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Protesters gather in Syracuse to Oppose Kavanaugh as Hearings Take Place in Washington

Scott Willis/WAER News

Nearly two dozen protesters gathered outside the Federal Building in Syracuse Thursday to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and show their support for victims of sexual violence.

The protesters engaged in coordinated chats such as "Kava-NO!" and "Time's Up."

The protest was one of many across the country, and took place while Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulting her over three decades ago. 

Silvia Macor is a member of Uplift Syracuse, a progressive advocacy group. She explained how friends of hers came forward with survivor stories of their own and encouraged others to be brave enough as well.

Credit Scott Willis/WAER News
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning

"Just like the patriotic women who have come forward against Judge Kavanaugh, they had nothing to gain by sharing their stories with me. They wanted to unburden their souls and feel that need to be understood. Survivors voices need to be heard and believed. That's why we need to cancel Kavanaugh."

Ashlie Lovine could be seen wiping away tears at the demonstration. A survivor of child sexual assault, Lovine worries that too many people miss the signs of abuse and she wants the current culture to change.

"The more you're quiet, the more things are just going keep getting brushed under the rug. So the people in power need to realize that this is a big problem. The more money and power you have, the more you're able to do it and get away with it."

Tiffany Brec is the campus project coordinator for Vera House, a crisis center for victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Brec encouraged the protesters to come together and make ‘noise,’ so broken people, communities and legal systems can one day be fixed.

"The impact of somebody being victimized, being harmed, does not just stay with that individual. That impact ripples out into our communities. It gives us racism and sexism and opiod abuse and all sorts of really harmful things that we all end up being impacted by."

Meanwhile, the confirmation fight over Judge Kavanaugh will continue in the Senate as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon.  Kavanuagh delivered a firey 45 minute opening statement denying the allegations. Several Republican senators have recently expressed their reluctance to support him. 

Credit Scott Willis/WAER News
Protesters gathered to show their support of sexual abuse victims.