The woman who yelled at Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona while he was in the confines of an elevator Friday has also been vocal since then, revealing her name to be Ana Maria Archila. She and another woman in the elevator, Maria Gallagher, have been dubbed “heroes” by many on the left.
But Archila is an experienced activist with ties to George Soros. She is co-executive director of the left-wing Center for Popular Democracy, a New York-based organizing group that gets much of its money from the liberal billionaire.
“George Soros is one of the largest funders to the CPD,” The Washington Free Beacon reported in 2017. “Soros provided the CPD with $130,000 from the Foundation to Promote Open Society in 2014 and $1,164,500 in 2015. Soros provided an additional $705,000 from the Open Society Policy Center in 2016.”
On Friday morning, Flake made his way to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing after announcing that he intended to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Archila and Gallagher were among the women who confronted him while blocking the door to the elevator he was on.
“This is not tolerable!” they screamed at him.
“You have children in your family. Think about them! I have two children. I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?!” Archila shouted at Flake.
An aide asked her if she would talk to a staffer outside, to which Archila snapped, “No. I want to talk to him. Don’t talk to me.”
Gallagher said Flake’s decision had personal significance for her, telling Flake that she was sexually assaulted and nobody believed her.
“I didn’t tell anyone, and you’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them. That’s what happened to me, and that’s what you are telling all women in America, that they don’t matter,” Gallagher said in the emotional confrontation.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you,” she demanded. “You are telling me that my assault doesn’t matter, that what happened to me doesn’t, and that you’re going to let people who do these things into power. That’s what you’re telling me when you vote for him. Don’t look away from me.”
Flake listened to their shouting silently, occasionally nodding in response. When the women finished and allowed him to pass, he continued to the committee hearing.
“I wanted him to feel my rage,” Archila said in an interview Friday with The New York Times. Her opportunity to express it to him came after she had spent all week in Washington protesting Kavanaugh’s nomination.
After private meetings with Senate Democrats, Flake told the panel that he would only vote for Kavanaugh on the condition that the Senate vote be delayed and another FBI investigation be conducted.
Archila claimed responsibility for Flake’s request to delay the vote. “His reaction shows the power that we have, together, when we chose to tell our stories and stand up for our vision of an inclusive society,” she wrote in an Op-Ed for USA Today on Saturday. “When we take action, we breathe new life and possibility into our democracy.”
It seems that there was more at play for the protesters than just rallying around in support of sexual assault survivors. Archila may have been as much against Kavanaugh for his politics as for the allegations. In her USA Today commentary, she revealed her political views, writing, “Brett Kavanaugh is not fit to serve.”
“Much of his record on civil rights, worker protections, health care and reproductive justice is an abomination. So, too, is his personal history of treating women as less deserving of respect and control over our lives, as these accusations against him have shown,” Archila wrote.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the activist had political motives for the confrontation, but the revelation of her ties to Soros falls in line with concerns that many Kavanaugh protesters are paid players in the political arena.
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