Kavanaugh protest flyer raises issues

Student organization behind “STOP KAVANAUGH!” flyer refer to the judge as a “sex offender.”


Students are invited to join an open-mic protest against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. By CityTimes staff.

Brian Mohler, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The International Socialist Organization-San Diego, a student-run organization at San Diego City College, is helping to organize a protest against United States Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The ISO said it is organizing the event, which is described as an open-mic speak out, in conjunction with SAMAFILA, the American Federation of Teachers Student Intern Union, Urban Scholars Union, and Mental Health Counseling.

The protest is scheduled for Sept. 27 at noon in front of the AH building at City College.  

The rally coincides with the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a statistics professor at Palo Alto University and the first woman who publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, as well as Kavanaugh.

Ford, the other two women who have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and many lawmakers, nearly all Democrats, on Capitol Hill want the FBI to investigate the accusations against Kavanaugh. City College political science professor Nicholas Boushee agreed that is what should happen in an email.

Dozens of flyers have been posted around campus for a rally to “STOP KAVANAUGH!”

The flyers that ISO said it created and posted around campus contain a key piece of misleading information. The flyers that invite students to join the protest label Kavanaugh a “sex offender.”

Protest flyer
Students are invited to join an open-mic protest against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. By CityTimes staff.

Cornell Law’s Wex Legal Dictionary defines a sex offender as “A generic term for persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment, and pornography production or distribution.”

Alexander Wells of the ISO said in an email they felt justified in using the term “sex offender” with regards to Kavanaugh.

According to Wells, the multiple accusations are enough evidence for them to believe Kavanaugh is a “sex offender.”

Wells wrote in an email response to questions regarding the wording of the flyer: “We are neither a legal organization nor an impartial media outlet, so when we call Kavanaugh a sex offender without qualification, what we mean is this: We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and the other accusers.

“Women making such accusations have nothing to gain and everything (privacy, reputation, job opportunities, personal safety) to lose.”

Sexual assault is a serious crime that affects college students at a disproportionate rate. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 27 percent of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact and more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

“Statistically, accusations of sexual assault turn out to be true far more often than not,” Wells wrote. “The public ridicule, death threats, and the rest of the Republican party’s coordinated assault on Dr. Blasey Ford’s reputation is in itself proof of the immense social repercussions threatening every survivor who dares to come forward.”

There is also suspicion regarding the flyer’s approval stamp from the office of the Dean of Student Affairs. The size of the stamp does not match that of other flyers posted on campus.

Flyers posted on City College campus must first be approved by the office of the Dean of Students Affairs.

“We check to make sure that postings are school-related,” said Michelle Johnson, assistant to the dean of student affairs. “We look to make sure postings don’t forget to include things like the room a meeting is to take place in.”

ISO is a recognized City College club. Like any other club on campus, ISO is allowed to hold rallies and post flyers with the proper approval.

The flyers were approved by Student Affairs,” said Wells. “We didn’t include our organization’s name on them because it’s not an ISO event as such; we’re organizing this event in conjunction with other groups.”

If the flyer was approved, Johnson said, it shouldn’t have been.

“A posting that isn’t school-related shouldn’t be approved,” Johnson said. “It needs a club or class sponsoring it. We don’t know who approved the flyer in question but we will investigate it.”

The protest would qualify as “school-related” since it is being organized by an official campus club. But the authenticity of the stamp of approval on the flyers still remained a mystery to Johnson.

“It looks like it might have been cropped from another posting and shrunk to fit,” Johnson said, when the flyer was shown to her.

Boushee doesn’t believe there would be any legal consequences to posting an unapproved flyer.

“That’s a question better asked to the Dean of Student Affairs. I suspect (there’s) no legal consequences,” Boushee wrote in an email.

According to USA Today, dozens of similar protests are scheduled throughout the country on Sept. 27. A coalition of conservative women is also planning a Brett Kavanaugh support rally in Washington D.C. that day as well, according to the Washingtonian.