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Oshkosh rallies in solidarity with survivors, against Kavanaugh

By Ryan Hamann |
October 5, 2018
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Oshkosh protest against Kavanaugh.
Oshkosh protest against Kavanaugh. (Fight Back! News / Staff)

Oshkosh, WI - Members of United Action Oshkosh (UAO) and UW-Oshkosh Students for a Democratic Society (UWO SDS), as well as supporters from the broader community, gathered at the Opera House Square in downtown Oshkosh to stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual violence. The emergency rally was centered on the ongoing confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, specifically related to the many rape and abuse allegations brought forward by women from his past.

The demonstration, emceed by UAO member Lindsey Spietz, consisted of chants attacking Kavanaugh and the system that enables people like him. Residents of Oshkosh driving by or out for an evening stroll responded with honks and calls of approval. A few even stopped by to personally thank the activists for speaking out for survivors.

"As a survivor, I was honored to lead the chants in my city, alongside others who had also experienced some type of violence," Spietz said. "Victims rarely, if ever, get the chance to speak out or report what has happened to them. Abusers continue to go free in our country. This moment, this national action, is not only empowering but necessary for our society to acknowledge and fight for the rights of survivors of violence, perpetrated by the patriarchal capitalists in this country."

Kavanaugh is only the most recent example of the ugly reality that the wealthy elites in this country expect to live by a different set of rules than the rest of us, and that men in particular occupy spaces in society that rarely call into question their repugnant behavior. Despite the difficulty of having to relive past traumas, Spietz has faith in the power of the people.

"The voices of survivors and the masses that support them will not be denied, no matter the outcome of the Kavanaugh nomination," she said "We will continue the fight."

The call for justice and accountability is something that resonates with a wide range of people because of its applicability to a number of different struggles. For example, the fight against sexual violence and patriarchy is in line with the fight against police crimes.

When the police are responsible for policing their own activity, victims of their criminal behavior - sexual or otherwise - authentic accountability is impossible to achieve. With this in mind, UAO and UWO SDS are co-hosting their first informational meeting on a police accountability council, why Oshkosh needs one, and how we can win it on the evening of October 16 at Reeve Memorial Union on campus at UWO. As ever, the struggle for justice for those who have been wronged by this parasitic system presses onward.