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Tampa students protest Kavanaugh nomination, stand with survivors

By Chrisley Carpio

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Tampa, FL – On October 4, over 20 students protested at the University of South Florida against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Students denounced the Trump administration for the mishandling of the accusations against Kavanaugh, their rushed FBI investigation, and Trump’s mocking and blatant disrespect for Christine Blasey Ford, one of the survivors. Protesters were also disgusted by the blatant rape apologism demonstrated by prominent Senate Republicans, such as Lindsey Graham.

Students held signs that read, “#IBelieveHer,” “Me Too” and “Stand with survivors” to link this event to the movement against sexual violence and the fight to hold rich, powerful men like Kavanaugh accountable for their crimes against women. They chanted, “Lock him up!” to show that he should be held accountable on charges of sexual assault on top of being denied a seat on the most powerful court in the U.S.

Kavanaugh’s appointment comes on the heels of Trump’s July interview with Fox News where he announced his intent to undermine Roe v. Wade and make abortion a “states’ issue,” or in other words, weaken federal protections for the right to a safe, legal abortion.

“If Kavanaugh is appointed, the Supreme Court will be the most conservative it’s been in in decades, and some justices have all but committed to try to dismantle Roe v. Wade,” declared SDS member Christine Lacy.

SDSers also connected this to other cases of sexual violence from campus life, where administrators covered the cases up or refused to take action. Pi Kappa Phi at USF was suspended in 2016 after they raped a 16-year-old girl who later sued the university. Despite a temporary suspension that year, that fraternity continues to operate at USF to this day.

“Sexual assault is not only a problem in the U.S. government, but also on our own campus,” said SDS member Taylor Cook.

“Every 98 seconds, an American – especially women – is sexually assaulted. How can we expect to live in this country with dignity when we can’t even trust the government to maintain our safety? This is wrong and will not be accepted from anyone!” said another SDS member.

“Kavanaugh certainly isn’t the only heinous example of sexual assault lauded in our society by those that rule it,” said SDS member, Liz Kramer. “In 2016 a taped message from Donald Trump, one of the primary sources of support for Kavanaugh, came out in which he claimed he could do whatever he wanted to women and that all you have to do is ‘grab her by the p*****.’ SDS firmly opposes this economically and sexually exploitative system that allows women to be paid less than men, allows one in four women to be sexually assaulted, and props up sexist men to make laws that govern our bodies!”

#TampaFL #StudentMovement #InJusticeSystem #SDS #US #PeoplesStruggles #USF #DonaldTrump #Kavanaugh