Arizona protests: Tear gasoline was used to disperse protesters outdoors the Arizona Capitol Constructing, officers say
According to research by CNN, similar demonstrations are planned across the country for the weekend. Organizations like Planned Parenthood, Bans Off Our Bodies and Women’s March are among the groups organizing the events.
Late Friday, Arizona law enforcement used tear gas to disperse a crowd of abortion-rights supporters protesting outside the state capitol in Phoenix.
“Soldiers used tear gas after a crowd of protesters repeatedly pounded on the glass doors of the State Senate building,” Bart Graves, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told CNN.
The crowd then moved across the street to Wesley Bolin Plaza, where police used tear gas after a memorial was vandalized, Graves said.
“While we were working inside, we were interrupted by popping noises and the smell of tear gas,” Arizona State Assemblyman Sarah Liguori tweeted from inside the building. She added, “Protesters evicted from the Capitol.”
The demonstrations come after several Arizona abortion providers said they had preemptively suspended abortion services due to a lack of legal clarity on the matter, according to posts on their websites.
Arizona State Assemblyman Justin Wilmeth, Republican, tweeted that lawmakers were working on some policy items as they heard the protesters.
“I understand some either hit Senate windows or broke them and then DPS fired smoke bombs to disperse the crowd. Pure chaos for a while,” Wilmeth tweeted.
Protests took place outside the Supreme Court
In the country’s capital, a person led protesters outside the Supreme Court in a chant of “Hands off! Hands off! and a call-and-response of “My body! My choice!”
A woman told CNN affiliate WJLA that the decision was outrageous.
“It’s illegitimate. Abortion bans are illegitimate,” the woman said. “Forced motherhood is illegitimate.”
The protesters urged those present to donate to pro-choice and buy abortion pills to distribute to others.
Opponents of abortion were also present before the Supreme Court. After the decision was made, a man — amid placards reading “Roe is dead” and “I am the post-Roe generation” — sprayed champagne at others who were celebrating. Several dozen anti-abortion rights activists were at the scene during the afternoon, but they seemed to have filtered out of the crowd by evening.
Thousands marched and sang on the streets of New York’s Greenwich Village. One of the chants addressed the F-word to Judge Brett Kavanaugh. There were some anti-abortion activists at the march, but they kept a low profile and there were no confrontations from the CNN crew walking with the protesters.
Protesters in Los Angeles blocked the 110 freeway as it passed through downtown, blocking traffic. While abortion will remain legal in California, protesters said they were showing their concern and support for women in other states.
In Atlanta, several hundred people joined in two separate demonstrations and gathered in front of the Capitol. Almost all people protested against the decision. A CNN crew saw a counter-protester where a group started their march a few miles away.
In Texas, a large crowd gathered outside a federal courthouse in downtown Austin. People went to a microphone to tell stories, many out of fear and frustration. Some carried signs, including one that read, “Pro-life is a lie, they don’t care if we die.”
In Washington, DC, an abortion rights activist climbed to the top of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, which was subsequently closed. Guido Reichstadter posted videos and photos of himself on social media from the top of the bridge, where he unfurled a large green banner. Green is a symbol of abortion rights.
Reichstadter also hoisted a flag on the bridge that read, “Don’t step on my womb.”
He told CNN that while many people in the US oppose the Supreme Court decision, their support is largely passive, which he says is not enough to ensure women across the country have access to abortions.
CNN’s Camila Bernal, Gary Tuchman, Whitney Wild, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Sharif Paget, Sara Smart, Natasha Chen, and Nick Valencia contributed to this report.