Amid the sounds of car horns, trolley bells and “We believe survivors” chants, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Byron Rogers Federal Building in downtown Denver to demand an end to the Supreme Court nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh.
“We want to stop the Kavanaugh confirmation. We think there are many, many reasons why he should not be going into a lifetime appointment,” said Darien Wilson, a protestor with Indivisible Highlands Ranch.
Two women, including one from Colorado, have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault or misconduct when he was in high school and in college. He has denied the accusations as a smear job.
Many in the crowd said they hoped to send a message to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, whose office is across the street from the courthouse. Gardner’s spokesperson said in a statement that the senator “absolutely supports” a Senate investigation into the allegations made by the second woman, Debbie Ramirez of Boulder. Gardner did not respond to requests from The Independent for further comment.
In a story published Sunday night, Ramirez told the New Yorker that when she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale he exposed himself to her at a dorm-room party in which she and others had been playing a drinking game.
“I’m out here because this man does not deserve to be on the Supreme Court,” said Anne Murdaugh, former chair of the Democratic Party of Denver, referring to Kavanaugh. “He has shown a pattern of not respecting women’s rights in his personal life and also in the judicial opinions he has issued. And he will be a danger to many future generations if he sits on the Supreme Court.”
Maggie Anderson came to the protest with her husband and her daughters, Ivy, 9, and Cora, 5. Anderson was holding a cardboard sign that read, “WE BELIEVE HER & her & her #BelieveSurvivors.”
“I can’t stand to see someone who violates women’s bodies making choices about women’s bodies across the entire country,” she said. “My daughters deserve better.”
Lisa Calderon, who was Ramirez’s supervisor at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, led the demonstration with remembrances of Anita Hill’s treatment during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing.
“I know [Ramirez] would not come forward unless she had given this great thought. I also have to say, my heart breaks for her because I know what she is going to face. It has already started. Stand with her and all victims,” Calderon said.
Also among the speakers were Portia Prescott, first vice chair of the African American Initiative of Colorado Democrats, Karla Garcia Gonzales, policy director for the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, and Ian Farrell, a University of Denver professor of constitutional and criminal law.
Justine Sandoval, an organizing and community manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, emceed the event and urged the crowd to call Gardner and other senators.
“Get louder,” she exhorted the crowd. “Resist.”