Large crowd gathers in Santa Rosa to protest 'rushed' Kavanaugh vote

Across the Bay Area and the nation Wednesday night, hastily-called rallies were held to resist Brett Kavanaugh's nomination and what's perceived as a rushed probe from the FBI. 

In Santa Rosa, more than 100 people gathered at Old Courthouse Square downtown, concerned about the news from Washington, DC.

They waved signs, and chanted "Kavan- NO", as passing drivers showed support with a cacophony of honking horns. 

Protesters were focused, not only on Kavanaugh's fate, but also President Trump's latest attack on his Christine Blasey Ford. 

"That was despicable, this is the President of the United States and he represents all of us and when he comes out like that, with that attitude, that dismissive, he's wrong for America," said Michael Maxson of Windsor. 

Maxson was referring to Trump's Tuesday night comments at a rally in Mississippi, in which he mocked Professor Ford directly. 

"How did you get home? I don't remember. How did you get there? I don't remember", he recited, imitating her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"She knew exactly where she was, she knew the date, she knew the neighborhood," declared protester Kim Clemente of Santa Rosa.

Clemente held a large sign scrawled with the names of undecided Senators, who she hopes will be swayed. 

"These are the people who matter over the next few days, these are the people who literally hold the future of American law in their hands for the next two generations." 

Among those in the crowd, a mother of two who said for her, the national spectacle isn't political, but personal.  

"I've actually been raped, and I've also been sexually assaulted from childhood," said 35 year old Marina Morgan of Santa Rosa.

Morgan admires Ford for coming forward, and worries that if Kavanaugh gets through, victims will retreat, as before.  

"We want to pull people out, to tell what's happened, so that people are caught and it's stopped."
Sex assault aside, Kavanaugh's critics say his anger and evasiveness before the committee show him to be partisan- more advocate than judge.    

"It's his demeanor, his attitude toward the Senators," said protest organizer Becky Montgomery, "and the fact there's a good chance he's lying under oath saying he didn't drink to excess."

Critics also expressed pessimism about the speed and possible superficiality of the FBI investigation.

"I don't think they did any investigation, " said demonstrator Angela Luscombe of Santa Rosa.

"I think there were limitations put on them by the President, to appease us, but we won't be appeased, we're not going to stand for this." 

Some protesters say no matter the outcome, regardless of party loyalty, the ordeal is painful for all. 

"I think any person should be uncomfortable," said David Lewis of Santa Rosa, "whatever your affiliation, this kind of thing should touch your heart and your mind and you should respond from those places."

Rally organizers, including the groups and Indivisible, hold Wednesday evening rallies on the square every week, and plan to contiinue until election day.

The SCOTUS controversy has boosted the crowd size.   

"This is a key moment, we have to act, and Kavanaugh has proven himself unfit," declared Clemente.