Dozens of protesters began gathering Saturday morning at Atlanta’s Woodruff Park to voice opposition to the likely confirmation later in the day of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Amid chants of “We vote, we vote,” the crowd began marching toward the federal courthouse after 11 a.m.
Andrew Powell, 32, from Decatur said, “I watched the hearings and I don’t think you have to be a woman to be incredibly incensed by everything we’re seeing right now ... the way that this man comported himself during that hearing absolutely precludes him from this position.”
Powell said he was taking part in the demonstration “for myself and on behalf of all the women in my life who are deeply touched and affected by this.”
Erin Elwood, 34, an attorney from Roswell, said, “It feels like we’re reliving 2016 when they were telling women that the man who assaulted them will be put in the highest level of power and their stories don’t matter.”
She said she feels that Kavanaugh’s willingness to put the country through the discord should be disqualifying.
“He thinks more of himself than he does the institution of the court.”
She said she didn’t find his testimony before the U.S. Senate last week to be credible. “He wasn’t straightforward.”
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing last week to address California professor Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party in high school. Ford detailed her accusations, and in a separate appearance Kavanaugh said the claims were false. A follow-up FBI inquiry this past week did not find further evidence to back Ford’s case.
Diana Jaramillo is a caregiver from Washington state who attended the protest with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
She said domestic workers — which include cleaners, caregivers and nannies, many of them immigrants — are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment and abuse.
“I’m a survivor myself so I want justice for all the women,” she said. “We’re scared and afraid, so they take advantage.”
Sexual harassment became a pivotal issue in the confirmation process for Kavanaugh after Ford’s accusations became public — and the differing accounts led to divided opinions among the public.
Stephanie Smith, 33, a childcare provider from Durham, N.C., attended with the labor rights group We Dream In Black.
“We do not need a misogynist on the U.S. Supreme Court,” she said. “It shows disrespect to women. It’s clear that he did some harm to women in the past and he should not be in that seat.”
Smith also feels the Kavanaugh case will have a long-term impact. “Women are people and women definitely are going to feel like they don’t have respect and dignity at the Supreme Court.”
The vote on his Supreme Court nomination is expected to begin sometime between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. EDT Saturday.