Thousands of fiery abortion rights protesters, some lifting hangers above their heads, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a massive rebuke on Saturday against Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. wade
Crowds of all genders, ages and ethnicities gathered in Brooklyn Courthouse Square before crossing the Brooklyn Bridge into Lower Manhattan, waving signs and chanting in support of constitutional law along the way women to abortion.
“Don’t touch our bodies!” the crowd shouted in response to the leaked draft notice that the nation’s top court would overturn the landmark decision. “We can’t go back!
Among the marchers was Gilda Perkin, an 88-year-old Manhattan artist familiar with the history of this battle.
“I’ve been at it for a long time, there’s no turning back,” she said. “I am passionate about this issue and I will not stop. Women need to be strong and speak up. We can’t expect someone else to fight for us, so we have to do it ourselves.
Another walker, Victoria Micalizzi, 22, offered the same fervent support for the cause on a warm spring afternoon.
“It’s not about abortion,” the Bushwick, Brooklyn woman said. “It’s about control and it’s disgusting that history is repeating itself again. We must fight for the right to abortion.
Some marchers carried pro-rights signs as the music played. Drums pounded outside courthouses in midtown Manhattan as protesters chanted, “We can’t go back.”
Barbara Yoshida, 77, from lower Manhattan, recalled her first arrest at a rally in the early 1990s where protesters closed the Holland Tunnel on July 4.
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“It’s not the first time I’ve been in this fight,” she said. “I came back here because I still can’t believe I have to fight again… This fight can’t be lost so we have to know our history, we have to fight and we can’t stay silent. We must stand up and fight.
The New York rally was one of hundreds of ‘Bans Off Our Bodies’ marches and rallies across the country where protesters expressed outrage over reports that the court’s conservative majority was set to to reverse the long-standing 1973 decision.
Thousands more gathered outside the Washington Monument before marching to the Supreme Court, where they were greeted by two layers of security barriers.
“I can’t believe that at my age I still have to protest this,” said Samantha Rivers, a 64-year-old federal government worker at the DC protest.
Brooklyn Heights resident Sabrina Gates, 45, said the federal government doesn’t have to impose its will on American women.
“Legislators need to listen to their constituents because 70% of Americans believe in accessible health care,” she said. “So as a people we need to vote and put in place people who actually have our best interests at heart.
“I’m very proud that New York and the city are so progressive, even though we still have a lot of work to do,” Gates added. “We are going to fight and we are going to make our voices heard.”