Thousands of protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park on Friday night for a rally over the US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
The number of protesters rose sharply around 6 p.m. when a group marched down Fifth Avenue from Union Square and joined the ongoing protests in Washington Square.
A police officer estimated there were 17,000 people in the crowd. They marched down Park Avenue toward Grand Central Station after 9 p.m.
Earlier in the evening, New York Attorney General Letitia James grabbed a megaphone from under the park’s famous arch and slammed the Supreme Court as “radical.”
“Every movement in this country, every revolution that we’ve ever seen in this country, has not been led by elected officials, but by all of you who are here today demanding justice,” James told the protesters.
“The only way we can respond to this political decision is with a political response, which is to vote. Vote for the women who don’t have abortion rights. Vote today for all who are in danger. Vote against the United States Supreme Court, our far-right Supreme Court.”
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio said women’s rights were “stolen from them in broad daylight”.
“For me, this is a terrible moment because the court is no longer supporting the American people,” he told the Post. “And I now firmly believe that this is positive evidence that we need to expand the Supreme Court.”
De Blasio said more people were to blame than just former President Donald Trump, who nominated three conservative judges.
“The people (former President) that Trump called brought this court out to the far right and out of mainstream America,” he said.
Grandmother Randy Osofsky, 72, of Flatiron, held up a wire coat hanger as a reminder of a time when women were forced to perform abortions themselves.
“We can’t go back,” Osofsky said. “I fought that fight 50 years ago and now it’s even worse. You used to never have to carry your rapist’s baby, but now you have to in places like Texas.
“I’m still fighting for abortion rights for all women, including my granddaughters. We are not maids.”
Hoboken student Eva Leveckis, 20, carried a sign that read: “I call for the separation of vagina and state.
“If the Supreme Court can overturn the Roe v Wade case, I fear it will overturn the protections of contraception and same-sex marriage,” she told the Post on the spot.
Ashley Ratner, of the Upper East Side, said she didn’t think the court would overturn the case as she held up a sign that read “Court cancel”.
“I think I was naive,” said the 30-year-old.
Soho resident Morgan Sanders said she wanted to faint when she heard the news.
“I think women should be the deciding factor for women’s rights, not old men,” she said while holding up a sign that read, “The Supreme Court Can Eat AD—”.
Others chanted, “Hey, hey, ho ho, the Supreme Court must go!” and “Our body, our choice!”
The protesters also used strong language against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who voted to keep Roe v. to drop Wade.
Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, faced the ire of some in the crowd.
“Today Nancy Pelosi cried crocodile tears and recited poetry. Nancy, where the hell have you been?” Tatianna, an abortion rights speaker at CUNY, said to the cheers.
Another young woman crawled through the crowded park with a baby doll between her legs.
Medical student Ikbola Shukhratoua, 20, carried a sign that read, “If I wanted the government in my belly, I would be a senator.”
NYU staffer Sonia Rhodes, from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, went to Washington Square Park to chalk scribble protest messages that read, “Stop the war on women; My mother fought for this; What’s next?; Keep your shriveled d- from my laws; Mandatory vasectomies; hands off my vagina; and cancel the judgment.
“I’m so embarrassed about this country in general,” Rhodes told the Post.
A draft of the decision of the Conservative majority in court was leaked last month, giving activists a jump start on organizing – and prompting police to prepare for the worst if demonstrations escalate into violence.
Organizers urged protesters to “bring your anger with you.”
Get the latest updates from The Post following the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. pick up calf.
The day before the group NYC for abortion rights had tweeted about the planned rally: “F-k SCOTUS, f-k the Church, f-k the state.”
A second protest is also developing in Union Square in Manhattan.
The NYC for Abortion Rights Twitter account reposted advice from an organizer for the rallies that attendees should turn off their phones’ facial recognition and location services – and write the names of their attorneys on their arms.
“Wear a mask and cover any identifying marks (tattoos, birthmarks, etc.),” the post reads.
In the event someone is arrested, get officers’ names and ID numbers and film police officers but not the protesters, the council added.
The NYPD had already announced “increased patrols,” including at “alternative abortion clinics,” to thwart attacks by “extremists and malicious actors,” according to a memo the department’s intelligence agency sent out Wednesday in anticipation of the verdict.
“Numerous acts of property destruction in the United States require heightened situational awareness for members of the Protection Service at related facilities in New York City,” the memo said.
The exact locations where officers are scheduled to step up patrols have not been disclosed.
The head of the Planned Parenthood of Greater New York Action Fund said the Empire State will continue to serve as the “abortion access state for all New Yorkers and the rest of the country.”
“This is a deeply grim day for our country, but the fight is far from over,” Interim President and CEO Joy Calloway said in a statement.
“Abortion justice requires that we make a strong commitment to equal access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care—and abortion is health care.
“We will not compromise on our bodies, our dignity or our freedom. We have strength in numbers and power in our united voices,” Calloway said.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/24/nyc-cops-brace-for-roe-v-wade-abortion-protests-in-manhattan/ NYC cops prepare for Roe v. Wade in Manhattan