From elected officials to rape victims and their supporters, several thousand people gathered on City Hall Plaza to send a message to Sen. Jeff Flake to vote no on Brett Cavanaugh - a message he may not have heard since his scheduled 10:30 a.m. talk on another part of the plaza was pushed back to this afternoon.
And that message was: Brett Cavanaugh is an unhinged sexual predator who will turn back the clock on women's rights.
At-large City Councilor Aynna Pressley, who will likely succeed US Rep. Michael Capuano in the 7th district, prefaced her opposition by saying she keeps getting counseled to stay calm, to avoid coming across as "an angry black woman."
"Well, I am angry, and I am outraged - because this is an outrage!" she told the crowd. Pressley, herself a survivor of sexual assault, said she is done with "the total rape culture" that permeates America society and that continues to "rob us of our voice, of our dignity, of our hope, of our joy" - as exemplified by Kavanaugh's testimony last week.
Pointing to the Forbes "Under 30 Village" where Flake was scheduled to talk, she said Flake has to vote "no" next week. "Look me in the eye when I'm talking to you! Can you hear us now?"
"Let me be clear," she continued. "I still believe Anita Hill, I believe the women of the Boston Fire Department and I believe Dr. Christine Ford. Resist!"
Both Carol Rose, president of the ACLU of Massachusetts and state Senate President Karen Spilka of Ashland both called Kavanaugh "unhinged" and said somebody like that does not belong on the Supreme Court.
"He dissembled, he lied, he mislead," Rose said. "He is simply not fit to serve on the highest court in the land."
"It is time for Senator Flake and his colleagues to reject this man," agreed Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, like Pressley, is likely to be elected to Congress next month, in New York, recounted her own experiences with sexual assault, from the time she was a little girl and a man got out of a car and tried to grab her to the time as a BU student when she and others watched a frat bro carry an unconscious woman up the stairs, and nobody stopped him, and said enough is enough.
She pointed to the 11 Republican men in charge of last week's hearings and asked: "Can you imagine if Brett Kavanaugh had to sit in front of a panel of 11 women of color?" She said the rape apologists in Congress had better watch out: "We will end your careers by electing survivors to office!"
Mayor Marty Walsh estimated the rally was the 50th he's attended over the past two years in support of the rights of people who aren't white, Christian, male or Republican - and said it won't be his last. He held out some hope that Flake would do the right thing: "He has the opportunity to do something really special next week."
He added that while he and Boston city councilors sometimes argue over city policies but that they stand united in support of the rights of residents. "We are not going to let this congress, and this senate and this president and these nominations tears us down," he said. Several city councilors attended the rally.
Olympic figure skater Adam Ripon did not originally come to Boston for the rally - he's a scheduled speaker at the Forbes event that also includes Flake. But he said he couldn't not speak.
"This is the America that I believe in," he said, looking out over the crowd. "We need to protect and save legal abortion. We need to stand up for the victims of sexual abuse, and we need to call every single day and say 'No Brett Kavanaugh.' Jeff Flake, please listen to us: Vote no on Brett Kavanaugh."
The rally began as a planned protest by students at Emerson College when the Flake event was initially scheduled for the Colonial Theatre, which the college owns. One of the students who helpe organize the protest had to fight back tears as she recounted her own sexual attack that, she said, bore similarities to the one Ford recounted last week. She vowed, never again. "Me fucking too!" she said.