Protests Continue Throughout Weekend in Asheville Following Roe V. Wade Decision

According to the most recent information, protests continue over the weekend in Asheville after the roe v. wade decision has been overturned by the supreme court.

As soon as the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was announced, western North Carolinians gathered at a Democratic rally at Rabbit Rabbit, marched to Pack Square, and across downtown, even onto I-240, in protest.

Many people have spoken out against the court’s judgment, claiming that it shows that democracy has failed.

In Asheville, Protests Continue Throughout The Weekend

Crystal Coffie said that abortion-related complications killed her best friend. “It’s a really charged issue,” she said. “It’s going to be really hard to find a female that hasn’t been impacted.”

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Corey Biskind and her three children were strolling with Coffie as they left the event and headed toward Pack Square.

“We need to develop communities and networks of support,” Biskind said, discussing options outside of voting and peaceful protesting.

“We cannot count on any of the institutions to support us,” Biskind said. “And the cops that we keep wanting to give money to, the cops are going to be arresting women, putting them in jail for trying to get an abortion.”

While Democrats at Rabbit Rabbit emphasized a need to fill more seats, demonstrators near the Buncombe County Courthouse dubbed the U.S. Supreme Court “fascist.”

Protests Continue Asheville roe v. wade decision
Protests Continue Asheville roe v. wade decision

Hundreds of people first showed up to a protest organized by Buncombe County Democrats, elected and hopeful, including Senator Julie Mayfield, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, Planned Parenthood, and Buncombe County Commissioner and District 11 Democratic nominee Jasmine Beach Ferrara.

The rally’s main message was “Go vote,” with organizers urging attendees to prevent North Carolina’s political leadership from ever being able to overturn abortion laws.

Later, a larger group of demonstrators led by those holding posters reading “Bans of my body” and “Abort the Court,” “Freedom = Choice,” and “We need to talk about the elephant in the Womb,” marched to Pack Square.

“Drink more water and make them regret what they did,” shouted 20-year-old Juliette  Downing.

Some marchers then entered Interstate 240 West surrounding the downtown area, momentarily shutting a part of the route, the city of Asheville announced around 9 p.m. on its Facebook page. A post at 9:15 p.m. claimed I-240 was open to traffic again.

Biskind stated wasn’t surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I expected it,” she said. “But I’m infuriated. I’m mad that the only suggestions they have for us are to vote or to peacefully protest. That’s not enough.”

Beach-Ferrara following the gathering at Rabbit Rabbit addressed people who didn’t think a call to vote was enough.

“I understand why they feel that way,” she said. “A fundamental right was just rolled back in our country. And our vote matters more than ever now. We are holding on to a narrow ability to sustain a veto in North Carolina and that’s the reason people can access health care and abortion rights.”

Cindy Bailey held a sign enumerating the constitutional rights the Supreme Court stripped her off and said she’d be coming up to similar pro-choice actions for 50 years and was there to encourage young people.

“It affects everybody,” she said. “It affects the whole culture.”

Jolyne, who did not offer their last name and whose pronouns were she and they, carried a transgender flag at Pack Square Park and said they felt “terrified” at the prognosis for trans rights.

They highlighted Justice Clarence Thomas’ statement on June 24 that gay marriage rights could be “reconsidered” was scary.

“I have a lot of opinions on this, but one of my opinions is that voting is not enough,” they said. “We need to affect direct change and people who are in power do not want to significantly change the system. If voting was enough, we would not be in this position.”

Nora Hartlaub, 45, said she believed the court had overstepped its powers.

“Fascism in the courts is a move toward total authoritarianism over not only my body but also other disadvantaged people within a social structure that historically has propelled systems of inequity and inequality and I’m f—ing done with it.”

But she added she believed that there was “hope for this generation. If there isn’t then why are we here? What are humans for if you can’t have that.”

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