Abortion rights activists arrested for vandalizing LACMA Urban Light monument, police say

Three abortion rights activists were arrested on Thursday for vandalizing outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art after spilling fake blood on Chris Burden’s iconic “Urban Light” art installation, authorities said.

Activists chained themselves to cast iron lamps on Wilshire Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Video from the scene showed protesters lying in a pool of fake blood, with one protester posing in his underwear to re-enact the death of Gerri Santoro, an American who died of an unsafe abortion performed in a motel room in the Connecticut in 1964.

The protest began at noon and was organized by the Los Angeles chapter of Rise Up For Abortion Rights. The group sought to draw attention to abortion bans enacted across the country after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision last month. Protests for abortion rights have multiplied in public spaces across the country since the court ruling.

The LAPD issued a dispersal order at 3:25 p.m. and again around 4 p.m., authorities said. At 4:10 p.m., officers arrested two women and a man on charges of vandalism. Wilshire Boulevard was closed for a short time during the protest, authorities said.

Rise Up For Abortion Rights said two military veterans were among those arrested.

Video of the arrests of protesters has been shared on social media.

“There is a war on my body right now, and that is unacceptable. Now is the time for a change,” protester Lavi Bourne said in a video as she was handcuffed. Bourne, 20, said to the Times that she would continue to take part in abortion rights protests several hours after posting her $20,000 bail.

“I truly believe that there is power in people and that we all come together and take to the streets so we can all achieve abortion rights,” Bourne said. “They’re going to come for LGBTQ+ rights next, and it’s just going to get worse and worse.”

Bourne added: “It’s 2022. I don’t understand why we still have to fight for basic human rights, but I will take it upon myself to keep getting arrested.

“I did not serve my country to have my freedom taken away,” protester Victoria Eggers said as she was handcuffed. “I’m going to stand up and use my body, put it on the line because that’s what I swore to do.”

Rise Up for Abortion Rights shared the names of the two protesters on social media and identified the third person only as Sean.

The group said the protest was not aimed at LACMA but was “a call to the arts community and all of society: Silence is conformity, start taking action,” according to a statement posted on a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds. surety fund. According to prison records, Eggers was released from prison early Friday morning. It was unclear whether the other two protesters had also been released.

Protesters said the red paint would wash off with water. LACMA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Los Angeles Times

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