Court decision. Here are scenes from just some of those broad protests in different cities.
Acts of Repression Against Protestors
In a number of places, there were violent attacks on abortion rights protesters. In Phoenix, Arizona, police stationed inside the state capitol fired tear gas canisters at protesters outside the building. When the protesters moved to a nearby park, cops once again fired tear gas. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a man drove his truck into an abortion rights rally, hitting several people. In Los Angeles, the LAPD viciously attacks courageous nonviolent protesters who had marched onto the freeway.