The office of the pro-life PAC Wisconsin Family Action located in Madison was firebombed early Sunday morning. Police report at least one Molotov Cocktail was used. No injuries were reported in the 6 a.m. attack, however there are photos showing fire damage furniture and books inside and outside the office. Graffiti was spray-painted on an exterior wall with the message, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either,” as well as an anarchist “A” symbol alongside the numerals “1312.”
The attack appears to be a response to the leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Molotov attack on anti-abortion group last night in #Madison Wisconsin.
Building was spray painted with Antifa/Anarchist symbols and threats.
— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) May 8, 2022
Police have asked the federal government for help in the investigation. A press conference is scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. CDT.
Local news Channel 3000 spoke to Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling (excerpt):
Speaking to News 3 Now, WFA President Julaine Appling said that someone had thrown Molotov cocktails into her office and had burned books. Appling said she did not know the person who would have lit the fire, but said the suspect “left their signature” with graffiti.
Madison police confirmed that at least one Molotov cocktail was thrown at the office during the incident.
Madison Fire Department issued a brief statement with details on their response:
Fire On North Side Under Investigation
Incident Type: Structure
Dispatch: Sunday, May 8, 2022 – 6:06am
Arrival: Sunday, May 8, 2022 – 6:11am
2800 block International Lane
Narrative: The Madison Fire Department was called to the 2800 block of International Lane for reports of flames seen coming from an office building. Firefighters arrived moments later and located the fire. It was put out promptly by Engine Co. 10. There were no injuries reported. The fire is currently under investigation.
Posted 05/08/2022 – 7:46am
Madison Police issued a longer statement on the attack:
The Madison Police Department understands members of our community are feeling deep emotions due to the recent news involving the United States Supreme Court.
Early Sunday morning, our team began investigating a suspicious fire inside an office building on the city’s north side.
It appears a specific non-profit that supports anti-abortion measures was targeted.
Our department has and continues to support people being able to speak freely and openly about their beliefs.
But we feel that any acts of violence, including the destruction of property, do not aid in any cause.
We have made our federal partners aware of this incident and are working with them and the Madison Fire Department as we investigate this arson.
We will provide an update on this case Monday at 2 p.m. Specific details regarding the logistics of this update will be sent at a later time.
-Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes
More images of the attack:
Madison Police & Fire are investigating possible arson at the Wisconsin Family Action offices on Madison’s north side. Marcus Aarsvold is on scene speaking with WFA employees and learning what happened @nbc15_madison
— Gabriella Rusk (@GabriellaRusk) May 8, 2022
— Stephen Cohn (@stephen__cohn) May 8, 2022
Also worth noting this is what the inside of one office space at WFA looked like this morning. pic.twitter.com/tdK2JSTnOT
— Stephen Cohn (@stephen__cohn) May 8, 2022
BREAKING: Somebody vandalized and allegedly threw Molotov cocktails into Wisconsin Family Action’s — an anti-abortion rights group — Madison office, writing w/ graffiti, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
Story TK pic.twitter.com/6Wfnyeh9hQ
— Alexander Shur (@AlexanderShur) May 8, 2022
UPDATE: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued a statement condemning the attack:
We condemn violence and hatred in all forms, including the actions at Wisconsin Family Action in Madison last night. We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view. Violence is not the way forward. Hurting others is never the answer…We will work against overturning Roe and attacks on reproductive rights by leading with empathy and compassion. We will defend what we believe in with our words and our voices—in the streets, in halls of government, and at the ballot box. In Wisconsin, we must lead by example.”
We will work against overturning Roe and attacks on reproductive rights by leading with empathy and compassion. We will defend what we believe in with our words and our voices—in the streets, in halls of government, and at the ballot box. In Wisconsin, we must lead by example.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) May 8, 2022