Essential California: A weekend of post-Roe protest

People hold up signs at an abortion rights protest
Protesters march in downtown L.A. at an abortion rights rally on Saturday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, June 27. I’m Marisa Gerber, filling in for Justin Ray.

Protesters marched along the 110 Freeway on Friday waiting for their cue.

“Supreme Court?” a voice beamed through a megaphone.

“Illegitimate!” they chanted back.

Later that evening, at a gathering on the grounds of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, a 17-year-old stood silently holding a candle and wearing a T-shirt that read, “Our Bodies. Our Futures. Our Abortions.” The next day, another crowd packed into Pershing Square with handmade signs — one showed an image of a wire hanger and the words “NEVER AGAIN” and another read, “Against abortion? Have a vasectomy.”

These were the sights and sounds of the first post-Roe vs. Wade weekend in one slice of a nation still stunned — some with joy, others with sadness and shame — by the Supreme Court’s decision to end a constitutional right to abortion.


It’s a decision that veteran Supreme Court reporter David G. Savage says points to a larger pattern.

“This is not the Supreme Court most Americans have known,” Savage writes. He highlighted two other recent rulings, which struck down a New York gun law and paved the way for parents to seek state aid for religious schools, as proof that the era of the court defined by moderates is over.

That reality terrifies some Californians, including advocates for the queer community, who worry that the court’s conservative majority could soon move to reverse earlier rulings such as legalized same-sex intimacy and same-sex marriage, my colleague Tyrone Beason reports.

While reporting from the OC Pride parade this weekend, he met Yashia Garcia, who told him that she’d sobbed Friday morning after reading about the ruling — it felt, she said, as if the nation had reverted to a more repressive time.

“My mother, who came to the country as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic in 1978, had more rights than I do today,” Garcia said. “I don’t have the word to describe how that feels. Well, I do, but they’re all curse words.

More Roe vs. Wade coverage


— “So what you’re saying is we can’t get an abortion today? I just drove eight hours.” My colleague Molly Hennessy-Fiske takes us inside a Texas abortion clinic the moment the landmark case was overturned.

— How did we get here? Read about the four key turning points that led to the fall of Roe vs. Wade.

— The Los Angeles Police Department’s actions during abortion rights protests this weekend, including shoving an independent journalist to the ground, are part of a broader, longstanding problem, press observers noted.

— Across the Southland on Sunday, some pastors praised the Supreme Court’s ruling and others lamented it.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

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For the first time since the turn of the millennium, the Hollywood sign was recently lit up at night — the latest in a series of (sometimes illicit) makeovers for the iconic L.A. landmark. Earlier this year, there was the essentially impossible-to-read revamp after the Rams’ Super Bowl win. Last year the sign was transformed to read “HOLLYBOOB,” and a couple of months later pranksters draped a painting of a cow over the first “O.” Los Angeles Times

Illustration shows a woman framing the Hollywood sign with her fingers
For the first time since 2000, the iconic Hollywood sign was recently lit up at night.
(Juliette Toma / For The Times)

Headed to your favorite taquería? Double check that a new location hasn’t opened closer to you. Five beloved L.A. spots — Sonoratown, the Goat Mafia, Los Originales Tacos Árabes de Puebla, Tacos y Birria La Única and Mariscos Jalisco — all recently added new locations. L.A. Taco


The mother of a 32-year-old Los Angeles police officer who suffered fatal neck injuries during a department training last month has filed a wrongful-death claim against the city, saying her son was beaten by other officers in an exercise meant to “simulate a mob.” Los Angeles Times

A Montana woman recently filed a lawsuit accusing the disgraced former mayor of Windsor, a wine country town north of Santa Rosa, of raping her when she was 18. She is the 14th woman to come forward with accusations against Dominic Foppoli since the San Francisco Chronicle published a series of investigations about him. San Francisco Chronicle


It’ll be triple-digit hot across much of inland Southern California today and tomorrow, with expected highs well into the 100s in many low-lying areas. Los Angeles Times

If you’re searching for a spot to escape the upcoming scorchers — and you’re game for a road trip and a secret hike — head to the Grove of Titans near the California-Oregon border, home to gigantic trees that might be close to 2,000 years old. Los Angeles Times

Image of a fallen tree in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
In the Grove of Titans, rangers say, some of the trees may be 2,000 years old.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)


A charity formed by the brother of a firefighter who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center has turned its focus toward Los Angeles. The grant from Tunnel to Towers is expected to speed up the redevelopment of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ West Los Angeles campus. Los Angeles Times

As the congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection progress, California lawyer John Eastman has emerged as a main character. The Times spoke with more than a dozen of his friends and associates, painting a picture of “a man with an insider’s connections and an outsider’s boundary-pushing instincts.” Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles: Partly cloudy and 89. San Diego: Partly cloudy and 74. San Francisco: Partly cloudy and 69. San Jose: Sunny and 87. Fresno: Sunny and 108. Sacramento: Sunny and 102.

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Today’s California memory comes from David Frick:

On May 7, 1959, my dad took me to see the Dodgers play the Yankees on Roy Campanella Night at the Los Angeles Coliseum. I still get chills thinking about the lights dimming and a record crowd of 93,000 holding up matches and lighters before cellphones were invented. I loved the Dodgers and Mickey Mantle, so a dream come true!

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

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