Kavanaugh Case Sparks Bloomington Protests

Bloomington may be over 600 miles from Capital Hill, but locals still made their voices heard.

Three women have now publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. These allegations sparked protests across the country where many voiced their opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Here at the Monroe County Courthouse, protestors stood in front of a banner that read, “Vote No to Brett Kavanaugh” and encouraged locals to call Indiana Senators.

“As a collective, we’re not going to be silenced,” Indivisible member Abby Ang said. “We will continue to speak up.” Ang spoke in front of crowds about Kavanaugh’s policies and views regarding health care and women’s rights. She believes this is not only a chance to re-evaluate our leaders in office, but an opportunity to stand behind survivors of sexual assault.

Although several different groups were seen protesting on campus, some students believe this case revolves mostly around partisanship. “I think the Democrats are being horribly partisan on this issue,” IU junior Tyler Combs said. However, he says he puts the blame on both parties. “Republicans started it. The Democrats are escalating it and I don’t think it’s going to get better anytime soon.”

After Kavanaugh’s first accuser publicly came forward, the #BelieveSurvivors movement took social media by storm. On Monday, a nationwide walkout was planned in support of the movement and survivors. The Middle Way House organized the Bloomington walkout where locals were seen wearing all black showcasing their support of Dr. Ford and all sexual assault survivors.

Long before this case, RAISE, an IU sexual education group stood behind survivors here on IU’s campus. The student-led group promotes healthy sexual communication and educating students on sexual assault awareness. RAISE member Kaiden Ketchum believes Kavanaugh’s case is an opportunity to enhance understanding of sexual assault. However, she says we must resolve cases, such as Kavanaugh’s in an effective and correct manner. “This issue isn’t going to be solved pointing fingers,” she said. “We all just need to start listening to each other.” Combs agrees with Ketchum saying many voices are being silenced. He says, “We need to deal with it in an unbiased manner where everyone’s stories and perspectives are told.”

After the hearing today, the Judiciary Committee will hold a vote tomorrow on whether or not to confirm Kavanaugh and the full Senate could vote as early as Monday.