WASHINGTON — Chanting “We believe survivors!” “Vote them out!” and “Shame, shame, shame!” hundreds of demonstrators converged on the U.S. Capitol Saturday to protest the vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Protesters, mixed with tourists and onlookers on the Capitol’s East Front plaza, carried signs expressing their displeasure with senators who were expected to vote yes to confirm Kavanaugh.

“We’ll remember in November,” one read. “No Justice, No Seat,” another read.

According to The Associated Press, U.S. Capitol Police say 164 people have been arrested at protests that took place as the Senate was voting to confirm the nominee.

Most of them – a total of 150 people – were arrested on the steps of the Capitol’s East Front. Thirteen more were arrested in the Senate Gallery during the closely divided vote.

All those arrested were charged with unlawful crowding, obstructing or incommoding. They were processed offsite and released, the AP said.


Later, police cleared the plaza, and demonstrators moved across the street to the front of the Supreme Court.

Speakers addressed the crowd through a pop-up public address system, barreling through a roll call of those they blame for Kavanaugh’s ascent, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. But the loudest howls of anger from the crowd came at the mention of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and what a speaker called her “garbage speech full of lies.”

Nicole Beck, an attorney for Break the Cycle, a group aiding victims of sexual assault, carried a sign that read, “Add a Tally If You Will Donate to Susan Collins’ Opponent.” By 1:40 p.m., the sign carried 82 ticks.

“As a woman, she has betrayed all of us,” Beck said.

She called the speech “disgusting” and dismissed the notion that Collins had been a swing vote.

“I don’t think she was undecided. I think she was holding out to have the appearance of impartiality.”


A few pockets of pro-Kavanaugh supporters were also present. When Kavanaugh’s confirmation was announced, a small group of supporters cheered amid boos.

Chris, who declined to give his last name because he lives in a liberal part of Maryland, said he had to come into the hostile crowd to mark the elevation of a justice he expects to protect the parts of the Constitution he holds most dear, the right to free expression and the right to bear arms.

“I felt the need to come show some support,” said the 33-year-old, who wore a black Sons of Liberty T-shirt.

Winnie Wong, senior adviser to the Women’s March, one of several liberal groups that have organized opposition to Kavanaugh, said the protest was the first of several “coordinated disruptions” planned for the day.

The group, she said, offered training in nonviolent protest tactics to as many as 1,300 activists. Many of them, she said, were fanning out across the Capitol complex and some were to be seated in the Senate gallery Saturday afternoon. “There are a number of friendly senators who have provided passes to us,” she said. “It’s a clear message we are organized and we are not backing down. A women’s wave is coming.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., came out to address the crowd.


“Unfortunately, democracy failed today,” Blumenthal said. “The United States Senate confirmed a dangerous and deeply flawed nominee only by breaking all the rules.”

Blumenthal urged the crowd to send a message in the November midterms.

After the announcement that Kavanaugh was in the building, protesters took their time climbing the steps of the Supreme Court, to be escorted back down by Capitol Police. “One more!” the crowd chanted each time. “Arrest sexual predators, not protesters.”

Then dozens of protesters pushed past the police line and occupied the Supreme Court steps, chanting, pumping fists, one doing yoga poses. The steps were quickly filled.

By evening, a Capitol Police official had begun moving through the crowd to address them in small groups. His message: If they got themselves arrested, in all likelihood they would remain in jail until Tuesday. Monday is a holiday – Columbus Day. Courts will be closed.

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