A group of an estimated 300 protestors on Friday evening marched down the sidewalks of downtown Bellingham toward the Whatcom County courthouse, advocating for abortion rights.
The march, unlike the Rally for Roe event last Tuesday, was organized and comprised mostly of students from Western Washington University.
“We needed to do something,” said Kate Wick, a third-year Western student and one of the main protest organizers. “We were upset and angry, and honestly a little scared about the leak on Monday and figured many others felt the same and wanted to give a space for it.”
Prior to the start of the march, the group congregated outside the Whatcom Transportation Authority’s Bellingham Station holding up signs and cheering on cars that honked in passing.
“Seeing all of you right here, it gives me so much momentum and we need to keep it going,” said Sofia Larrondo, a Western student who spoke to the crowd.
Organizers provided materials for protestors to create their own signs and issued reminders to remain peaceful, stay safe on the sidewalks and stay masked.
Throughout the event, advocates emphasized the importance of keeping Roe v. Wade within constitutional protections. As the Roe v. Wade decision is based on a constitutional right to personal privacy, overturning it could put rulings into contention that protect same-sex marriage and accessibility to birth control.
“If you’re not getting affected by this, I’m sure that someone you love is,” Larrondo said.
Upon arrival at the courthouse, the group circled around speakers and listened to their experiences and thoughts.
“I am angry and I am scared,” Larrondo said. “I never thought I was going to be here talking to you guys about overturning Roe v. Wade.”
Protestors were encouraged to take chalk and draw on the sidewalk and courthouse columns with phrases that affirmed support for abortion rights.
Wick was one of the main organizers of the protest and publicized the event through an Instagram post. The post accumulated a lot of attention with numerous shares, which is not what Wick initially expected.
“We’ve planned everything in full just working together in a little apartment living room, and honestly never expected it to get this big,” Wick said.
Jenelle Baumbach (she/her) is the city news editor for The Front this quarter. She is a senior studying political science and news/editorial journalism. Her past reporting broadly covers local politics, the city council and community interests. In her free time, she enjoys looking at maps and meandering around antique stores. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com.