On Thursday October 4th hundreds of University of Vermont and Champlain College students walked out of their classes at noon to rally and speak out against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, this is what our comrade Kaitlin Chase said at the speakout.
Lets give it up for the fact that this action is joined by protests across the country! Harvard Alumni have drafted a letter to Dean Manning to stop Kavanaugh from teaching—he has already resigned! People in NYC protested the Yale Club today from 12-2. There was a sit in at Grand Central in NYC on Monday. Several groups including the ISO and Young DSA are holding a Speak out in Columbus today at 5pm. Let’s repeat that; As we speak, we are joined by walkouts countrywide. The impact of these actions was demonstrated on a small scale when 2 activists and survivors of sexual assault, Ana Maria Archilla and Maria Gallagher, stood up and demanded accountability from Senator Flake. When they refused to let him say thank you and carry on with business as fucking usual! We are grateful to these women. Who we are not grateful to is the FBI as they undoubtedly work to maintain status quo. As they go out of their way to state that the White House is their client. As if they were ever anything else.
It is not the FBI or the Democratic Party backing these brave ass women! The METOO movement provides the conditions necessary for these protests. As outraging the disgusting nature of Kavanaugh is, his sneering face of privileged indignation is not new. It is the same face that let off Clarence Thomas as Anita Hill withstood claims of being “delusional” and “seeking attention”—bullshit that will no longer fly!. The spineless Democratic Party can never be a substitute for movements like METOO. We see this clearly when we watch how Joe Biden proceeded over the awful treatment of Anita Hill or when democrats hide their own parties’ crooked ass connections to sexual assault. The difference now is that people are mobilizing and, through solidarity and joint effort, have the organized power to push back. To cause those in power to shake in their overpriced dress shoes.
Kavanaugh is the walking nightmare of sexual assault survivors. He is also a threat to us all, especially folks with ovaries. Already, around the world, 78,000 women die from unsafe abortion every year. In the US, 1 in 3 women need an abortion in their lifetime—a rate that will only increase with inequality and poverty. These numbers do not even include the countless others with reproductive capabilities such as genderqueer and trans peoples. A stark 90% of counties in the US are without an abortion provider, and in 2014 the Guttmacher Institute recorded that 40% of reproductive-age people lived in those counties. The info gets even more dismal for women of color, migrant women, poor women, and people who can reproduce but whose experiences are not taken into account.. Common sense, an extinct animal in the White House, tells us that these groups can’t plan for early abortion, nonetheless for time off and getting money for the travel and expenses.
On top of this, the prison population has increased by 500% while population itself has only increased 40%; black, brown, and poor women are seriously threatened with incarceration while simultaneously being those most likely to need abortions. And we know it’s not about “the children” when a 28 year old woman in ICE custody can miscarry from being thrown around and told it’s her fault. The current system is littered with crooked capitalists who time and time again are willing to make money off the suffering of others—from people left behind during climate change disasters to the countless folks of color murdered by police, from slaughtered Palestinian people to sexual assault survivors.
We must use this movement to hold people like Kavanaugh accountable and protest any chance they have to rise to power—and we know they got plenty. But we must also recognize that Kavanaugh is one player in a whole system that we must demand be held accountable. He is one hell of an ugly face to these already present threats. He is a right wing ideologue hell bent on threatening the rights of women, queer folks, and people of color. And he is born out of a rise in right wing nationalism, misogyny, and white supremacy. We won’t beat him on his turf—in the courts or in a booth. Our efforts cannot be measured by a ballot box. If Kavanaugh were to be appointed, it would not be because our inspiring efforts were empty. It would be because of how utterly rotten the system is. Neither party takes us seriously—we have to make them. Hell, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said it best herself; she would not want to impeach Kavanaugh as democrats are “not about dividing the country. We’re about ‘E pluribus unum.” She is right, the parties are United—United against the people. And when the people stand united against them, we are unstoppable. All the money in the world can’t protect them from our indignation!
When I started to get worn down by the day to day atrocities of the world, when I saw at two a.m. Donald fucking Trump get “elected,”, I didn’t know where to turn. Since then, I have organized as a part of the ISO and joined in pushing against the heaping piles of bullshit this system serves. I learned from striking nurse, teachers, and hotel workers that the best tools for ring broken down involve shutting shit down! It involves walk outs. Sit ins. Strikes. In the resounding calls of Black Lives Matter I heard the value of mass disruption and agitation. In the voices of Deborah Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, Dr. Christine Blakey Ford, and Anita Hill I heard how to speak truth to power and the fraternities that breed it! We are beyond agitated! We are motivated! By misogyny. By the inability to live healthy happy lives free of fear and oppression! When Nixon staked the courts against Roe v Wade, the people stood up. When pipelines were snaking their way through indigenous land, the people stood up. When Black Lives, immigrant, women, trans folk, queer folk, and sexual assault survivors are under attack, WE STAND UP. We cannot stop applying pressure to the gushing wound caused by far right threats. We are not backing down! So, when the strength of Dr. Blasey Ford was met with Kavanaugh giving his rich boy cv in between sniffles of “poor me”, I knew exactly where to turn. I turned to organizing. I turned to the streets. I turned to you. Now that’s all turn our middle fingers to Kavanaugh and his crooked ass crew.