Activist community

Sproul Plaza abortion rights rally unites community

Protesters gathered at Sproul Plaza on Saturday evening to support the right to accessible abortions.

About 150 people gathered on the steps of Sproul Hall at 6 p.m. with signs reading “Drop the Supreme Court”, “Reproductive rights are human rights!” and “My body my choice.” Green-shirted organizers handed out pamphlets explaining the impact of the repeal of Roe v. Wade, as the crowd blocked off most of the square and listened to the speeches.

The rally and open mic was organized by Speak Out Socialists, a revolutionary socialist organization and activist movement. The event brought together campus students and locals to protest the US Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to repeal the right to abortion at the federal level. Rally organizers encouraged participants to share their personal experiences, stories and thoughts on the decision.

“It’s good to see that people are ready to stand up if they want to,” said Mariah Auler, speaker and organizer of Speak Out Socialists, at the protest. “This is just the beginning.”

Aidan Byrne-Sarno, a campus senior and organizer, said the rally was a chance for people to come together and find unity despite feeling politically isolated.

Other protesters also agreed on the need for urgency and organization.

Campus senior Dahlia Saba said that to regain the right to abortion, the current intensity of action must continue. Saba added that rather than waiting for politicians to act, there must be “fighting in the streets”.

“I feel so helpless that we are backsliding when it comes to the rights we have in this country,” Saba said at the protest.

Campus junior Eliana Galán shared her perspective on abortion rights as a resident of Texas, where abortions have been more restricted. She encouraged members of the public to donate to those in need of abortions.

“Running, voting, coming together – all of that is important, but ultimately money is what funds people to be able to access abortion and what enables people to mobilize and have resources,” Galán said at the protest. “That’s what it takes.”

Despite the sadness and frustration expressed by Galán and Saba over the decision, they agreed that the event inspired hope for future action.

Byrne-Sarno stressed the importance of individual action and coming together as a society to inspire a mass movement.

“Each of us needs to speak with the people around us,” Byrne-Sarno said at the protest. “We have to provide a political perspective and we have to bring people to events like this.”

Contact Rae Wymer at [email protected]and follow them on Twitter at @rae_wymer.