Caption

Protesters turn out in Atlanta against Judge Kavanaugh

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.” 

State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, tells the crowd now is not the time to give up. She urged people to turn out for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in next month's election. “We are going to get so damn engaged in the political process in this country they’re not going to know what hit them,” she says to cheering crowd at the protest in opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. “We will win.” (Photo: MERIS LUTZ/AJC)

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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.” 

"I believe survivors. And I vote" said this protester's sign at a demonstration Saturday, Oct. 8, 2018, in Atlanta before the expected confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo: BRANDEN CAMP/Contributed)

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.

Gerald Griggs, attorney and vice president of NAACP Atlanta, speaks to people gathered in Woodruff Park on Saturday morning, Oct. 6, 2018, to voice opposition against Judge Brett Kavanaugh being named to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo: Meris Lutz/AJC)

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.”

Demonstrators march during a protest in Atlanta ahead of the expected confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (Photo: BRANDEN CAMP/Contributed)

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.

» How to watch the vote: When and where

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