On Thursday, protesters carrying inexperienced bandannas gathered shortly earlier than midday at Second and East Capitol streets NE earlier than marching — behind a big banner that mentioned “We gained’t again down” — a couple of blocks over to their sit-in web site at First Avenue and Structure Avenue NE.
“That is a few girl’s proper to her personal physique,” mentioned actress Alysia Reiner, who was among the many celebrities and politicians that joined the demonstration. “We have to rise up for bodily autonomy within the face of a authorities that cares so little about our rights.”
Police directed visitors away from the intersection and began arresting protesters at about 12:30 p.m. U.S. Capitol police mentioned they arrested 181 folks for obstructing the intersection.
Katelyn Leonard, 39, was outdoors the Supreme Courtroom already with an indication declaring “Maintain your ‘God’ out of my uterus” when she determined to affix the march. Leonard, a fifth-grade trainer for D.C. Public Colleges, mentioned she was there for her feminine college students. Her eyes welled up when she noticed a lady round her mom’s age being arrested.
“Understanding that she and my mom and aunt had been protesting 50 years in the past and that it’s nonetheless occurring immediately,” Leonard mentioned. “If folks don’t see the fashion … nothing adjustments.”
Kendra Brooks, an at-large member of the Philadelphia metropolis council, got here to protest together with her 18-year-old daughter. Brooks, 49, mentioned she was a teen mom and in faculty when she terminated a being pregnant.
“I might do it once more,” mentioned Brooks, who was balancing faculty and motherhood on the time, whereas her accomplice had three kids of his personal. “Many ladies have related tales, however we supply these tales in disgrace and in secret. In actuality, we shouldn’t must justify why we had an abortion.”
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who was additionally arrested, mentioned in a telephone interview with The Washington Put up that she is ramping up calls to abolish the Senate filibuster and making an attempt to garner assist for her personal invoice that establishes a federal proper to abortion care.
“Each main proper we now have on this nation — voting or ladies’s rights — took place due to protests,” Chu mentioned. “That’s what modified issues in America for the higher.”
At 1:22 p.m., D.C. police tweeted that the demonstration had ended and the intersection was reopened to visitors.
Ellie Silverman and Peter Hermann contributed to this report.