Sunday’s vigil is one of several recent shows of support for the Palo Alto University professor. She came forward last week with allegations that Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her in the 1980s when they were both high school students.
In a letter to California Senator Dianne Feinstein, she alleged that a “very drunken” Kavanaugh forced her into a locked room and jumped on top of her, covering her mouth so as to muffle her screams for help. She claims he groped her and unsuccessfully tried to remove her clothes. She feared that he might “inadvertently kill [her].” Ford was able to escape and stumble downstairs when a friend of Kavanaugh tried to join in on the assault.
Kavanaugh vehemently denies the allegations, saying in a statement, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation.”
The allegations came on the eve of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was nominated by President Trump to replace outgoing Associate Justice, Anthony Kennedy.
Bay Area congresswoman Anna Eshoo initially learned of the allegations in a July meeting with Ford. In an interview with the Washington Post, Eshoo described that “it was obvious [Ford] bore the scars of what she had been subjected to” and that “[Ford] doesn’t have a political bone in her body.”
As a result of the allegations, Ford has been subjected to enormous amounts of public scrutiny, both positive and negative. She has reportedly received death threats and has fled her Palo Alto home.
Bay Area residents were quick to jump to her support, holding a rally in Palo Alto on Thursday and raising over $400,000 on GoFundMe to pay for her and her family’s legal and security bills. Residents have also sent hundreds of letters in support and chartered a plane with a banner reading “Thank you, Christine. We have your back.” A Change.org petition created by 15-year-olds has garnered nearly 40,000 signatures.
Ford had initially requested a full FBI investigation into the matter, but following negotiations with Senators, has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee this Thursday regarding the allegations.
Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, came forward Sunday night with new allegations against Kavanaugh.
As people began to head home from the event, the chanting persisted. “This is what democracy looks like.”
Students aged 18 and older may vote in the 2018 midterm elections. The deadline to register is October 22.