Los Angeles Times
LACMA piece vandalized
Abortion rights activists arrested after pouring fake blood on ‘Urban Light.’
Three abortion rights activists were arrested on charges of felony vandalism Thursday outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art after they poured fake blood on Chris Burden’s iconic “Urban Light” art installation, authorities said.
Activists chained themselves to the cast-iron lamps on Wilshire Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Video from the scene showed protesters lying in a pool of fake blood, with one demonstrator posing in their underwear to reenact the death of Gerri Santoro, an American woman who died from an unsafe abortion performed in a Connecticut motel room in 1964.
The protest began at noon and was organized by the Los Angeles chapter of Rise Up For Abortion Rights. The group sought to bring attention to abortion bans being enacted across the nation after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision last month. Abortion rights protests have proliferated at public spaces across the nation since the court’s ruling.
The LAPD issued a dispersal order at 3:25 p.m. and again around 4 p.m., according to authorities. At 4:10 p.m. police officers arrested two women and a man on charges of felony vandalism. Wilshire Boulevard was closed for a short time during the protest, according to authorities.
Rise Up For Abortion Rights said two military veterans were among the people arrested.
Video of the protesters’ arrests was shared on social media.
“There’s a war on my body right now, and that’s unacceptable. The time is now for change,” protester Lavi Bourne, 20, said in a video as she was being handcuffed. After posting her bail, which was set at $20,000, Bourne told The Times she is going to continue participating in protests for abortion rights.
“I truly believe that there’s power within people and that all of us come together and hit the streets that all of us can get abortion rights,” Bourne said. “They’re gonna come for LGBTQ+ rights next, and it’s just gonna escalate and get worse.”
Bourne added, “It’s 2022. I don’t understand why we’re still having to fight for basic human rights, but I will take it upon myself to continue getting arrested.”
“I did not serve my country to have my freedom stripped away,” demonstrator Victoria Eggers said as she was handcuffed. “I will rise up and use my body, put it on the line because that’s what I took an oath to do.”
Rise Up for Abortion Rights shared the names of the two protesters on social media and identified the third person only as Sean.
The group said the protest was not aimed at LACMA but was “a call to the arts community and to all of society: silence is compliance, start taking action” according to a statement posted on a Go Fund Me campaign to raise bail money.
According to jail records, Eggers was released from jail early Friday morning. It was unclear whether the other two protesters had also been released.
The protesters said that the red paint would wash away with water.
Repairs would be required after red dye was splashed on some of the artwork’s lampposts and the surrounding concrete, LACMA said in a statement, adding that the installation had reopened by 7 p.m. Thursday.