Student organizers relocate Flake protest to City Hall Plaza

A student-led protest calling on Republican Sen. Jeff Flake to reject Judge Brett Kavanaugh is taking place at City Hall Plaza Monday.

Mayor Marty Walsh,  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Candidate Ayanna Pressley are among the confirmed speakers for the protest, according to Sophomore Mari Sitner, an organizer of the event. At least three Emerson students are scheduled to give speeches, including Sitner, Senior Erin Swauger, and Sophomore Annie Noel, all organizers of the event.

Swauger said the protest will continue even if Flake decides to skip the “Future of the Republican Party” panel at the Under 30 Village located inside City Hall Plaza.

Swauger verified the protest’s location change after President M. Lee Pelton canceled Flake’s original appearance at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit at the Colonial Theatre on Friday. More than 4 thousand people marked themselves as either interested or attending on the Facebook event page.

Shortly after Swauger and Noel created the original Facebook event page, representatives from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, Boston Socialist Alternative, and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts reached out to help organize.

“They are definitely helping us with making it official in a sense, but it was born from Emerson kids getting mad,” Swauger said.

Swauger said she was not expecting the protest to gain this much attention.  

“I was expecting it to be a thing with Emerson students and then going to class afterward,” Swauger said. “Now, I am emailing my professor and [saying] I’m leading a protest and … 3,000 people may show up.”

Noel said the protest serves to keep the pressure on Flake to vote no if there is not an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

“[Flake] needs to be reminded that people are depending on him to keep asking for the investigation so that Mitch McConnell feels the pressure to do it,” Noel said. “If there is not one, we are listening, and [Flake] should vote no on Kavanaugh going to the Supreme Court.”

Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona voted yes to approve Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination in a Senate Judiciary Hearing Friday. During the hearing, Flake announced he would vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination on the floor of the Senate if the White House did not agree to an investigation by the FBI into sexual assault allegations against the Judge.

President Donald Trump ordered a one-week investigation by the FBI into the sexual assault allegations on Friday after Flake voted yes on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Dylan Rossiter contributed reporting to this article.

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