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California: Boyle Heights rallies for reproductive rights

By staff |
July 4, 2022
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LA protest against attacks on reproductive rights.
LA protest against attacks on reproductive rights. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Los Angeles, CA - On June 30, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization-Los Angeles (FRSO-LA), along with Centro Community Service Organization (Centro CSO), rallied for reproductive rights in Boyle Heights. This event, held at Mariachi Plaza, was called as a response rally to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Young community members came out to listen to speakers from FRSO and Centro CSO who expressed how this decision will impact women, gender fluid people, and anyone who can become pregnant. 

The attendees angrily chanted, “Que queremos? Opción! Cuando? Ahora!” along with “What do we want? Choice! When do we want it? Now!” and “They say no-choice! We say pro-choice!” 

Andrew Keith of FRSO-LA told the crowd, “This nation's highest court has declared the right to terminate a pregnancy illegitimate. To that I say that the supreme court itself is illegitimate. No longer should we give our consent to an unelected body that has made it clear it is hostile towards us as a class, as a people. This court has vacated all moral authority and the sole power moving forward should rest on the shoulders of us, the people.”

Juliana Castellon of Centro CSO stated, “While in California, laws are in place to safeguard the right to an abortion, my sisters in other parts of the country won’t have that protection. Chicanas won't have control over their bodies or the freedom to make decisions in the other regions of the Southwest, in Aztlan.”

Cristal Haro of Centro CSO performed an interactive art piece along with reciting an original poem called Sleeping Beauty. The art piece consisted of a chain wrapped around her waist that was connected to posters that read “Rape,” “Females are not your property,” “Patriarchy,” “Incest” and “Misogyny.”

Through her poem, Haro expressed how from a young age women are taught to behave and be obedient as well as how society drills into young girls to stay silent and to just deal with all the discrimination and injustice they face. She also explained how it is important now more than ever to teach our young girls the importance of being brave and not staying silent. 

Luis Sifuentes of FRSO-LA talked of the importance of getting involved and fighting for your rights. Sifuentes said, “We have to put an end to this corrupt system! We have to create a system that is for the people run by the people. We have to come together and keep fighting on all fronts – the police brutality front, the education front and the immigration front.”

Storm Amaro of Centro CSO, a teenage non-binary person, stated, “Roe v. Wade is used as an umbrella case that provided many rights and protections for many people,” adding, “Some of these rights and protections include the right to not be persecuted for a natural abortion, the protection of LGBTQ+ parents from being discriminated against when trying to produce children of their own, and prevented women from imprisonment for those who can't bring their baby to term because they are undergoing chemo, have COVID and any other life threatening pregnancies.” 

Diana Terreros of FRSO-Orange County spoke about the impact this decision will have on the working class. She said, “The vast majority of people who get abortions are working class and the people who will not be able to afford travel across state lines to get an abortion will be working-class people. Working-class women and others who can become pregnant will die because of this and the blood will be on the hands of the ruling-class!” 

Sol Marquez of FRSO-LA closed the event by reminding us that the United States has forcefully sterilized countless oppressed nationalities and working-class women for many years. “Forced sterilizations of undocumented women today are rooted in the treatment of Chicana women back in the day,” said Marquez. “Chicanas had the highest number of sterilizations in the country. African American women and Puerto Rican women greatly suffered from forced sterilizations, too. Puerto Rican women had the highest rates — every one-third of them were forcefully sterilized by the U.S. government. On the one hand, this government will forcefully sterilize you, and on the other deny your right to have children when and if you want them. The message is clear, our bodies are not ours in the eyes of this government!”

The event ended with some more chants, a promise to keep fighting back, and a group picture with the speakers. 

If you’re interested in joining FRSO go to FRSO.org/join or to join Centro CSO contact them at 323-943-2030 or @CentroCSO on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

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