Pro-Abortion Left-Wingers Rally Against Kavanaugh at Boston City Hall Plaza

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U.S. Senator Jeff Flake was just doing his job when he called for a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into accusations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last week but “has an opportunity to do something really special” if he votes against Kavanaugh on the floor of the Senate, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Walsh was among several politicians who addressed hundreds of left-wing anti-Kavanaugh protesters on Boston City Hall Plaza on Monday, before an appearance by Flake at a separate event there. Several media outlets have published video coverage.

“Judge Kavanaugh, or Brett Kavanaugh, showed last week that he’s not listening. There’s no question about that. He showed us, and the Republican leadership showed us that they’re not listening, either. They’re not listening to witnesses. They’re not listening to survivors. And they’re certainly not listening to the American people,” Walsh said.

Walsh emphasized what is at stake.

“The ruling of the United States Supreme Court, what’s at jeopardy, we all know. We know. Workers rights and voting rights and women’s reproductive rights. And so much of our life is in the hands of the United States Supreme Court today,” Walsh said.

Walsh told the crowd that a female Emerson College student stopped him earlier Monday and asked him what he’s going to do about Kavanaugh. He told the crowd he would protest.

“This must be my 50th rally that I’ve attended in the last two years. A rally for women’s rights, immigrant rights, Muslim rights. All of the rights that this administration [in] Washington are trying to take away. And we all know what’s happening right now,” Walsh said.

Democrats are zeroing in on Flake because they think they might be able to snag his vote. Flake, a Republican from Arizona who detests President Donald Trump, voted for Kavanaugh in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday morning, but later in the day, after being confronted in an elevator by a woman who described herself as a sexual assault survivor, called for an F.B.I. investigation of Kavanaugh. Flake’s threat to vote against Kavanaugh on the Senate floor forced Republican leaders to delay taking a vote until the investigation (now under way) can be completed.

Two other Republicans – U.S. Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – are also thought to be possible no votes on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Republicans can only afford to lose one of the three remaining Republican fence-sitters without needing at least one Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh.

Democrats in the Senate have been trying to delay the nomination as much as possible, hoping to reach the November general election and beyond. Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, but if Democrats win a majority in November, then in January 2019 they can block Kavanaugh’s confirmation or vote him down on the floor of the Senate.

To that end, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Malden) told the crowd the limited investigation ordered by President Trump into claims against Kavanaugh from 1982 made by Christine Blasey Ford is not enough.

“Let us have the F.B.I. have an investigation with no duration limit and no scope of investigation. The F.B.I. must be entitled to the right to have a fair, a complete, and a total investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, and all of the other accusers who are now coming forward,” Markey said. “Sexual assault has no time limit in terms of our ability to know about what happened – to, not only Dr. Ford, but anyone else who was abused by Brett Kavanaugh.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a 2011 Boston University graduate who upset a longtime New York City Democratic member of Congress on June 26 and is expected to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatves in November, also addressed the crowd. While she is a member of the Democratic Party, she describes herself as a Democratic Socialist.

“Sexual assault is about the abuse of power. It is always women who are marginalized. It is the young, it is the interns, it is the immigrant, it is the trans. They are always most at risk because society listens to them the least. And that is why a man believes that an elite education, a high income, and his rich friends can get away with sexual assault,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She made a reference to the 11 Republican senators who voted for Kavanaugh on the Senate Judiciary Committee being all men.

“Can you imagine is Brett Kavanaugh had to sit in front of a panel of 11 women of color deciding his fate?” Ocasio-Cortez said to cheers. “Could you imagine? Could you imagine?”

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who upset U.S. Representative Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) in the Democratic primary on September 4 and is also expected to be elected to Congress in November, also spoke.

“I’ll tell you the truth, as a woman of color who has a platform, I have been asked to not come off as outraged, or angry, for fear of being labeled as an angry black woman. Well, I am angry,” Pressley said, to cheers.

“And I am outraged,” Pressley said, her voice rising, “because this is outrageous!”

She noted that several Republicans, including Kavanaugh, called the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week a disgrace.

“When the real disgrace is a tolerant rape culture, a culture tolerant of sexual violence, that has used rape and sexual violence as a tool of oppression, as a weapon of war. And we have been complicit in our silence,” Pressley said. “Our nation’s disgrace is a violent history wrought with predators and perpetrators who tried to rob us of our voice, of our power, of our dignity, of our hope, of our joy.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, which supports legal abortion, was one of the principal organizers of the protest rally.