When Ayanna Pressley asked, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed up to help send a message to U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake in Boston: Don’t vote for Brett Kavanaugh!
“That’s really what activism is all about — when your friends and your fellow survivors and when your fellow activists tell you to show up and ask you to show up, you show up,” Ocasio-Cortez said yesterday.
The two rising Democratic political stars unseated longtime incumbents in the congressional primaries. Ocasio-Cortez is running for New York’s 14th Congressional District after a historic upset over longtime U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley and Pressley defeated 10-term incumbent Michael E. Capuano in the Boston-area 7th Congressional District.
Both stressed the importance of activism if Democrats hope to prevent Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
“We are powerful and you see that here today,” Pressley said. “We will continue to resist, to persist, to mobilize, to be in our activism and to agitate when necessary. This is how every social movement — every right that we have right now — this is how it was brought to fruition.”
Although the two have been associated with a “Blue Wave” of newfound victories as a message to the Democratic establishment, Ocasio-Cortez said it isn’t up to people like her and Pressley to get others to listen.
“It’s really about the activism and organizing that are happening throughout districts to get representatives to listen,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The best we can do is advocate for our communities, represent our districts, but ultimately it’s going to be everyday people contacting their elected officials that is going to get them to change their minds.”
Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez spoke to hundreds of protesters assembled on City Hall Plaza yesterday morning with less than a day’s notice to rally against Kavanaugh as Flake was attending the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit.
“Sen. Flake, Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, can you hear us now?” Pressley said, met with uproarious applause. “The American people deserve the truth. We are entitled to the truth. Survivors are entitled to justice and after Dr. Ford has been sentenced to a lifetime of trauma and shame and isolation, Brett Kavanaugh is not entitled to a lifetime appointment.”
Pressley spoke of the two women who confronted Flake in an elevator about their own experiences with sexual assault.
“Years ago we would have said, ‘That’s not the appropriate thing to do. This is a man of power, of privilege and prestige walking into an elevator. Leave him alone.’ But those days are over,” Pressley said. “They do not see the humanity in us. A decision was moved in that moment because he was prompted and forced to see the humanity in his fellow brethren. That’s why these stories are so important.”