A truck driver crashed into a group of demonstrators in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday as they were crossing the street during a peaceful protest against the cancellation of the Roe v. Wade case.
Witnesses said an unidentified male Ford truck driver plowed into several protesters – all women – at the end of the procession, flipping one woman’s ankle and sending her to the hospital.
“He tried to kill them,” said local journalist and witness to the attack, Liz Lentz. “These women see him coming and a bunch of people are reaching out to stop him. And he just keeps going.”
Numerous witnesses, including one of the victims, described the scene in an interview with HuffPost: A male driver was waiting behind several cars at a red light in the city center as a crowd of protesters crossed the street.
According to several witnesses, he became “impatient” and stepped on the gas, maneuvering around several cars to ram the protesters.
In the video, filmed by Lynn County Supervisor Stacey Walker, several women are seen standing in front of the truck with their arms outstretched, trying to get the driver to stop. But the driver keeps moving forward and knocks them over, injuring several of them.
The video shows one of the demonstrators, Alexis Russell, holding a protest sign and reaching for the driver’s side window as the truck rolls forward. She told HuffPost that she was trying to get him away from the other protesters.
“I had a fight-or-flight reaction,” Russell told HuffPost. “He had a window down. I grabbed the back of the window to keep up with his car and tried to grab onto the steering wheel. At some point, he grabbed my sign and tore it up, I fell, and he ran into one of the girls.
Russell said she was “shocked” but otherwise unharmed. The hospitalized woman, she said, was “completely distraught.”
City Council member Ashley Vanornee confirmed that the Cedar Rapids police had been called and were investigating.
Several witnesses said the attack was sparked by anger over the protest, which was just one of many that erupted across the country after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.
Molly Monk, a witness, told HuffPost that the man didn’t make any beeps about being anti-abortion, “but he went out of his way to beat protesters in the street who had very visible, very clear signs that they were pro-life.” choice”.
“It seems to me that the pro-life movement is a complete lie if, in order to speak out against people who are protesting for the right to abortion, you try to kill them on my street, in my neighborhood,” Monk said. “It makes me very, very sad, very hurt and very angry that people think it means “for life”.
Despite recent calls from Republican lawmakers to protect fellow anti-abortion activists following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, the anti-abortion movement has a long history of violence.
Over the past 43 years, anti-abortion activists have committed at least 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 956 known threats of harm or death, 614 stalking incidents, and four abductions, according to the National Abortion Federation. The alleged “pro-life” movement bombed 42 abortion clinics, set fire to 194, and made 667 bomb threats.
More on the Supreme Court decision on abortion: