Protesters no longer just wanted to share their stories

Canada Goose online Kavanaugh demonstrators weighed on a Maine senator’s tiny staff Canada Goose online

buy canada goose jacket PORTLAND, Maine The first visitor Kate Simson greeted Thursday morning at Sen. Susan Collins’s office was a pastor who came to share her story of sexual abuse. buy canada goose jacket

The 72 year old woman, her cleric’s collar loose around her neck, bent her head and began reading from a letter that described how her grandfather molested her. canada goose outlet uk sale “He would take me in his lap and fondle me beneath my underpants,” the Rev. Anne Fowler read in a trembling voice.

canada goose store She glanced up at Simson, who was taking notes. Simson has done this for thousands of protesters who have passed through this small office in the three months since Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was canada goose outlet store near me announced and for tens of thousands of canada goose outlet vancouver others who began showing up here to register their frustrations starting the day after President Trump’s election in 2016. canada goose store

Canada Goose Parka Trump’s boisterous, unruly, norm defying presidency has shaken up the country’s political life. No place has been more changed than the small four person office Simson runs for Maine’s lone Republican senator. canada goose stockists uk Senate and the nation. Canada Goose Parka

buy canada goose jacket cheap That role has transformed Simson, a single mother of two and Collins’s state office representative, into a portal for aggrieved Mainers, and increasingly the entire canada goose outlet in montreal country, to vent, rage, share personal stories and plead their case. Most of the demonstrators at her office opposed the nomination. buy canada goose jacket cheap

“A professional protest greeter” is how Simson sometimes describes herself these days. On Thursday and Friday, she was also a last hope for those seeking to influence the canada goose outlet online uk vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

cheap Canada Goose She briefly locked eyes with Fowler, who was still recalling her trauma. “And yet, as a young child, I kept being sent up to say hello to Grandpa,” the reverend continued. “I’m living proof of the power of repression, of the elusiveness of memory.” cheap Canada Goose

“Thank you for sharing that,” Simson said.

Canada Goose Jackets “It’s never easy, but it’s necessary,” the reverend replied. Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose clearance With that, Simson walked canada goose outlet orlando through the door into goose outlet canada her small, gray carpeted office where the phones have been ringing nonstop for much of the past two years. Outside in the waiting room, which Simson recently cleared of furniture so there would be more room for protesters to gather, Fowler wondered whether her letter had moved Simson. canada goose clearance

“When I looked up, she had stopped taking notes,” Fowler said. The reverend took that as a sign that the emotional impact of her words had forged a connection. “It seemed as if she was listening carefully,” she said.

Canada Goose sale Marilyn Sarelas, 71, of Portland, Maine, joins a crowd of demonstrators protesting canada goose parka outlet uk the nomination of Brett M. Supreme Court at a Thursday rally across the street from the Portland office of Sen. Susan Collins (R Maine). (Tristan Spinski/For The Washington Post) Canada Goose sale

Behind her office door, Simson canada goose outlet 80 off glanced out her eighth floor window toward Lobsterman Park, where the protesters usually gather before they make their way to her office. There were a handful of marchers holding signs.

canada goose coats on sale “Dare I say, it seems canada goose outlet toronto factory quiet,” she told her staffer Ryan Angelo, 31, who was fielding calls from around Maine and around the world. He arched an eyebrow. canada goose coats on sale

Simson, 40, was raised as a political junkie in neighboring Vermont, canada goose coats uk where her mother served as a Republican in the state legislature. As a child, she helped her run for office, blowing up helium balloons bearing her mother’s face and campaigning door to door with her. She moved to Maine with her former husband in 2007, volunteered for a congressional campaign, worked on a local referendum in her hometown of Scarborough and got involved in county politics.

Canada Goose Outlet She landed a full time job with Collins in 2014. Her first two years were filled with typical fieldwork helping constituents negotiate the federal bureaucracy and business outreach. She went suit shopping with the senator canada goose jacket outlet sale at Macy’s and learned to keep an extra set of stockings for Collins in her purse in case she got a run in them right before an event. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose black friday sale Everything canada goose factory outlet vancouver changed, though, with Trump’s election. The first waves of protesters came to the office in February 2017 to oppose Betsy DeVos’s nomination canada goose outlet las vegas to be education secretary. “DeVos was huge,” Simson said. “We had outraged families coming by, especially those with disadvantaged children” who worried services were going to be cut. Collins and Sen. Lisa canada goose outlet us Murkowski (R Alaska) were the only Republicans to oppose her nomination. canada goose black friday sale

Other waves of disapproval followed Jeff Sessions’s nomination as attorney general and last year’s votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In December, Simson had to call police canada goose outlet to arrest nine religious leaders who set up a portable toilet in her waiting room and tried to stage an overnight sit in at her office to oppose Trump’s tax bill.

canada goose “We are gentle, loving people, and we are singing for our lives,” they sang as police led them away in handcuffs. canada goose

Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 vaulted the protests to a new level. Out of state progressive groups, such as UltraViolet and MoveOn, began organizing demonstrations, Simson said. Protesters no longer just wanted to share their stories. “Increasingly, they are focused on filming me as they hand me something,” Simson said.

In the past month, protest groups have canada goose outlet near me delivered more than 1,000 hangers many of them spray painted red to Simson’s office, symbolizing the threat to women if Kavanaugh votes to overturn Roe v. Wade. One group staged “a die in” at Collins’s office in Lewiston, about 30 miles north, that included a woman splashing her pants canada goose outlet store quebec with red paint as part of a mock abortion. Last week, another group mailed cardboard penis cutouts with the message: “F You and the donor class you rode in on.”

There have been regular death threats. “You don’t deserve a uterus,” protesters have yelled at Simson.

canada goose clearance sale Last Friday, she had to close the office 15 minutes early so police would have time to detain protesters who refused to leave and also finish their paperwork. the normal closing time she’d be late to pick up her children, ages 12 and 14, from their after school activities. canada goose clearance sale

It has become harder and harder for Simson not to take the stress home with her. She was deboning a roasted chicken a few weeks ago after work and started sobbing. “I was just mentally and physically exhausted by the barrage,” she said. “I get that people feel the need to tell me how they feel face to face. When you are looking a person in the eye, you feel more heard. But it becomes a lot. That night, it just pushed me over the edge.”

Another frustration: The almost ceaseless demonstrations are making it hard for constituents who need help with buy canada goose uk Veterans Affairs benefits or emergency medical visas to get through to Simson and her team. For years, this had been their bread and butter.

canada goose deals Simson also has begun to worry about the pressure the country’s dysfunctional politics imposes on Collins, her boss. “Is this even sustainable for everything to come down to the same handful of senators?” she asked. “Is it fair?” canada goose deals

canada goose coats She glanced up at CNN. A picture of the senator looked back at her, over a chyron that read: “Key GOP Sen. Collins: FBI probe ‘appears very thorough.'” canada goose coats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *