Seattle’s upcoming pro-abortion rights demonstrations expect to have ‘tens of thousands’ turn out
May 12, 2022, 5:49 PM | Updated: May 13, 2022, 6:46 am
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
Organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March, and others have called for a National Day of Action on May 14 in response to the potential Roe v. Wade overturn, with a turnout of as many as 10,000 protesters.
A student walkout is also expected to take place May 13, followed by an additional rally.
“The Saturday rally will likely be massive, with potentially tens of thousands turning out,” the Seattle chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) wrote in a press release. “It’s important that we, as Seattle DSA, be there visibly, in mass, to stand against this right-wing assault and to build the socialist feminist wing of the movement by popularizing socialist feminist demands, which includes calling for a million person march on the Supreme Court in June.”
Students from RiseUp4AbortionRights, Refuse Fascism, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Socialist Alternative, and Students for a Democratic Society held a student walk out at the University of Washington May 5 to rally for pro-abortion rights.
Seattle DSA’s goals go beyond defending Roe v. Wade, as the demonstration will also be focused on ending the filibuster and expanding the Supreme Court.
Retired Police Sergeant Betsy Smith believes a different police strategy will need to be implemented if Antifa becomes involved with the protests.
“I mean, what you’re seeing, and this is typical of Antifa, is that they are going to take advantage of any situation that they can to wreak havoc and to be, as they love to say, ungovernable,” Smith tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “And so now we’ve got this really mistaken situation of thinking Roe v. Wade is going to going to be overturned.”
In 2020, Seattle faced a series of demonstrations between protestors and police, which included members of Antifa, leading to the formation of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area. Police abandoned the precinct in the area for 24 days.
Smith pleads for everyone to “understand the whole Constitution,” and the decision for the Supreme Court to make abortions a state’s issue, in her opinion, will be beneficial long term.
“We’re talking about the 10th Amendment, that the states need to make these decisions. And just like you said, in Washington State, abortion is not going to go away,” Smith said. “And the people of the state are going to make those decisions. So why do we need to wreak havoc in Seattle, and the surrounding area, because we’re upset about what the Supreme Court may decide to send back to the States.”
Smith, a 29-year police veteran, is currently the spokesperson for the National Police Association.
The King County Sheriff’s Office has 113 commissioned vacancies and 59 vacancies for professional staff members. The Seattle Police Department is also facing significant staffing issues, as it looks to hire 125 officers this year.
According to Chief Adrian Diaz, more than 350 officers have left the department over the last two years.