“I don’t care how many members they chase, how many people they harass here in the halls,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor speech Wednesday. “We will not be intimidated by these people.”
The “they” McConnell referenced are those who have descended on Capitol Hill over the past month to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. Progressive groups have organized rallies and vigils in Washington, DC, and around the United States opposing the nomination. But two groups, Women’s March and the Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPD), have used more aggressive tactics, culminating with Ana Maria Archila confronting Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in an elevator on live TV.
That moment, which helped prompt Flake to pause the nomination process to allow a one-week FBI investigation, was the result of months of work. According to Women’s March co-founder Linda Sarsour, the two groups started working closely together to plan a protest of President Trumps’ so-called zero-tolerance immigration policy in June, bringing several thousand women to the Hart Senate office building in Washington, DC. “The intention around that first action was: We wanted to take white women from this idea of marching to more high-impact direct action,” Sarsour said in an interview with Rewire.News.
Plans to protest Kavanaugh began in early July, according to CPD national field organizer Darius Gordon. They began running actions immediately after Kavanaugh was announced as the nominee. “We knew that Kavanaugh was coming in to meet with senators around his confirmation, so our first action was actually…