‘Ban off our bodies’ protest ended in Homeland Security, LAPD attack
Los Angeles, CA – On May 3, several hundred people gathered for an emergency action at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown LA to voice outrage at the draft majority opinion overturning the historic Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
On the steps of the courthouse, gynecologists, reproductive rights activists, and women gave personal testimonies about the importance to fight for abortion rights and highlighted continued attacks on voting rights, gay marriage and migrant women locked in ICE detention centers. Demonstrators called on politicians to take action and protect women’s right to an abortion. As a crowd grew, they then marched down Broadway headed for Pershing Square. There they gathered again to hear speeches.
After almost an hour in at the plaza, as participants were leaving, a Federal Protective Service unit from the Department of Homeland Security attempted to drive through the intersection at a dangerous speed while they were crossing the street. Some protesters began to occupy the intersection and demanded that they leave.
As the confrontations began, a second squad car came through the intersection with two FPS agents come out with a nightclub and an FN 303 semi-automatic anti-riot gun. Unprovoked, they started shoving, tackling and using threats of violence. The FPS agents began pointing the anti-riot gun at protesters – ready to shoot at point blank range.
Multiple LAPD officers came to the scene after a call for help from FPS and immediately began shoving and ordered the crowd to disperse. A unit of rookie and intimidated officers attempted to arrest a protester but failed after others helped to de-arrest them and escaped. After a scooter was launched at the two officers, one of them reached his hand onto his firearm, scaring the crowd, then returned to their squad car.
An unlawful assembly was ordered on 4th Street and Hill Street after the crowd dispersed and returned back to the courthouse and continued the protest at City Hall. The FPS gave no answers as to why they were five blocks away from the courthouse, taunting and trying to intimidate pro-choice protesters.