Abortion rights protesters return to downtown LA Saturday amid fury over Roe v. Wade reversal

Leticia Juarez Image
Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Protesters again filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles to demonstrate against the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hundreds of demonstrators marched through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, one of several protests across California decrying the Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion rights.

Marchers gathered near L.A. City Hall starting around 10 a.m. carrying signs that said, "my body, my choice" and "abort the court." A concert and rally called "Rock for Abortion Rights" was scheduled for the afternoon outside a nearby U.S. courthouse.

A separate protest was also planned outside the Federal Building on the Westside.

In the afternoon, a group of marchers attempted to get onto the 101 Freeway via an offramp on Broadway Avenue in downtown L.A., but were met with stiff resistance from police.

LAPD said they are going on a citywide tactical alert for Saturday.

Large demonstrations opposed to the overturning of Roe v. Wade were also expected Saturday in San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento.

Hundreds of protesters gathered Friday in downtown L.A. in the hours after the Supreme Court announced its decision to overturn 1973's Roe v. Wade ruling. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some skirmishes with LAPD officers were reported, prompting the department to declare an unlawful assembly and issue a temporary citywide tactical alert to clear the streets.

Protesters marched outside the federal court building, at times chanting, "This decision must not stand, legal abortion on demand."

A series of speakers passionately addressed the crowd, blasting the ruling as an assault on women's rights and danger to women's lives.

"We are coming together today to fight like hell like our lives depend on it, because they do," one speaker shouted to the crowd. "We need to turn our fear into anger. We need to turn our fear into fury, because that is how we are going to stop this. This decision must not stand. We need to take to the streets and say this Supreme Court decision must not stand."

Similar protests and rallies were quickly organized in other areas including at Pershing Square, outside Los Angeles City Hall, in Hollywood, Pasadena, Long Beach, Claremont, Fullerton and Irvine.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said some protesters began pelting officers with fireworks at Fifth and Main streets and at least one person was arrested. A dispersal order was issued in the area of Fourth and Main streets at around 9:30 p.m. Main Street between Third and Fifth streets in downtown L.A. was closed nearly an hour.

Moore acknowledged the protests were not violent but said some people sought to make his officers' job harder, including a group that blocked part of the 10 Freeway.

"I'm grateful today's events were largely peaceful," the chief said. "A much smaller group of individuals took to the streets with the intention of creating chaos and destruction. Unfortunately, some chose to enter the freeway, posing a serious risk. Later, a much smaller group fired pyrotechnics at officers. Our people strived to facilitate demonstrations while defending our people from dangerous assaults."

A candlelight vigil was held Friday night in West Hollywood. In Beverly Hills, officials said City Hall would be bathed in pink light throughout the weekend in support of women's rights.

City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.