WASHINGTON — As guests filed into Union Station to hear a keynote speech by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Thursday evening, the scene outside included protesters dressed in "Handmaid's Tale" costumes and chanting their support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
The protesters from the group Demand Justice sent the message to attendees that they "still believe" Blasey Ford, according to video and photos taken by journalists present. Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault last year.
Kavanaugh's appearance would be his first major public speech since taking the bench, as part of conservative law organization the Federalist Society's annual convention. The event was dedicated to the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Kavanaugh arrives to speak: Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to get hero's welcome from conservative Federalist Society
Attendees were met with cries of "I believe Dr. Ford, I believe Anita Hill," as they waited to enter the event. "Kavanaugh's a liar! Kavanaugh's unfit!"
A large screen played Blasey Ford's public testimony describing the alleged assault during Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings before Congress last year. In her testimony, Blasey Ford said that Kavanaugh attacked her while they were both in high school.
A banner hanging outside read "Kavanaugh lied." And several protesters dressed as handmaids stood solemnly in protest outside Union Station.
"You can claim to respect survivors of sexual assault or you can pay for a celebration of Brett Kavanaugh, but you can’t do both. Any organization that doesn’t want to be complicit in normalizing Kavanaugh should withdraw its support from The Federalist Society and pledge not to give in the future," Katie O’Connor, Senior Counsel for Demand Justice, said in an emailed statement.
Democrats called on Kavanaugh to be impeached after new allegations surfaced against the justice in September. Kavanaugh has denied all the claims against him.
Facebook also came under scrutiny over its reported sponsorship of the event.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 candidate, has sparred with the company and its founder in recent times over its policies, including one against fact checking political advertisements.
"Facebook is spending millions lobbying the government as they face antitrust scrutiny. They're going on a charm offensive with Republican lawmakers. Now, they're sponsoring a dinner headlined by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Let's call this what it is: Corruption," Warren tweeted.
There are also handmaids standing outside the Federalist Society-Brett Kavanaugh dinner. As Federalist Society members pass by them in tuxedos. pic.twitter.com/4Q4zTLJdEL— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) November 14, 2019
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brett Kavanaugh's keynote protested by Christine Blasey Ford supporters