(Updated at 2:25 p.m. on 5/12/2022) The high-stakes battle over abortion access reached a residential neighborhood in Fort Hunt last night (Monday) when protestors marched on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s house.
Drawing about 100 participants, the demonstration was organized by the grassroots protest group ShutDown DC in response to Alito’s draft opinion indicating that the court will overturn its pivotal 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Live video of the protest shows marchers convening at the Hollin Hall Shopping Center on Fort Hunt Road before working their way through neighborhood streets to Alito’s residence. There, they lit candles in the street and delivered speeches for about 15 minutes before returning to the shopping center.
“My body, my choice!” protestors chanted, among other slogans. At one point, they invited residents who came outside to film the passing march to join them, though the onlookers didn’t appear to take them up on the offer.
LIVE Protesters march to home of Justice Alito https://t.co/dJ551exz9U
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) May 9, 2022
About 100 people turned out! Not bad for a quiet neighborhood in suburban VA
— ShutDownDC (@ShutDown_DC) May 10, 2022
The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed that its officers responded to the gathering but described the demonstrations as peaceful.
“Officers remained on scene to ensure the safety of the participants, our community members and the roadways until the crowd dispersed on their own,” the FCPD said. “No arrests were made.”
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said last night that his office coordinated with Fairfax County and Virginia State police, as well as federal authorities, to monitor the protest.
“Virginia State Police will assist federal and local law enforcement as needed to ensure the safety of our citizens, including Supreme Court Justices, who call Virginia home,” Youngkin said on Twitter.
We have been coordinating with @FairfaxCountyPD, @VSPPIO, and federal authorities to ensure that there isn’t violence. Virginia State Police were closely monitoring, fully coordinated with Fairfax County and near the protests. https://t.co/SZMhbuzKFN
— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) May 10, 2022
The protest at Alito’s house was one of several abortion-rights demonstrations that have popped up across the D.C. area since Politico published the leaked draft opinion on May 2. A ruling in the case, which involves a challenge to a ban on abortions after 15 weeks in Mississippi, is expected to be finalized this summer.
Students at 11 high schools in Fairfax County rallied yesterday to express their support for abortion as a right and urge state and federal legislators to protect access to the medical procedure.
Protestors have also shown up at the residences of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who both live in Montgomery County, as well as Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who lives in Pimmit Hills. The protests don’t appear to have reached Justice Clarence Thomas in Fairfax Station.
The protests led the Senate to pass legislation yesterday enhancing security at Supreme Court justices’ homes, though the bill still needs to be considered by the House.
The Virginia Republican Party condemned the protests as “an abhorrent and vile affront to the processes of the highest court.”
“Intimidation of the Justices and the threat of violence against them and their families has no place in our Commonwealth or our country,” Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson said in a statement. “Targeting the home of a Justice is wrong, and these protestors should be ashamed of their actions.”
The Democratic Party of Virginia expressed support for yesterday’s student protests but did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Alito demonstration.
Today, students across Virginia are making a statement. We stand by them to ensure they will not be the post-Roe generation. https://t.co/roJlWi3hvY
— Virginia Democrats (@vademocrats) May 9, 2022
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