Local high school students organize pro-choice protest in downtown Sebastopol
Students from several local schools gathered Saturday in downtown Sebastopol for a pro-choice protest in response to the U.S. Supreme Court potentially overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights decision.
About 50 young people, mostly students from West County High School and HillCrest Middle School, gathered at the intersection of Bodega Avenue and Highway 116, joining the nationwide “Bans Off Our Bodies” movement.
The students held up homemade signs with messages like “My body, My choice” and “You can never ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortion” as passersby honked and cheered in support. Though, not everyone was as supportive.
“There’s so many people who have driven by in the last hour that are against pro-choice and abortions, so us being here is a good reminder that we still need to fight for these issues and bring awareness, even in California,” said Dezirae Kai, 19.
Kai and Hope English, 19, both students at West County High School, organized the event along with Jezebel Juniper, a 20-year-old graduate of the Sebastopol high school.
“We’re fighting for everybody’s safety and the lives of women across the country,” Juniper said.
The protest started at around noon with music and sign making, thanks to a donation of poster boards and markers from Art and Soul of Sebastopol, a local art supplies shop. The group then met at the intersection to protest, where many stayed for a couple hours .
The highschoolers decided to organize the event because they are all, as English said, “enraged” at the possibility of abortion rights being stripped from women across the country.
They emphasized the need for more young people their age to join the protests and use their voices, as well as calling on older people to join forces with them.
The students are planning another protest soon, but the date and time has not yet been determined. For updates, follow @dezzerz, @_hopeenglish and @jezebeljuniper on Instagram.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been revised to correct references to West County High School, the Sebastopol campus formerly known as Analy High. The campus will revert to that name in the 2022-23 school year.