#BelieveSurvivors

Celebs, women from all over the country hold walkout in show of support for Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez

As the clock ticks down to Thursday when Christine Blasey Ford is expected to appear on Capitol Hill to testify about her sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee, women around the nation walked out of work on Monday in solidarity with Ford. Outspoken celebrities like Debra Messing and Emmy Rossum walked out joined by the cast and crew of their respective TV shows and posted photos on social media of themselves holding signs reading “I believe Dr. Ford” and “I believe Deborah Ramirez,” the second woman who has come forward with an allegation of sexual misconduct against the embattled nominee.

In Emmy Rossum’s case, she posted a video of herself and the cast and crew of Showtime’s series Shameless holding a moment of silence during their walkout. In a statement on Twitter, Rossum said,” As a survivor myself, I believe women. I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. Peaceful protest is a Constitutionally protected right.”

The walkout was joined by far more than just celebrities. Groups such as Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, TIME’s Up and the Women’s March all organized participation in the walkout. And regular people from all walks of life descended on Washington D.C. outside the White House and propelled #BelieveSurvivors to the No. 1 trend on Twitter. Walkout participants even showed up in the hallway of the Russel Senate Building, where one woman was seen on video telling a harrowing story of once being raped. Other protesters gather outside the office of Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine. Collins is a crucial figure because a no vote from her could effectively derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Demonstrators outside her office shouted “We will not be silenced,” and several were reportedly arrested.

Meanwhile on Monday, President Donald Trump dug in and further defended his nominee, saying, “I am with him all the way.” Trump, who on Friday questioned Ford’s credibility, also accused Kavanaugh’s accusers of coming “out of the woodwork” and said reporters “should look into the lawyers doing the representation,” according to The Associated Press.

Kavanaugh also stayed on the defensive, issuing another statement in which he stood his ground in a letter sent to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from the process,” Kavanaugh wrote. “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out.”

As things stand now, Ford and Kavanaugh are both expected to testify before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday at separate times. Ford is expected to testify first, and then Kavanaugh.

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