Message delivered, message received — Queens-style.
Outerborough activist Ana Maria Archila, after angrily confronting Sen. Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator over his support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said the accounts of America’s abused women were no longer falling on deaf ears after the Arizona Republican delayed a vote on the judge’s candidacy for a week.
“This is a demonstration that what thousands of people have been doing — telling our stories and standing up for ourselves — is working,” Archila said after Flake asked for a week to allow an FBI probe into the sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh.
“We will continue to fight until this nomination is withdrawn or voted down.”
Kavanaugh backer Flake’s change of heart followed the emotionally charged videotaped showdown with Archila and a second sexual abuse survivor, Maria Gallagher. The two women blocked the elevator doors from closing as they shouted through tears at Flake, pinned inside with nowhere to run.
“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court,” said an agitated Archila, a member of the Working Families Party and executive director of the New York-based Center for Popular Democracy.
“This is not tolerable,” she continued. “You have children in your family. Think about them.”
A clearly uncomfortable Flake had trouble making eye contact with the women as they accused him of taking the word of Kavanaugh over his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
“What are you doing, sir?” asked Archila. “This it the future of our country.”
A teary Gallagher snapped at the senator when he stared down toward the elevator floor.
“Don’t look away from me!” she said. “Look at me and tell me it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies.”
Flake, unable to escape, insisted he couldn’t stay and answer the women’s questions.