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Twin Cities takes to the streets to defend women’s and reproductive rights

By Siobhan Moore

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Minneapolis, MN – 10,000 people gathered at 6 p.m. on June 24 outside the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota to condemn the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in their decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Signs filled the air above the demonstrators, with posters declaring “We won’t go back” and “We won’t back down.”

The program kicked off with chants, filling the West Bank neighborhood with shouts for reproductive justice and protections for women’s rights, as emcees Olivia Crull, of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Jae Yates of Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J) introduced the first speakers.

Celia Nimz, speaking for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling and the refusal of the government to codify abortion rights into law. “The Republican Party, its politicians and wealthy donors have been waging a campaign to overturn reproductive rights and civil rights in the U.S. The Democratic Party has not stopped them either, because both parties are parties of the wealthy ruling class.” Nimz clarified that mass struggle is required to win these rights back, and that “we need a revolution and socialism to protect your human rights and needs. We cannot vote our way to socialism; we must organize and fight and struggle!” She then invited people to keep up the fight and join the struggle for socialism by joining FRSO.

Sasmit Rahman, a member of SDS, also condemned the ruling, and as well inaction on the part of Joan Gabel, president of the University of Minnesota, and her administration on the issue of abortion rights. Rahman raised SDS’ campaign demands on the Gabel administration to ensure these rights on campus, including a reproductive health module for freshman, a reproductive health advocacy center, and a boycott of states with heartbeat bills and bans.

Jaelynne Palmer, from TCC4J, explained the connection between the struggle for community control of the police and for women’s and reproductive rights, and made clear that the struggles have to go hand in hand.

Meredith Aby-Keirstead of the MN Anti-War Committee explained the struggle that those before Roe v. Wade had to go through and made clear that the people refuse to go back.

Other speakers included Sara Resemius of AFSCME 3800; LyLy Vang, a board member of Our Justice; Gabbi Pierce, president of TC Pride at work, and Aisha Chughtai from the MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee.

After a marching over a mile, the action ended at the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, with the emcees welcoming students in the crowd to join SDS’ ongoing campaign for women’s and reproductive rights on the U of MN campus, to show up to meetings and help them plan even more actions.

The action was initiated by Students for a Democratic Society at the UMN, and endorsed by several organizations, including the Anti-War Committee, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Our Justice, AFSCME 3800, the Climate Justice Committee, Twin Cities Pride at Work, Women Against Military Madness, MN Workers United, and Immigrant Worker Solidarity.

#MinneapolisMN #LGBTQ #RoeVWade #reproductiveRights