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Grand Rapids MI protests U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade reversal

By Sam Tunningley

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Grand Rapids, MI – After the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a couple hundred protesters expressed anger over the unjust and undemocratic ruling by taking to the streets. Two separate protests – one at Monument Park and the other at Rosa Parks Circle – united in a march to the Kent County Courthouse in downtown.

The rally at Monument Park, called by Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) several days before, in anticipation of Friday’s decision, began at 5 p.m. FRSO’s Olivia Lashley emceed the event, which presented a host of speakers, including members of Comrades Collective, DSA and PCUSA. After the initial speeches, the group began a march through downtown to make their voices heard.

Chants of “Two, four, six, eight! You can’t make us procreate!” and “Our bodies, our lives!” rang out in the streets, as drivers honked their horns in approval. The protesters called on Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker to help suspend Michigan’s 1931 trigger law, which defines abortions as felony crimes. Canvassers, who have been working tirelessly to petition a ballot initiative guaranteeing reproductive rights for all, were out in full force gathering signatures.

A separate protest at Rosa Parks Circle, held by local Democrats, soon merged with the more militant Monument Park demonstration. With the groups marching together united, the rally reached over 200 people.

A few of the speakers linked the Supreme Court’s decision to the ongoing oppression faced by both the LGBTQ community and the immigrant community. A community activist spoke about the forced sterilizations committed by ICE on immigrant women, while another led a chant of “My body, my choice! My transition, my choice!”

The rally ended with a march back to Monument Park through the downtown streets, past the Grand Rapids Police Department. Outside the station, the group took time to recognize the recent murder of Patrick Lyoya at the hands of GRPD officer Christopher Schurr, chanting, “You can’t stop the revolution! GRPD is not the solution!”

Several more protests are planned for this weekend in Grand Rapids.

#GrandRapidsMI #RoeVWade #reproductiveRights #reproductiveFreedom