Saturday February 4, 2023
| Last update: Saturday at 11:19 AM

Appleton, WI: 150-plus take the streets to defend abortion rights

By Jay Gibbs |
June 28, 2022
Read more articles in
Activist Faith Roska speaks to the crowd at Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton,
Activist Faith Roska speaks to the crowd at Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton, WI. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Appleton, WI – On June 24, over 150 people answered an emergency call to action in regard to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, which provided women federal protection for having an abortion. The event kicked off in Houdini Plaza, in the heart of Appleton's downtown district.

Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) members read statements to the large crowd, in solidarity with protests being held across the country and the need for working-class people to organize and demand the right to safe, legal abortion for all women in the country.

After that, members from Appleton Students for a Democratic Society, Fox Valley Food Not Bombs, and women from the crowd spoke to the masses gathered in the June heat.

When asked by some media members about whether the people gathered would be welcoming to people holding an anti-abortion stance, FRSO member Aodhan Bowman said, "The right to choose if and when someone becomes pregnant, and whether to continue or terminate that pregnancy, is a human right. We are not out here today to have a debate with those that took this right away. We are out here to demand that the right to get an abortion be reinstated."

After the speakers had given their message to the crowd, the crowd went from the Plaza onto College Avenue, the main street of downtown Appleton. Marching several blocks to nearby Lawrence University, the people could be heard chanting "Keep abortion legal!" Customers of downtown businesses came out of the local shops as the march continued, many with supportive shouts and hands raised to the passing crowd.

Officers with the Appleton Police Department attempted to disrupt the march while it proceeded through the streets, going so far as to ticket leaders and people who spoke during the rally. Their efforts didn't stop the action, however, and they resorted to distributing flyers on how to have an police department-approved protest instead. 

The people then reconvened in Houdini Plaza, where FRSO members gave a closing statement, ending with a call to action to keep organizing together to demand change.