Show of solidarity at Claremont Colleges — full story
by Andrew Alonzo | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday, May 5, students across the various Claremont Colleges campuses came together to make signs and march in solidarity for abortion rights after a court opinion, allegedly authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, was leaked on Monday, May 2.
Last Wednesday evening, students received an email from the Scripps Associated Students board that stated the nationwide college Reproductive Freedom Protest was planned for Thursday at 2 p.m.
“Students in colleges across the nation have coordinated to simultaneously fight to halt the overturning of Roe v. Wade,” the email said. “Show up in your green, and let’s do this.”
Word of the rally was also spread by Scripps College junior Trinity Walker, who is also the 5C’s event chair.
The following day approximately 400 students from the varying colleges came out to voice their support for women’s rights and concern over the justice’s opinion. The afternoon’s protest was organized by the 5C’s Reproductive Justice Club and was open to all members of the community.
Most, if not all, wore green in correlation with the “green wave,” a movement which originated from an Argentinian Abortion rights campaign called Marea Verde. Learn more at amnesty.org/en/latest/impact/2019/08/the-green-wave.
After a half-hour stint of making signs on the lawn outside of Walker Hall, the students began marching around the Claremont Colleges chanting various phrases that essentially stated “women’s rights are under attack.”
The students circled a two-mile loop around the five undergraduate colleges. Leading the march, alongside Walker and Pomona College sophomore Daysi Manrique, were Pomona College freshmen Ash Ahrenhoerster and Arden Deforest. The two held up a green banner which read “My Body, My Choice.”
Asked about leading the sea of students forward, Ahrenhoerster said it filled him with a “supportive feeling” knowing those behind were a blend of people he knew and did not know.
“The strongest emotions I felt was when we were on turns and I could look back and see everyone behind [us]. It really felt like a physical form of the support for the cause for me as an individual who is going to be affected by this change,” Ahrenhoerster said.
Scripps College junior Maria Alejandra Guizler Bonilla, who has been an advocate for women’s and transgender rights ever since she was young, said although the day was important for history, the long fight will continue.
“It feels like these last couple of years, especially every single day, has been really important in history,” Guizler Bonilla said. “Today’s just a really tough day and a really sad day, it’s been 49 years since Roe versus Wade happened and I think about all the people who fought so hard, and lost their lives to ensure body autonomy and abortion rights … and it’s so disheartening to [potentially] see that decision overturned.”
“At the same time, it’s also really encouraging to see so many people stand up and say, ‘No, abortion is a human right and you can’t take that away,’” she added.
Earlier in the day, abortion rights activists rallied outside the U.S. federal courthouse in Los Angeles.