Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) questions Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) questions Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pressley Applauded for 'Honest and Courageous' Message on Sexual Assault Allegations Against Joe Biden

"I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can't address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House."

Andrea Germanos

Rep. Ayanna Pressley drew praise Monday for a blog post addressing the sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and calling for a "necessary" conversation about true survivor justice.

Pressley also called for a response from Biden "that models the empathy, diligence, and acknowledgement of broken systems that this conversation demands."

The Medium post by Pressley, a Massachusetts Democrat who last year endorsed Biden's then-primary rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, refers to not only Biden's alleged 1993 assault of former Senate aide Tara Reade but also the hopes of "survivors and marginalized people from all walks of life." The essay eyes the current political moment as a possible turning point for inching the nation closer "to reconciling our history of structural violence and oppression" and notes that Pressley is herself a survivor.

Pressley wrote, in part:

We are in the throes of an election of the greatest consequence—one that will determine if core rights and tenets of democracy survive in this nation. The stakes cannot be overstated. But I have no patience for any person who tells me that is a reason to lower my voice. I reject the false choice that my party and our nominee can't address the allegations at hand and defeat the occupant of the White House. [...]

It will take discipline and courage, but survivors and marginalized people from all walks of life are watching, wondering if—this time—te conversation might actually change. So I'm here to ask the Biden campaign and the nominee to give a response that models the empathy, diligence, and acknowledgement of broken systems that this conversation demands. I'm asking for true partnership with survivors and advocates, and for policy commitments that get us closer as a nation to reconciling our history of structural violence and oppression.

"This is leadership," said author and ZORA senior editor Morgan Jerkins.

Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of women's justice advocacy organization UltraViolet, called Pressley's op-ed "honest and courageous" and said it echoes "what so many of us are looking for."

Pressley's post came the same day Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) backed the call for an independent investigation into Reade's allegation.

The Hill reported:

"We need an investigation that has independence that will then ensure that the facts are established," Markey said on his way to a late afternoon confirmation vote in the Capitol.

"It should be independent," he added.

Merkley had a similar assessment. "I think it’s important to have appropriate independent scrutiny brought to bear to help inform all of us about the situation," he said.

Sen. Time Kaine, (D-Va.) also said Monday he wanted "to get all the Senate records and see if there was ever a complaint filed" by Reade. If law prevents the complaint's disclsoure, the law should be changed so that the complaint can be revealed, Kaine added.

Biden last week denied the allegations. "The claims are false," he said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo