Community stands up for abortion freedom, face police violence the day Roe fell

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States released the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overruling the landmark cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowing states to outlaw abortion. While unexpected in timing, the ruling was foreseen with a draft of it being leaked in May. 

Planned Parenthood Advocates, the health clinic’s political arm, was quick to announce protests across the country in reaction to the judges move. Including one in front of the US Federal Courthouse in Eugene, while not nearly as big as the 600+ people crowd that arrived when the decision was leaked, was still in the hundreds. The agenda of rally fit a predicatable pattern of having politicians speaking at the front and then having the mic open to the community after that. The more meaningful comments came in that latter part.

A member of the Revolutionary Workers Committee spoke about how SCOTUS only represents rich white people. Paris Woodward-Ganz, a local poet and writer, called out the organizers for giving lip-service to trans people and BIPOC while not including them in the actual organizing and leading with white voices.

Planned Parenthood organizers announced the rally ended at 6:20, hundreds still dwindled around. 15 minutes later people still in attendance organically started marching. Members of the Revolutionary Women’s dispersed amongst the crowd to try to lead chants to mixed-success. The most succesful chant, unknown who started it was when hundreds stopped at the Coburg Road off-ramp facing police cars that had been following the protesters and shouted, “Hey hey, ho ho, the ruling class has got to go.”

Earlier that day, a flyer had been circulated on social media calling for a “Night of Rage” at Dove Medical Clinic, 10 PM that day. Dove Medical clinic is what is known as a crisis pregnancy center, a religious institution that cloaks itself as a normal health clinic in order lure people in and disuade them from having abortions.

By time the event rolled around the windows were boarded and security guards were posted in front. EPD started rolling in shortly after, before the crowd for the action even hit its influx of about 100 people, there were cop cars lined up for three blocks down 11th Ave., blocking off traffic.

Around 11:10 the Springfield Police Department showed up in full green tactical gear, creating a decisively more militant feel. EPD later revealed that Department of Homeland Security was also present that night. Protester shouted at the cops the entire night, while the several agencies used their force to protect the private property. When cops felt that the protesters encroached to close they made a few arrests.

Past midnight the cops made more calls to clear the road for traffic to get through, which they had blocked first, protesters stood their ground along the southward intersection of 11th and Ferry St. Police went on the moved on them, specifically targeting a black trans individual, tackling them to the ground, concussing them and fracturing their arm. They also tackled another individual to the ground and and SPD officer threw closed fist punches at them. Meanwhile they shot pepper balls at protesters within close range.

In total the police arrested 10 individuals. The CLDC is representing multiple of them, and those individuals will have status trials on August 3rd at 1 PM, virtually. The rest of the arrestees will have their next court appearance on July 13th in person at the Eugene Municipal Court.