After receiving vandalism reports Saturday, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to the Riverside County Historic Courthouse.
Deputies located several suspects in the vandalism near the courthouse after arriving at the venue.
Police conducted an investigation and found that the protestors were supporting abortion rights.
Protestors used green paint to mark the exterior of the courthouse with their handprints. Authorities estimate that the damage totalled approximately $10,000.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights issued a statement, stating that the protestors had been wrongfully arrested and were facing unnecessary charges.
“On July 30th, thirteen protestors were arrested during a small peaceful protest at the Riverside Historic Courthouse,”According to the statement. “After being held all night, 5 were released with no charges, but the other 8 are still being held, charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and felony vandalism.”
Olivia Merritt, an organizer for Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, called the arrests a means to suppress political speech.
“These charges are excessive and outrageous,” Merritt said. “Last night, a small group of protesters used temporary chalk and kid’s paint to make a political statement: Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement! These messages were easily removed.”
After the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court has overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade decision. Rise Up 4 Abortions Rights is an organization calling for federal action to restore abortion access to all women.
“In a so-called sanctuary state, we are getting arrested for using washable paint and chalk while the lives of women and young girls across this country are being violently disrupted,”Luna Hernandez, an organizer for Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (Revolution Club), said:
According to the organization the handprints and chalked messages had been removed from the building by Sunday morning at 9 a.m.