Fed up with online petitions and polite lobbying, pro-choice activists took over the Louisiana State Capitol rotunda in Baton Rouge May 15. Their protest followed state House and Senate committee votes in favor of an abortion ban.
Members of the New Orleans Abortion Fund, Women With a Vision, New Orleans Peoples’ Assembly and the New Orleans Workers Group chanted, “Not the church, not the state! Rich men won’t decide our fate!” They also demanded the passage of a hike in the hourly minimum wage, fully funded child care centers, an investigation of Black maternal deaths in Louisiana and an end to mass incarceration.
Ten people were arrested and charged with criminal destruction of property for pouring “blood” on the floor. The groups vowed to send out this message: “The time is now to stop business as usual. This is just the beginning.”
Once news of the action hit the news media and social media, thousands of messages of support poured in. It should be noted that most Louisiana legislators are puppets of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the reactionary billionaire Koch brothers.