Lee Heidhues 4.23.2022
The reactionary mob has invaded California.
A convoy of protesters descended on the private residence of an East Bay legislator in an act of harassment. These are the reactionary tactics increasingly being used by the strident American right wing as it pushes its agenda of intolerance, hate, racism and an assault on women’s rights.
This is the same strategy we are witnessing in San Francisco as the reactionaries trying to overthrow the democratically elected Distrist Attorney engage in tactics of harassment and disruption.
The tactics being used by these reactionaries are a clear and present danger to American democracy.
Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 4.23.2022
A group of people drove their trucks and vans in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood outside the home of an East Bay state legislator while she was reportedly inside protesting legislation that would end a state requirement that coroners investigate stillbirths.
The protest, captured in online videos, involved a convoy of about 20 vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol. Protesters gathered in opposition to a pair of bills by Assembly Member Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, that would also require California businesses to mandate COVID vaccinations among their employees. Wicks already announced in late March that the vaccination bill was being put on hold.
Protesters in the videos could be heard voicing opposition to vaccine mandates and AB 2223, the legislation written by Wicks that would do away with a state law requiring coroners to investigate fetal deaths related to a suspected self-induced or criminal abortion.
The law appears to do the opposite of a controversial Texas law that effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy by allowing private citizens to sue anyone who helps someone obtain an abortion; Wicks’ bill would prohibit someone who helps a pregnant woman obtain an abortion from facing civil or criminal liability.
AB 2223 so far has cleared two legislative committees. The bill needs to pass floor votes in the Assembly and state Senate before it can make its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.
AB 2223 aligns with a legal alert by Attorney General Rob Bonta that instructed the state’s prosecutors and police not to pursue charges against mothers who deliver stillbirths or have miscarriages. In his announcement, Bonta cited the case of Adora Perez, a Kings County woman who spent four years in prison for using drugs before giving birth to a stillborn child.
Last month, a judge overturned Perez’s conviction with support from Bonta, saying that “there is no crime in California of manslaughter of a fetus.”
Officer David Arias, a CHP spokesperson, said protesters remained peaceful and no arrests or citations were issued. The protest convoy remained in the area for about an hour, Arias said, and caused temporary traffic congestion.
Online videos of the protest showed testy, expletive-laced exchanges between onlookers and protesters as the latter made their way past the Safeway on College Avenue. One video showed onlookers throwing eggs at trucks as they loudly blared their horns, shouting at protesters to leave the area.