As Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination heads swiftly toward a procedural vote scheduled for Friday and the beginning of debate in Senate, energized protest vigils in more than 300 U.S. cities and towns across the country Thursday night gave lawmakers a taste of what's to come in the next 48 hours as constituents intensify their demands the nominee be rejected.
The vigils were organized by MoveOn.org, and the group noted the high participation level in key states as Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Susan Collins of Maine, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—none of whom have stated exactly how they'll vote—remain key targets for public pressure.
100s of vigils tonight. Minot, ND, Portland ME, Anchorage, Charleston WV, more, on 48 hours notice - along with huge wave of grassroots calls. This movement is electric; we will prevail - and for damn sure we'll march to the polls. (Photos via @NARAL) #StopKavanaugh #believewomen pic.twitter.com/OkfVcqGYOc
— Anna Galland (@annagalland) October 4, 2018
— Karen R. Sanderson (@KRS_RogueShark) October 4, 2018
— WV Citizen Action (@WVCAG) October 4, 2018
— UltraViolet (@UltraViolet) October 3, 2018
In Portland, Maine, several protesters also visited Collins' office to deliver letters from across the state, imploring her to oppose the judge—but reported that they were driven away when the senator's staff called the police.
"We're all peaceful here, no one was harassing the staff," a Maine resident named Nicki told Common Dreams. "We just wanted a few minutes of their time to deliver some letters and they really wouldn't allow that to happen."
In states where senators have made their planned votes clear, vigils offered a visual demonstration of how strongly Americans oppose Kavanaugh's nomination due to the hastily-executed FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against him and the Republican Party's clear demonstration of apathy and cruelty toward survivors, as well as Kavanaugh's display of partisanship during his Senate hearing last week, his anti-choice views, his views on presidential accountability, and evidence that he's lied under oath multiple times.
— Holly Glaser (@glaser_holly) October 4, 2018
INCREDIBLE last-minute protest-rally-vigil tonight at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in Salt Lake City.
— (((Ashley))) (@AshleySWeitz) October 4, 2018
Proud to be part of tonight’s vigil at Kings County Supreme Court in #Brooklyn to demand that all senators must believe women and vote NO on Kavanaugh. #StopKavanaugh #MoveOn #BelieveSurvivors #BeliveWomen #VoteNov6 pic.twitter.com/6vGqeoNvp1
— Saba AlRawi (@sabaalrawi81) October 4, 2018
The vigils came ahead of mass demonstrations planned in Washington, D.C., including a rally following a march to the Supreme Court, beginning at 12:30pm on Thursday.
We’re marching from Kavanaugh’s current courthouse to the one he hopes to ascend to. We’ll do everything we can to make sure he doesn’t get there. #CancelKavanaugh #BelieveSurvivors pic.twitter.com/V8oyu0kxpR
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 1, 2018