If blockading vehicle entrances to the U.S. Supreme Court won’t stop justices, protesters led by the organizing group Shut Down D.C. plan to block the court’s pedestrian entrances.
On June 10, about 34 activists attended a Zoom meeting meant to finalize plans. An earlier activist planning meeting had more than 60 people present.
The protest was a response to a leaked draft opinion that suggested the high court’s six conservative justices planned to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a constitutional right and that legislators could only regulate it to a limited extent. But the Supreme Court’s leaked Dobbs v. Jackson draft decision would put decisions on abortion into the hands of state and national legislators.
Some of the activists had the belief that the court itself was illegitimate.
“We’re here because the Supreme Court, it is painfully clear, can no longer be allowed to make decisions for the majority of Americans,” said Hope Neyer.
“We think the Supreme Court is an illegitimate, undemocratic institution,” said Nadine, one of the group’s leading activists.
To prevent the court from making decisions, activists announced they will prevent justices from entering the building with a “blockade” of the vehicle entrances.
If the justices attempt to pass through the court’s security fence on foot, they said squads of activists will move to block the doors in the fence as well.
These actions could leave justices on foot in the street as verdicts go public on June 13.
Last week, a man who said he wanted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was arrested near his home. He had an unloaded pistol locked in a case and a knife in his possession. The man called police for psychiatric help.
“We’ve also known for a lot of time that the court cannot represent us, because it does so many things that are harmful to our movements,” said Neyer.
Currently, the protest group plans to gather with a permit in a nearby square at 7 a.m., then march to the court’s vehicle entrances.
The protest was divided between activists who said they were willing to be arrested for forming a blockade and other activists who planned to “support” the ones who risked arrest.
“I’m very mellow, I just go to places and get arrested,” said activist Wendy Brandes.