Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Tens of Thousands Take the Streets in Defiance of Overturn of Roe v. Wade

Following the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in outrage and to demand that abortion remain legal across the country.

Left Voice

June 27, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Protesters gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on June 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C. to protest the overturn of Roe v. Wade (Image: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Almost two months after Samuel Alito’s draft decision was leaked to the press, the Supreme Court finally released the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, automatically making abortion illegal or severely restricted in at least nine states. With many more states having passed or seeking to pass similar laws, abortion is likely to be criminalized in more than half of U.S. states. Just as when the draft was leaked, people across the country took to the streets to reject an undemocratic SCOTUS decision that takes all of us half a century into the past.

So far, the biggest protests have taken place in Democratic-controlled states where abortion will remain legal. One of the biggest was in New York City, where a crowd of 20,000 marched from Washington Square Park to Times Square and Bryant Park, bringing the busy traffic of the city to a complete halt as they passed.

Chicago also marched by the thousands, shutting down downtown and showing the will to fight back. People gathered at Federal Plaza and marched down Dearborn Street and through the busiest streets of the city. Just as in Manhattan, passersby joined the march and drivers honked in solidarity.

Portland too saw big marches descend on the city, starting from several points like Lownsdale Square Park, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and Pioneer Courthouse Square. The protests later merged to march to the Justice Center. Other protests took place across Oregan, in cities like Eugene and Salem.

A few thousand people also flocked to the Capitol Building in Denver, Colorado, despite the rain. The crowd marched down 16th Street, chanting and holding banners. People shouted in solidarity from buildings and restaurant employees stood outside their workplaces to show support.

In various cities across California, thousands of people took to the streets to protest. There were rallies and marches in San Diego, West Hollywood, San Luis Obispo, San José, among others.

Los Angeles saw a particularly big and emboldened crowd that gathered at Pershing Square. A section of the protest made it to the 110 freeway and blocked traffic. The repression by police was particularly violent during the demonstrations. Helicopters buzzed overhead and police clubbed protesters and journalists as they documented the protests. By 9 p.m. LAPD declared the assembly unlawful and violently dispersed the remaining protesters.

Red states also saw their share of protests, showing once more that people all over the country support abortion and are ready to defend it. In Dallas, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Atlanta, folks marched and rallied to reject the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the horrific bans being passed in their states. 

Against all odds, a surprisingly big crowd flocked to Utah’s State Capitol, located in Salt Lake City. Utah is one of the several states that has implemented a so-called “trigger ban” that immediately banned abortion in nearly all circumstances after the SCOTUS decision dropped.

One of the worst moments of the day was seen in Phoenix, Arizona, where thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Capitol Building, and the police shot tear gas from the windows to disperse the crowd.

But it was not the only one. Police beat protesters in Greenville, South Carolina and in many more states. More and more images and videos of police brutality against protesters defending abortion are coming to the surface.

Just as the police beat protesters fighting for the basic right to abortion healthcare, they will be the ones to brutally enforce the new bans cropping up in states across the country — just as they did fifty years ago before Roe. Once again the police showed that their role is to enforce the oppressive laws of this capitalist system, violating the rights and bodily autonomy of people across the country.

Despite the repression and the weight of one of the most significant rollback of rights in decades, the protests showed that there is plenty of energy and anger to fight back and to demand free, safe, legal abortion, on demand and without apology. Contradictorily, many of the decision day marches and rallies were called or led by big NGOs tied to the Democratic Party who did little to nothing during the last two months to prevent Roe v. Wade from being overturned. They would rather co-opt and pacify the rage at the SCOTUS decision and funnel it into votes for the Democrats, who have shown that they will do nothing to protect abortion rights.

The march in NYC shows a different way. It was called by a coalition of socialist groups, activists, and unions — including several of the new Starbucks unions shaking up the labor movement across the country. It was convened without cops. Unlike the failed Women’s March May 3rd rally, not a single capitalist politician — who let this decision be overturned and want to pacify our rage — was allowed to speak. Learning from the endless empty promises by the Democrats for the last fifty years, thousands of people took their anger to the streets, an encouraging sign of the willingness to build the type of independent mass movement necessary to defend the right to an abortion. But much more is necessary. To be successful, such a movement —  built in the streets and in our workplaces and communities — must expand across the country, linking the states where abortion will remain legal to those where abortion has already been or will be banned. Such a movement could shut down the country’s largest economic centers like New York City, or keep abortion clinics open in places like Mississippi. Such a movement could finally win free, legal, and safe abortion on demand.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

United States

Demonstrators chant in front of the White House during a climate march on October 12, 2021.

Democrats’ ‘Climate Bill’ Puts Polluters before People and the Planet

Congressional Democrats, supported by President Biden, just passed a major spending bill focused on climate change, health care, and taxes. But it’s no win for the climate or the working class.

Robert Belano

August 13, 2022

Our Movement Is the Cure: Fighting for Healthcare Means Fighting for Socialism

On July 30 activists marched and rallied in Washington, DC, calling for a more humane healthcare system. Physician and Left Voice member Mike Pappas spoke at the rally about how capitalism and health aren’t compatible. Below is the text from his speech.

Mike Pappas

August 2, 2022

Michigan Court of Appeals Gives County Prosecutors Right to Enforce Abortion Ban

Today a Michigan Court ruled that prosecutors in counties across the state have the authority to enforce a 1931 law that prohibits almost all forms of abortion.

Tristan Taylor

August 1, 2022
On the left a white sign with blue text reads "nurses demand action!" in all caps and on the right a sign reads in blue capitalized text "monkeypox is not just a gay thing"

If We Die of Monkeypox, Leave Our Bodies on the Steps of the WHO

On July 23, 2022, the WHO declared monkeypox a global public health emergency, but access to testing and vaccination is still limited. The struggle to fight the spread of monkeypox is inextricably linked to the fight against homophobia, racism, and imperialism.

K.S. Mehta

July 31, 2022

MOST RECENT

Dictating Rules from Below: The Re-Emergence of Workers’ Councils in Iran

Gianni Del Panta interviews Ida Nikou, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Stony Brook State University in New York. Her dissertation focuses on the labor movement in Iran and how the neoliberal turn has impacted workers' rights and living conditions.

Gianni Del Panta

August 12, 2022

Starbucks Fires Joselyn Chuquillanqui in Retaliation for Union Organizing

Joselyn Chuquillanqui was fired after working at Starbucks for almost 7 years. She is just one of over 70 workers fired for organizing around the country as the company ramps up its union busting.

Luigi Morris

August 12, 2022

British Postal Workers Reject Below-Inflation Contract Offer and Announce Upcoming Strike

The union representing postal workers in Britain has announced four days of strikes in the coming weeks — the first such labor action since 2009.

Illustration of a bald eagle on the left and yellow dragon on the right, face-to-face, with the flags of the U.S., R.O.C., and P.R.C. in the background

China and the U.S.: War Games in a Tense World

The visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has led to a new escalation in tensions between the United States and China. Beijing responded by launching missiles right under Taiwan’s nose — war games on the knife-edge.

Esteban Mercatante

August 10, 2022