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“I’m a survivor and I vote.”
Many women outside the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court wore black T-shirts with these words stamped across the front as the Senate prepared to vote on the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court today. They shouted “arrest sexual predators, not protesters,” “no means no,” “black lives matter,” and dozens of other chants as they watched police arrest their fellow protesters on the lawn of the Capitol.
Easily half of those arrested at around 2 p.m.—a growing crowd of about 50—wore an “I’m a survivor and I vote” T-shirt.
The crowd of hundreds, if not more than 1,000, gradually crossed the street to form a larger rally outside of the Supreme Court, where speakers one by one expressed love and support for survivors of sexual violence.
“If you’re a survivor, raise your fist,” said one speaker.
Many raised their fists.
“Beautiful, that’s beautiful,” she told them, and led them in a call and response.
“I believe,” she said. “Anita Hill,” they answered.
“I believe,” she said. “Christine Ford,” they answered.
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Laurie Bertram Roberts, director of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund spoke at the little podium, and she said, “We are the majority. Survivors are the majority.”
The Senators from Massachusetts—Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey—spoke one after the other before going to the senate chamber to vote “no” on Kavanaugh. “Let’s start with the hard part,” said Warren. “This hurts. What the United States Senate is about to do hurts.”
At about 2:50 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police outside the Capitol walked together in a line, two or three officers thick, to extend the barrier that they’d created in front of the Capitol steps all the way to the end of the plaza.
The officers pushed a small group of Kavanaugh supporters toward the Supreme Court as they went, and that group eventually marched into the much larger anti-Kavanaugh crowd, which surrounded them with the chant, “This is what democracy looks like.” Little clashes like this one cropped up throughout the afternoon, most of them smaller, and none, that this reporter saw, with a resolution.