By Erin Hegarty
Armed with signs bearing messages like “Kava nope,” “Believe women” and “The world is watching,” about 100 people gathered Wednesday evening in downtown Naperville to protest the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The FBI this week completed an investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh following last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of attempting to sexually assault when they were in high school. The Senate may vote Friday on his nomination.
Naperville resident Karen Peck helped organize the event, held at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street, as part of a nationwide series of “Stop Kavanuagh” vigils orchestrated by MoveOn, a national group that cites a mission of social justice and political progress. Peck said she was impressed with the number of people, including U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, who attended the event with about a day’s notice.
Foster addressed protesters under Naperville’s Freedom of Speech pavilion.
Something that cannot be ignored are the results of an election, Foster said, as he encouraged people to vote in upcoming November and April elections.
“The only way we can never lose is if the next generation remembers that votes matter and elections matter and bad things happen when good people stay home,” Foster told the crowd.
Following the address, protesters stood on the sidewalk adjacent to Jackson Avenue chanting and clapping as passing motorists honked their horns.
“The Supreme Court should be a nonpartisan, deliberative, check and balance body. Brett Kavanaugh threatens that,” said Dianne McGuire with Indivisible Naperville. “The lying he has done under oath about his life in general should disqualify him instantly.”
Naperville resident Neal Sternecky held an orange triangular sign with “Devil’s Triangle” written in the middle and the faces of President Donald Trump, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kavanaugh in each of the corners.
“It seemed all too fitting, and sadly all branches of government are represented (in the sign),” Sternecky said. “I think it’s really unbelievable that Kavanaugh has not withdrawn yet.”
Batavia resident Cherie Jones Das said it was important she attend Wednesday’s protest to ensure her voice and those of others are heard.
“I know people who have had things like (sexual assault) happen to them. We need to stand up,” Jones Das said. “Kavanaugh should not be a justice on our Supreme Court.”
Wednesday marked the first time Hinsdale resident Tony DeLorenzo participated in a protest.
“I’m out here because of fear. I’m fearful for our democracy,” DeLorenzo said. “When credible sexual assault accusations started to come out, it was obvious this nomination should be shot down.”
Aurora resident Tania Taverson stood on the sidewalk adjacent to Jackson Avenue with a sign that read “Believe women.”