Ahead of a final vote in the U.S. Senate, protesters in Seattle demonstrated against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Westlake Park on Thursday night, saying the process has cast aside women and their sexual assault experiences.
"We need to send them a message back. Our nation can do better than Brett Kavanaugh," said Bree Black Horse, an attorney and member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, as she spoke to the crowd. "March today. Say enough is enough already."
Led by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women group, hundreds of people marched downtown, from Westlake to the Federal Building on Thursday as they protested not only against Kavanaugh's nomination but against president Donald Trump's record on women's rights.
"Why did the Democratic establishment not fight to block his nomination in the first place when they knew that even before the sexual assault allegations came to rise, he was a real threat to the rights of women?" said Seattle council member Kshama Sawant, who spoke at the park ahead of the march.
Kavanaugh on Friday morning cleared another hurdle to become the next sitting judge on the U.S. Supreme Court, when Republicans garnered the Senate votes they needed to limit debate and move on to a confirmation vote likely on Saturday.
This has been months in the making after a woman, Christine Blasey Ford, first accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault decades ago. Since then two other women have come forward with allegations against the nominee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh on September 27. Senator Jeff Flake said he would only vote "yes" on the floor if the FBI took a week to investigate the claim, and the FBI completed its investigation this week.
Margo Heights, who spoke at Westlake and is a member of Refuse Fascism, said she remembered the hearings in which Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas over sexual harassment allegations.
It's "seared into the memory of a lot of women," she said. While many believed there had been progress made since then on women's rights, Heights said Blasey Ford's testimony shows misogyny is still alive and well.
But she said she thought there's more to lose with Kavanaugh's confirmation now that Trump is president.
"This moment right now is just so much more dangerous because of everything that's at stake," she said.