ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Crowds filled the rotunda at the State Capitol Friday, speaking out against sexual harassment. The rally comes in the wake of harassment accusations made against two Minnesota lawmakers: Sen. Dan Schoen and Rep. Tony Cornish.
In a long list of speakers, Pastor Perry Marea of St. Paul received the largest response and engagement from the crowd.
“We won't be closed mouths anymore,” said Marea. “We'll speak loud and louder and raise our voice to the mountains and scream ‘I believe her’ and ‘Me too’ and ‘We don't want anymore.’”
The final speakers were the women who came forward.
“And seeing all these believe signs in my place of work, where I reported what was happening to me six months ago, that means something because they obviously didn't believe me,” said Rep. Erin Maye Quade.
The call was not just to support women and call out suspected harassers, but to change cultures for good - in this case by voting.
“And the only way this changes, the only way this changes is if we change the people who sit in that room,” said Lindsey Port, a former DFL candidate.
The three women DFL gubernatorial candidates also spoke at the event.
“It is hard to call out my colleagues,” said Erin Murphy, a candidate for governor. “It is hard to call out people who I have worked with, people I have trusted.”
The only mention of Senator Al Franken, a fellow Democrat, came from State Auditor and gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto, who said he should resign.
“It's hard,” said Otto. “He's a friend. He is an ally. And he's very effective. But we cannot have a double standard when it comes to having safe workplaces and not allowing for sexual harassment.”