Abortion rights protests continue today

A third day of demonstrations is planned in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday as protests continue against the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down federal abortion protections in Roe v. Wade.

The groups The Feminist Front and Generation Ratify are asking protesters to wear green for Sunday’s 1 p.m. rally at Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave.

The Feminist Front describes itself on Twitter as “youth ages 15-35 coming together to fight white supremacist patriarchy, at its roots.” Generation Ratify calls itself “The youth-led movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and advance gender justice in America.”

The rally comes on the heels of two days of demonstrations following the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wades from 1973.

Two large demonstrations were held in Grand Park on Saturday, drawing at least a couple hundred people before noon, and another outside the federal courthouse on First Street that was attended by hundreds more.

Another rally was held in front of the Federal Building in Westwood.

Similar demonstrations have been held across the country and other Southland communities, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Fullerton, Irvine, and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties.

As in previous protests in downtown Los Angeles, participants carried homemade signs with messages that included “Ban guns, not abortions,” “Take care of your own womb” and “My body, my choice.”

Many said they just needed a place to be with like-minded people and vent their frustration and disappointment.

“It gives people hope, hope in numbers,” Jessi Martinez, 22, of Santa Monica told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.

Some of Saturday’s downtown protesters spilled out onto nearby freeways, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a series of tweets:

– 3:42 pm – “Pedestrian protesters have now entered the 101 Freeway exit ramp from Broadway Avenue. Avoid the area and use alternate routes if possible.”

— 3:59 pm – “The 101 Freeway exit ramp has been cleared. Protesting pedestrians are now on the first westbound street from Main Street.” LAPD advised motorists to avoid the area and use alternate routes if possible.

– 5:19 pm – “Pedestrian protesters are now on Westbound 7th Street from Broadway Avenue.”

— 8:57 pm – “The crowd has dispersed and the flow of traffic has been restored. Once again, we would like to thank the men and women who worked long hours to ensure that citizens were able to exercise their First Amendment right.”

On Friday, hundreds of protesters gathered downtown hours after the Supreme Court announced its decision. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but a few skirmishes with Los Angeles police officers were reported, prompting the department to declare an unlawful assembly and issue a temporary citywide tactical alert to clear the streets.

No arrests were reported on Saturday, but media reports indicated that at least one person was arrested on Friday.

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