On Oct. 5, about 300 people gathered outside of the Massachusetts State House in protest of the bipartisan move to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. At the time, Kavanaugh was not yet confirmed but all signs portended that with the support of Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) he would secure his lifetime seat as a Supreme Court judge deciding over the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the U.S.
Socialist and progressive groups that endorsed the rally included Boston Democratic Socialists of America, Boston Socialist Alternative, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, NARAL Pro-choice Massachusetts, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Activists speak out and make connections
While at the State House, several speakers denounced Kavanaugh, talked about sexual assault survivors, and made connections with the socio-economic context that leaves women more prone to be victims of sexual violence.
One speaker, Tori Bilcik of the Believe Survivors Boston, said: “I wish that we could be gathering together today in celebration, but it is more like a day of mourning. … I am sad, I am frustrated, I feel betrayed and, in some ways, I feel like I saw this coming. But most of all, I am furious.”
Another speaker Gillian Mason, co-director of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, highlighted the fact that her organization signed a letter of endorsement to stand with victims of sexual violence.
Mason stated in an interview: “We signed on as an endorser, just because this really fits with our values and … how we are all feeling with the Kavanaugh situation right now. … I just don’t think we should have sexual predators as our Supreme Court justices. It really should be quite that simple.”
Mason made a key connection between women’s oppression and the class nature of their oppression saying, “This is a struggle for every woman, but we want to be thinking most about the people who are going to be most impacted … and those are always women who are at the bottom of the economic food chain.”
After the speak-out at the State House, the people took to the streets chanting: “You are not above the law, down with Kavanaugh” and “Our Stories, Our Truth, We say #MeToo” as well as “Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay, Kavanaugh go away!”
The protesters were met by roaring cheers from people on the streets and driving by in their cars. Several women joined the demonstration near the Haymarket Plaza and joined in the chorus of chanting, “Our lives, our truth/We Say #MeToo!”
Fight Kavanaugh and sexism – Build for a revolution!
The demonstration concluded with a speak-out at the Boston Courthouse. PSL candidate-member Angela Mae denounced the entire politics of Brett Kavanaugh, and drew connections to white supremacy, capitalist imperialism, patriarchy, and the ways in which Kavanaugh’s political history and trajectory undermine any semblance of democracy in the United States.
She said: “Kavanaugh is the scum of the earth. Not only is he a sexual abuser and patriarch, he is a corporate hack of the capitalist ruling class. He should be on trial for his role in building up this racist police state and being a advocate for imperialist wars. He hasn’t just harmed women in the U.S. but all over the world through his support for racist war mongering policies. His support for mass spying, the use of torture, the domination of money in politics should also be on trial! We have to confront his entire record. We can believe survivors and call him out on his pro-imperialist racist policies.”
She further explained some of Kavanaugh’s past policies. “Judge Kavanaugh forwarded invasive spying on everyone in the United States. He described mass surveillance as ‘entirely consistent’ with the U.S. Constitution.” And “Kavanaugh played a role in the Bush torture policy. Torture is against U.S. and international law, that alone should disqualify him. Kavanaugh was appointed by President Trump, who once promised he would ‘bring back waterboarding and … a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
Concluding her speech, Angela Mae roused the masses of people in attendance and appealed to them to join a revolutionary socialist party, the PSL, to fight against Kavanaugh but also for an end to the system that props him up.
Angela ended with: “If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the court will also be more likely to uphold capital punishment and solitary confinement, weaken anti-discrimination laws, roll back LGBTQ rights, and end affirmative action in college admissions. It will shift even further right on issues such as the environment, civil rights, fair housing, voting rights and disability rights, as well. We in the PSL believe that sexism and racism are fundamentally tied to capitalist imperialism and the two corporate parties cannot liberate us. We are building a revolutionary party that can unite all oppressed and exploited people to fight for all of our rights and for a society where the people are in power! If you want to fight for a revolution! Join us!”