MAPLEWOOD, NJ - More than 50 people gathered in Ricalton Square at 1 p.m. on Monday in support of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, and all sexual assault survivors, as well as to express their opposition to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Organized by SOMA Action, the rally in Maplewood coincided with a nationwide walkout/ moment of solidarity at 1 p.m., which was organized by 24 groups, including the Women's March, Center for Reproductive Rights, and the National Women's Law Center.
Many protesters held signs with the message "#believesurvivors," which was the national event's hashtag, and wore black, which was part of the National Walk Out as well.
Some signs directly supported Blasey Ford, such as "I believe Dr. Ford," while others held signs with more general messages like "Stop the patriarchy."
Lillian Hawkins, President of SOMA Action, addressed the crowd, stating, "we are here today about our outrage," and because Kavanaugh cannot be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Libby Clarke, Communications Director of SOMA Action, said "I refuse to cede to anger. I stand with Dr. Ford and everyone here and I refuse to stand in the shame they’ve relied on before. We must vote them out for everyone who has gone through this, or known someone who has."
Clarke also said she was at the protest in support of the many who have told their stories of assault only to have them not believed at the time, and then continued to not be believed. "The problem is endemic," said Clarke.
Several women spoke to the crowd, encouraging all to vote, to work with SOMA Action to get out the vote, and encouraging all not to be complacent and to stay active and engaged.
One speaker said it was time to stop infantilizing boys and time to start holding them accountable; another said it was time to have a female majority in Congress.
After the speakers, the protestors faced Maplewood Avenue with their signs held high before dispersing a little before 2 p.m.