“I Am What’s at Stake!”
Over 200 Arrested at Fascist Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Barely a minute after the start of the Senate hearings on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s second fascist choice for the U.S. Supreme Court, the disruption began. Protesters in the back of the room began rising, one after the other, holding signs and shouting as loudly as they could until they were dragged out of the room by police. Most, but not all, protesting this patriarchal fascist were women. Some women wore T-shirts that said “I Am What’s at Stake.” Others wore black veils or put black tape over their mouths.

This was not a single outburst—it continued throughout the day, and throughout the four days of hearings that ended on Friday, disrupting and at times preventing them from going forward. On the first day alone, more than 60 were arrested, 73 on the second day, and by the end of the week over 227 had been arrested inside the Senate hearing room as well as at other protests.

As this was taking place in the hearing room, dozens were lined up outside waiting their chance to come in and protest. A group of women organized by Demand Justice dressed as characters from The Handmaid's Tale—the story of a future in which women are enslaved by men as incubators—stood silently outside the hearing room. One day people occupied the office of Senator Charles Grassley, the Republican chairing the committee hearings. Greenpeace USA projected #KavaNOPE and Stop Kavanaugh onto the top of the Supreme Court building to tell the Senate: “STOP Kavanaugh’s confirmation!” Planned Parenthood organized people to line the U.S. Capitol’s halls outside of the hearing room from 11 am to 1 pm each day and held vigils at night. These were the most vocal and disruptive protests at any Supreme Court nomination hearing in memory. There were also protests in other cities, including Refuse Fascism protests in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and Honolulu demanding #StopKavanaugh, #AbortionOnDemand, and #TrumpPenceMustGo.

Trump was outraged and suggested protest itself should be outlawed: “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters.” Grassley, in charge of the fascist mob ramming through Kavanaugh’s confirmation, denounced the protests as “mob rule.” (Some Democrats whined that the protests would hurt them with “independent” voters in the November midterm elections.)

People from across the country answered the call put out by Women’s March, NARAL, and Ultraviolet to take direct action to stop the hearings; other organizations, including Code Pink and Greenpeace, also mobilized people. A range of views was expressed—from “saving our democracy” to denunciations of Kavanaugh’s racism, misogyny, attacks on disabled people, and more. But there was a palpable sense that adding Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court represented a very dangerous leap in the assaults on people’s basic rights. The executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, who was arrested Tuesday, said, “My goal is for this nomination to not go through. The stakes have never been higher.”

Among those arrested the first day for protesting inside the hearing room was actor Piper Perabo, the star of Covert Affairs. Afterwards she tweeted, “Many citizens before me have fought for the equal rights of women. I can’t be silent when someone is nominated to the Supreme Court who would take our equal rights away.”

As Refuse Fascism tweeted, “Now with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Trump/Pence regime is poised to impose an extreme and long-lasting transformation of the highest court in this country—a major leap in the consolidation of fascism.”


People from across the country answered the call to take direct action to stop the hearings. Here people protest in Hawaii. (Special to www.revcom.us/Revolution)

Protester at the hearings for confirmation of Kavanaugh being dragged out of the committee room by Capitol Police. Photo: AP

Women wore T-shirts that said “I Am What’s At Stake.” Photo: AP

Outbursts continued throughout the four days of hearings, disrupting and at times preventing them from going forward. Photo: AP

Some women wore black veils and put black tape over their mouths. Photo: AP


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