WASHINGTON, DC — Sitting on the steps of the Republican National Committee’s headquarters Tuesday morning, dozens of young women demanded that party chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan denounce Donald Trump.
After being pushed out of the building by security guards, the protesters sang and blocked the entrance to the party’s building for almost an hour. “The GOP has always been an old boys club” and “Women reject Donald Trump and the GOP’s hate,” their banners declared.
After a weekend in which many GOP lawmakers backed away from Trump following the release of a video in which he makes lewd sexual comments, Priebus pledged “complete fidelity” to Trump, while Ryan said he would no longer actively campaign for or defend the nominee. But the women affiliated with protest group AllofUs 2016 said those responses are insufficient.
Natalie Green, a 24-year-old Washington, DC resident, told ThinkProgress that Trump’s comments especially disturbed her as someone who has experienced sexual assault. Green said she was molested by her white stepfather for many years, and his prison sentence was shorter than the length of time he molested her.
“As a survivor of sexual assault, the idea that we actually have someone who’s a sexual predator who could be just a second away from being president is absolutely disgusting to me,” she said.
“Everything Trump has said for the last year and a half has disgusted me, but what happened on Friday, that should disqualify you from being able to speak for the American people,” she continued. “Even for Donald Trump’s standards, it’s disgusting.”
During the protest, Green was one of four women who spoke out about their personal experiences. Bolivian immigrant Ambar Pinto declared that she is “undocumented and unafraid” and Anna Bonomo called Trump a “sexual predator.”
Watch some of the protest:
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From the building on the south side of the U.S. Capitol, the group sang the protest anthem “Which side are you on?” and chanted together: “Well, I went down to GOP and I took back what they stole from me.” They repeatedly called on Preibus and Ryan to denounce Trump’s misogyny.
“The Republican Party continues to run a sexual predator for president of the United States,” Bonomo told ThinkProgress.
Bonomo was also one of nearly a dozen people who were arrested at the Capitol last month when a group of people, also affiliated with AllofUs 2016, stormed to Ryan’s congressional office to tell him that his “racism is showing.”
Though none of the protesters were arrested outside the RNC on Monday — security forcefully removed them from the building, but allowed them to continue the demonstration outside — Bonomo said she was willing to risk arrest again.
“If that’s what it takes to end the Republican Party’s funding to Donald Trump, then yes,” she said. “If it comes to that, I will.”