Diana Kane English wasn’t into politics—much less considered herself an activist—but that changed a few months leading up the 2016 elections.
It was then the Brooklyn shop-owner made t-shirts that read “Feminist” and sold them out of her 5th Ave. boutique in Park Slope. A few months later Kane English, 46, rounded up 150 people and chartered three buses to the 2017 Women’s March in Washington D.C.
This past Sunday, she took her second trip to the capital to protest Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment, but this time she was arrested.
“This one just felt so unbelievably important,” Kane English said of the trip to D.C. “Lifetime appointments aren’t an easy fix.”
Kane English and a group of around 30 other Brooklynites boarded a bus Sunday afternoon to D.C. The group arrived around 7:00 p.m. where they gathered at St. Steven’s the Incarnation Episcopal Church to prepare for Monday’s protest on the steps of the Supreme Court.
On Monday, rumors of a third woman surfaced in connection with sexual misconduct allegations against the Supreme Court pick. Kavanaugh’s hearing was derailed mid-September when Christine Blasey Ford reported, first anonymously, that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.
After a 30-minute march from the Supreme Court steps to the ground floor of one of the Senate office buildings, the crowd of 200 had swelled to several hundred. This is when the crew received their first warning.
“People weren’t protesting, they were just assembling from out of the rain,” said Kemala Karmen of Park Slope who rallied in D.C. against Kavanaugh’s appointment in August where she was also arrested.
“I could not live with myself if I cannot do everything in my power to stop Brett Kavanaugh from being the next supreme court justice,” said the 56-year-old mother of two teenage girls.
A second warning came when everyone was gathered outside of senators’ offices on the 4th floor of the building. Protesters then moved onto the rotunda in the Russell Senate building where at this point, hundreds of people were chanting, “Cancel Kavanaugh,” “The system is corrupt, that’s why we disrupt” and “We believe, Christine Ford.”
Both Kane English and Karmen were arrested and handcuffed with plastic zip ties after U.S. Capitol Police issued three warnings. They joined more than 100 other protesters, some of whom were loaded into a Capitol Police bus.
Kane English said the police were respectful during the pat downs and bookings. After being released, some protesters gathered to check-in with organizers and eat at a pre-appointed meeting spot inside the Capitol Skyline Hotel, across the street from the booking facility. Shortly after, Kane English boarded a bus back to Brooklyn.
When asked why she’d risk traveling to D.C to get arrested, she responded: “It’s easy to get complacent when you have a certain amount of privilege, which people in Park Slope usually do.”