During national walkout, Philly survivors of sexual violence show solidarity

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The allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is the latest scandal to invoke the #MeToo movement.

After Tarana Burke, the founder of the movement, called for a national walkout to show solidarity with the two women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, about 70 people heeded the call, gathering outside Philadelphia City Hall.

Participants were encouraged to wear black and take photos of the event, then share them using the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors.

“We have a courageous woman reporting her assault to all of us,” said activist and City Council candidate Tonya Bah. “We stand with her.”

In the weeks after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, California professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward alleging that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Over the weekend, Deborah Ramirez came forward claiming Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while the two were in college at Yale University.

City Councilman Derek Green was one of the few men in attendance, and said it’s his duty as a man to show support for survivors.

“When anyone speaks up, we should give them the opportunity to have their voices heard and we need to fully investigate what happened,” he said.

The event also served as an opportunity to call out state Sen. Daylin Leach, who was accused by multiple women of inappropriate touching and conversations late last year.

Erica Woods, one of Leach’s accusers, recounted how he allegedly groped her leg.

Woods said those abusing their power are on notice.

“To all abusers and predators, I give a warning,” she said. “We are organizing, we are taking names, and your time is up.”

Both Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

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