On Thursday afternoon, thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Washington, D.C., to express their anger and frustration over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The protest, led by organizers of the 2017 Women’s March, began outside the federal courthouse in Judiciary Square, where Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech before organizers led demonstrators with chants of “Whose Courts? Our Courts!” Around 12:30 p.m., the rally began its march to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, with chants of “We believe Anita Hill! We believe Christine Ford!” and “Say it loud, say it clear, Kavanaugh’s not welcome here” echoing through the streets.
On Thursday, the Senate received its report on the FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, including by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democratic senators have decried the investigation as incomplete and a cover-up. On Friday, the Senate narrowly voted to advance his nomination, with Democrat Joe Manchin voting yes and Republican Lisa Murkowski voting no. The final floor vote is expected on Saturday.
Joli Timm traveled from Gold Beach, Oregon, to march with friends Cassie McLaren and Barbara Smith of Richmond, Virginia. Smith had tears in her eyes as they talked about why they were attending. “We fought similar battles back in the seventies, and here we are in 2018,” said McLaren. “It just blows me away. You know, we thought that this would hopefully have been taken care of … that we would have done it back then.”
Another protester, Rocky Gray, decided to take a bus from New York City to join the demonstration. “My boss doesn't know I’m here, but he’ll be fine,” Gray told the Prospect. She showed up with a drawing she had made with her young daughters, who were still in school. One demonstrator, who asked to use her initials A.M. to protect her privacy, was dressed for work despite the unseasonable October heat. “We don’t necessarily dress the part, but as long as you’re a body, it’s good enough,” she said, motioning to herself and a colleague in heels who had attended the march during their lunchbreak.
Many demonstrators said they were dismayed by the treatment of Ford’s credible allegations by Republicans and President Trump, who mocked Ford’s testimony in front of a laughing crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi on Tuesday. Dana Vazquez, a resident of Los Angeles who was visiting D.C. for work and decided to join the protests, said she worried about the message that Kavanaugh’s nomination sent to survivors. “It fills me with so much rage and I’m just so upset about it,” Vazquez said. “It just gave me all the more reason to come out today.”
The march ended at the steps of the Supreme Court, where sexual-assault survivors and organizers spoke to the crowd. “Today is only the beginning of what is to come in November if they vote an abuser onto the Supreme Court.” said Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke as well, stating that the FBI report was “not intended to get to the bottom of this.” After the rally, hundreds of protesters were arrested as they staged a sit-in at the Hart Senate Office Building. Among them were comedian Amy Schumer and actress Emily Ratajkowski.
According to the Women’s March, yesterday’s rally was the largest anti-Kavanaugh demonstration yet. Protests have been breaking out all over the country, including occupations of senators’ state offices, rallies outside NYC Yale Club, and demonstrations at airports that senators are traveling through.