Islanders and visitors march for their rights
Just a few days after the always-rowdy and always-noisy Fourth of July Parade, a quieter, more somber march took place through the streets of Old Harbor.
On Thursday, July 7, an estimated 200 people gathered in the early evening at the Old Post Office Bagel Shop to prepare for a silent march for reproductive rights after
the current United States Supreme Court cast away 50 years of precedent in overturning Roe versus Wade, the landmark case that secured women’s right to a safe abortion and the freedom for people to make their own reproductive decisions.
There were people of all ages holding signs and marching quietly and respectfully from Bridgegate Square up Dodge Street, onto Water Street, around the statue of Rebecca, and back down to where they started. At 5:30 p.m., the streets were almost traffic-free, the sidewalks practically devoid of pedestrians, so the march created no disruptions.
The most noise was created by the crowd on the deck of the National hotel, which cheered and applauded as the marchers passed by.
While Rhode Island passed the Reproductive Privacy Act that “codified” Roe Versus Wade into Rhode Island law in June of 2019, that doesn’t mean the right for a woman to make decisions about her own healthcare and body can’t be taken away by the whim of a new, or different state legislature. To fully guarantee the right in Rhode Island, would require it to be covered under the state constitution.
The march was organized by Delaney Schwarzer of Block Island, Alexa Pucci, from Block Island and Westerly, with help from Madison Tretheway, Camryn Tierney and Millie Starr.