Activists are staging a nationwide walkout Monday afternoon in solidarity with Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the two women who have accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct dating back more than three decades.
In conjunction with the mass walkout, scheduled for 1 PM EST, activists have planned smaller, more targeted direct actions across the country, singling out Republican senators who could cast the deciding votes to confirm Kavanaugh. In Colorado, protesters will rally outside Senator Cory Gardner's office; in Nevada, Senator Dean Heller's; in Arizona, Senator Jeff Flake's; in Texas, Senator Ted Cruz's; in Iowa, Senator and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley's; and in Maine, protesters will rally to put pressure on Senator Susan Collins, a pro-choice Republican senator known for sometimes voting with Democrats.
In Washington DC, the Women's March, NARAL Pro-Choice for America, Planned Parenthood, and other women's advocacy groups will gather at the Hart Senate Office Building Atrium with survivors who will share their own accounts of sexual abuse.
And Monday morning, ahead of these events, students at Yale Law school, Kavanaugh's alma mater, staged a sit-in in silent protest of Kavanaugh's confirmation to the court.
“The groundswell of support for Dr. Ford is exactly what the ‘Me Too' movement is about," Tarana Burke, the founder of #MeToo movement, said in a statement Monday morning. "So often, survivors struggle to disclose their assault or abuse and when they do, the response is similar to what we’re seeing now. It’s been almost 30 years since Anita Hill’s testimony and we want to ensure that the Senate Judiciary Committee does the right thing this time.”
The plans to protest Kavanaugh came last week, following a series of tweets from President Donald Trump questioning the credibility of Ford's allegations. "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents," Trump wrote on Friday. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
Since then, new allegations against the embattled nominee have emerged.
In a Sunday night New Yorker story, Ramirez, who attended Yale with Kavanaugh, alleges that he exposed his penis to her and positioned it in front of her face at a dorm party, while onlookers encouraged her to "kiss it."
“Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’” Ramirez recalled a male student saying. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
Kavanaugh denies the allegation, calling it a "smear, plain and simple."
Less than an hour after The New Yorker published the fresh allegations, Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted that he was representing a third woman with "credible information" about Kavanaugh and his high school classmate Mark Judge. According to an email Avenatti sent to Mike Davis, Chief Counsel for Nominations for US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, his client alleges that Kavanaugh and Judge both participated "in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”
“Ramirez’s story is yet more proof that Kavanaugh should have already withdrawn his nomination and his wholly disqualified from holding any office in government, let alone one on the highest court in the country," Shauna Thomas, the executive director and cofounder of UltraViolet, a women's group participating in Monday's protests, said. "Now is the time for Republicans in the Senate to make it clear that they believe women and find violence against women wholly unacceptable demanding Kavanaugh withdraw his nomination immediately.
"Anything less is a betrayal of women," she continued, "one that voters will remember this November.”