A whole lot of South Dakota ladies and some of their gentleman friends marched up and down Phillips Avenue in Sioux Falls yesterday evening telling the Alito Court and the State of South Dakota to keep their filthy paws off their bodies. KELO-TV says it was 200 to 300 people*; my correspondent tells me the march, with participants filling both sides of the street and stretching back at times as much as three blocks, may have drawn closer to 1,000:
Sioux Falls police kindly blocked traffic at 10th and Phillips so the protestors could march peacefully and safely up from Lyon Park. When protestors finished their march and returned to Lyon Park, some remained to occupy the street. The Argus Leader reports that around 8:20 p.m., police with riot gear and smoke bombs pushed protestors off the street.
The protest was organized by word of mouth. Organizers did not post a Facebook event or any other traditional publicity. KELO-TV posts this sample message that organizers used to invite people to march peacefully and silently for their rights and encouraged them to wear red as in the red uniforms of the misogynist dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale:
Silent Protest on Wednesday June 29th @7pm
We are gathering at Lyon’s Park (14th and Phillips) at 7pm this Wednesday and then silently marching down Phillips Ave. Please no chanting and wear red. Can be red tshirt and jeans or the full handmaid look, whatever red you have and/or are comfortable with.
This is for all uterus or previous uterus owners and supporters.
There will not be a public social media event and is by word of mouth only. This is being done without a permit. We refuse to ask the government that just stripped us of our body autonomy to give us a permit to protest them and exercise our First Amendment. A potential detainment and disrupting the peace violation is expected but unlikely.
This will be a chant free, violent free, PEACEFUL March. If the authorities do show up and ask us to move off the middle of the street, please move silently to the sidewalks, but the street is where we are starting and plan to stay if unchallenged.
We want to join together as a sea of red and show them that after all of the years of being told we should be smaller and quieter, that our silence can be deafening.
Feel free to invite any current or previous uterus owners as long as its not by social media and you tell them the same. Signs are allowed but not needed
For basic safety reasons, remember not to wear contacts if you can, cover tattoos if possible, and comfortable running shoes [protest organizers’ message, posted by KELO-TV, 2022.06.29].
KELO-TV tried to hype the “tensions” between protestors and police after the main march, but police made only a couple arrests of unruly characters. The march itself went off smoothly, with SFPD facilitating a safe and impressive march.
Justice Alito and Governor Noem may have unleashed a red wave, but not one they expected.
*Update 11:39 CDT: KELO-TV is now saying more than 1,100 people participated in the downtown protest.