This Thursday marked one week since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford courageously testified before the Senate Judiciary committee about the night she alleges that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was just 15. To honor her powerful testimony, Women’s March organized a day of action on October 4, calling on Senators to #CancelKavanaugh.
In Washington, D.C., thousands came together to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors, declare that they believed Kavanaugh’s multiple accusers and insist that he be rejected for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest Court. Activists came to the nation’s capital via coordinated transportation from major cities including Boston and New York; they marched from Terry Courthouse, where Kavanaugh currently sits on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, to the Supreme Court, where they made noise and demanded to be heard.
— #VOTEPROCHOICE (@VoteChoice) October 4, 2018
— FIRM Action (@FIRM_Action) October 4, 2018
— FIRM Action (@FIRM_Action) October 4, 2018
We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.We will not go back.#CancelKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/k4CqUJeaiw
— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) October 4, 2018
Today I was arrested protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Men who hurt women can no longer be placed in positions of power. pic.twitter.com/nnwq1O4qk3
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) October 4, 2018
"She was powerful. Not because she wasn't scared—but because she went on despite the fear."
— NARAL (@NARAL) October 4, 2018
“We started together and we will go forward together. Forward togethwr, backward never!” @TamikaDMallory of @womensmarch at the Supreme Court to #CancelKanavaugh #IBelieveWomen pic.twitter.com/oPa8V5wPQt
— PPNYC Action Fund (@PPNYCAction) October 4, 2018
That day of action, however, also marked the release of an incomplete FBI investigation. In response, Women’s March stunned the nation by packing the Hart Senate building with over 1,000 activists from all over the country. The halls echoed with voices shouting a consistent chant: “Believe survivors.”
We were planning to shut down the Capitol Building but the authorities were so scared of this #WomensWave that they shut it down for us.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 4, 2018
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 4, 2018
Later that night, feminist leaders and organizations staged an all-night People’s Filibuster outside of the Capitol Building, organized by Indivisible. Speakers including Senators Nancy Pelosi, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Christopher Murphy and John Lewis joined advocates like Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal to demand dignity for survivors.
1. Tonight, something kinda magical happened on the steps of the Capitol. It started like this: pic.twitter.com/9HDvz4K4W6
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) June 27, 2017
— YWCA SF & Marin (@YWCASFMarin) October 5, 2018
Smaller events were also organized on the spot in other cities and on college campuses.
— Paul Passavant (@PPassavant) October 4, 2018
— Christopher Pearson (@SenatorCP) October 4, 2018
The report’s release was followed, today, by a floor vote on the Senate advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination—and now, what began as a single protest has become a days-long feminist marathon of activism.
Today, activists continued to come together on Capitol Hill, including celebrities like Amy Schumer (once featured on the cover of Ms.!), who was arrested along with over 300 other protestors during demonstrations at the Capitol as Senators voted this morning.
“A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote saying that women don’t matter," Amy Schumer said just hours before being detained by Capitol Police. pic.twitter.com/lMmuaYlZha
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) October 4, 2018
After Senator Joe Manchin voted to advance Kavanaugh today, protestors swarmed his office. A crowd of survivors were arrested outside of Senator Jeff Flake’s office for protesting his own vote to advance Kavanaugh.
Dozens of women & survivors arrested outside @JeffFlake’s office following his support of Kavanaugh.
If Flake votes to confirm Kavanaugh, we will never forget. His vote will be a betrayal of the millions of Americans who have been assaulted.#CancelKavanaughVideo by @KishaBari pic.twitter.com/aKjMMd9LLh
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 5, 2018
As the Senate casts their final votes on his nomination tomorrow, the protests will continue.
Feminist Majority will be leading rallies in Tuscon and Phoenix. They’re aiming to appeal to Senator Jeff Flake, who insisted on an investigation when approving Kavanaugh to advance out of committee but said in a statement today that he intends to vote “yes” tomorrow. Events will also take place in cities across the country as part of the #CancelKavanaugh movement. (If you can’t take to the streets before the Senate vote, you can still make your voice heard.)
Regardless of how this fight ends, feminists have made clear that they’re not going silently into the night—and that they will remember this moment in November, and for years to come. The historic activism that has emerged since Blasey Ford came forward has forced the entire country to reckon with its rape culture, and women will continue to shatter silence around violence in the wake of her courageous testimony.
Rosalind Jones is a writer and global feminist thinker with a focus on international women’s liberation. Her goal is to use her writing and language skills to elevate the voices of gender equality advocates in all corners of the world. She is an Occidental College graduate with a degree Diplomacy and World Affairs and is currently an editorial intern at Ms.
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