Protests erupted across America Friday night as abortion rights activists objected to the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision, creating a particularly tense stand-off in Arizona’s Capitol where lawmakers reported being trapped by an angry mob that had to be dispersed with tear gas.
"We are currently there being held hostage inside the Senate building due to members of the public trying to breach our security," Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend tweeted Friday night. "We smell teargas and the children of one of the members are in the office sobbing with fear."
Authorities confirmed a security situation at the Capitol building in Phoenix that required teargas and flash bangs to be deployed and an unlawful assembly to be declared.
“Protesters threatened to break the AZ Senate entryway glass," state senator Wendy Rodgers explained. "Crowd was dispersed with tear gas. … We are headed to a secure room to go vote."
"Sergeant at Arms says the mob is spray painting monuments and lighting fires," Rodgers added. "Very dangerous outside."
The Legislature’s Republican caucus later issued a statement saying the protesters attempted an insurrection and credited police for stopping it.
"Violent pro-abortion protestors' attempts of an insurrection at the Arizona State Senate were thwarted Friday night, thanks to the swift actions from local and state law enforcement," Kim Quintero, the Republican Caucus' communications director, said.
In Washington D.C, Antifa protesters chanted “burn it down” as they marched toward the Supreme Court while demonstrators in many cities yelled “illegitimate” to mock the justices who had voted 6-3 earlier in the day to overturn the Roe decision and send the authority to regulate abortion back to the states.
An American flag was burned in the streets of the nation’s capital while threats were hurled in many cities.
About 500 abortion rights demonstrators occupied a city block in Seattle, disrupting traffic, while 1,500 flooded downtown Portland, Ore.