Protesters swarm Washington on day of Kavanaugh vote
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(WASHINGTON) — The fight against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination may be over but that hasn’t stopped protesters from taking to the streets.
Hundreds of protesters hit the streets of Washington, D.C., on Saturday in the hours before the Senate voted in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Streams of demonstrators were seen marching to Capitol Hill and in front of the Supreme Court, both of which have been the staging ground for thousands of protesters over the past few weeks.
The Capitol Police reported that 164 protesters were arrested for unlawful demonstration activities on Saturday, including 150 people who were arrested on the rotunda steps in front of the U.S. Capitol at about 12:45 p.m.
They also reported another woman was arrested in the Senate gallery an hour before the vote, and then 13 others were arrested at roughly 3:45 p.m., which would have been minutes after the vote itself started.
Some of the chants heard in the crowd outside the Supreme Court included: “Arrest sexual predators, not protesters,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go.”
One recognizable figure at the protests Saturday was Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been critical of Kavanaugh throughout the confirmation process.
Hirono told protesters there is “a lot to be mad about. But we need to take that anger, focus like a laser beam on the elections in 2018.”
Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation process has drawn protesters from across the country.
The majority of the protesters appeared to be demonstrating against his nomination and in support of sexual assault survivors.
Kavanaugh, who has been accused by three different women of sexual misconduct, has denied all of the allegations.
There have also been smaller pockets of protesters who are standing up for Kavanaugh and backing his nomination.
President Donald Trump even weighed in about the Kavanaugh supporters on Saturday, writing on Twitter that they are “a beautiful thing to see – and they are not paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs.”
His praise of the pro-Kavanaugh demonstrators came a day after he tweeted unsubstantiated claims about the anti-Kavanaugh protesters, writing that they were “very rude” and “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad.”
He also suggested, without any evidence, that they were paid by Democratic donor George Soros.
Protests are also being organized in cities across the country, including in Atlanta and New York City.
The Washington protesters have been making themselves known throughout the week, sometimes directly confronting Senators outside their offices.
That happened with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., moments after his office released a statement Friday announcing that he, long viewed as a possible swing vote, was going to vote in support of Kavanaugh.
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