Roughly 150 protesters of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court gathered in a downtown Portland park tonight, in the final hours before a vote on the nominee who has been accused of sexual assault.
"It's clear that the powers-that-be don't care about the truth or about protecting survivors of sexual assault," said protester Leela Yellesetty. "Everything we can do now to voice our opposition makes it harder for them to get away with that."
The testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and Kavanugh's peevish and dissembling response, have polarized and horrified the country over the past week. Republicans appear poised to confirm him despite outcry—a reality that U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) acknowledged to WW tonight.
Yellsetty attended Yale, like Kavanaugh, and has been organizing with other Yale alumni nationally who are outraged. She and her allies said tonight that Kavanaugh's expected confirmation is a test the nation is failing.
"Women have been getting raped and not believed for millennia," said protest organizer Alyssa Pariah. "This is such a perfect example and such a perfect picture, that a person running for the highest judicial seat, a person that is supposed to represent the constitution proper, thinks it is okay to denigrate someone that they have abused."
Pariah is a member of the International Women's Strike. She organized tonight's protest as a show of solidarity for demonstrators in other states where senators are undecided.
"That he has so much support shows me and shows the movement how far we have to go," Pariah says. "Because what does it look like that it's an acceptable idea in the highest office in the land, with the most powerful people on the planet, that we can say without flinching, 'I don't believe a woman who said that she was raped, I think she's a liar.' That that can be printed and reprinted and accepted and that there's not a mass revolt is disheartening. So here's a humble attempt at showing some resistance and I hope that it grows."