On Tuesday, a group of 20 young women held a sit-in at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee to protest Republicans’ continued support for GOP candidate Donald Trump. The demonstration comes just days after the release of a 2005 tape in which Trump can be heard bragging about his ability to sexually assault women because of his fame and stature.
The women were part of the advocacy group #AllofUs2016, an organization of millennials fighting racism, bigotry, and greed in both major political parties. In a statement released before the protest, the group demanded that RNC Chair Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan “un-endorse Donald Trump and disavow the GOP’s politics of hate for the sake of women, democracy, and our country.”
On Monday, Ryan said in a conference call that he would no longer “defend” Donald Trump given what he had said on the tape, but stopped short of withdrawing his endorsement of the candidate. The move was seen as a half-measure by many given that, prior to the statement, Ryan had already done little to defend Trump.
Priebus, on the other hand, didn’t even pretend that the party’s relationship with Donald Trump had changed. “I want to make it very clear that the RNC is in full coordination with the Trump campaign,” Priebus said in a call with RNC members, according to The Wall Street Journal. “And we have a great relationship with them.”
Natalie Green, a 24-year-old organizer with #AllofUs2016 and a survivor of sexual assault, was floored by GOP leaders’ continued support for their candidate. “I felt disgusted,” Green told Fusion. “It was completely unacceptable. I’m really disappointed in Republican leadership for continuing to stand by a person who is now a sexual predator.”
Yong Jung Cho, another organizer with the group, said that the Republican Party bears direct responsibility for Trump’s actions and national prominence.
“The Republican party has been stoking fear and hatred of Muslim Americans, fear and hatred of black people, fear and hatred of LGBTQ people, and now they shouldn’t be surprised that they’ve got a hate-filled billionaire as their nominee,” she told Fusion. “The Republican Party is essentially the ‘locker room’ for the rich and powerful,” Cho said, referring to Trump’s attempt to dismiss his predatory comments as “locker-room talk.”
On their website, #AllofUs2016 says that they are committed to getting young voters to turnout and vote against Trump on election day. After November, the group has pledged to fight to keep “wall street insiders and corporate cronies” out of a future Clinton administration—or, at least, they hope a Clinton administration.