As the Senate moved one step closer to voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, thousands of men and women took over the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon, voicing solidarity with sexual assault survivors and demanding that lawmakers reject President Donald Trump's nominee.
After rallying at Supreme Court earlier in the day, protesters who'd traveled from all over the country filled the building with chants of, "Whose Senate? Our Senate!" and "Believe Survivors!" as more than one hundred were arrested after staging mass civil disobedience.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 4, 2018
You will never see the right mobilize like this in favor of Kavanaugh pic.twitter.com/iznLm3oQZ9
— avenatti/cuomo 2020 (@JordanUhl) October 4, 2018
Journalists at the scene reported that the demonstration was even larger than the protests which were credited with forcing senators to vote against the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the summer of 2017.
There is a huge group of anti-Kavanaugh protestors marching towards the Supreme Court right now. Health care protests on the Hill last year pale in comparison.
— Caitlin Owens (@caitlinnowens) October 4, 2018
Incredible scene on Capital Hill right now, where thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters have taken over the Hart Senate Office Building. pic.twitter.com/1qUk0cjkux
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) October 4, 2018
At about 4:00pm, Capitol Police began arresting many of the demonstrators.
This is the Hart Senate Building right now. pic.twitter.com/1hTQ7MazhP
— Lissandra Villa (@LissandraVilla) October 4, 2018
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 4, 2018
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The protests followed vigils at Senate offices across the country on Wednesday night and came as Republican leaders announced plans to hold a procedural vote on Kavanaugh on Friday, bringing senators one step closer to a final vote on President Donald Trump's historically unpopular nominee—and bringing the national outrage over Kavanaugh to a fever pitch.
As Americans traveled from all over the country to join the protests, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) announced she would vote against the judge, following the conclusion of the FBI's extremely limited investigation into the sexual assault allegations.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) had not committed to voting for or against Kavanaugh as of Thursday afternoon. Many of the protesters traveled from their states to appeal to the lawmakers directly.
— Her Campus American (@HerCampusAU) October 4, 2018
Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia meets with survivors from his state. pic.twitter.com/THKDaIsi6d
— Evy Mages (@EvyMages) October 4, 2018
Nora Barlow, center, Sarra Khlifi (L) and Lori Pickett (R) protest at SCOTUS. They are among more than 100 Alaskans who flew to DC on short notice to meet with Sen. @lisamurkowski pic.twitter.com/S5ozNMSCev
— Liz Ruskin (@lruskin) October 4, 2018
The Hart Senate Office Building is PACKED with protestors. People getting arrested, chanting can be heard loud everywhere in this building. pic.twitter.com/NifayLSrxY
— Sam Gringlas (@gringsam) October 4, 2018
The demonstrators also displayed banners in the atrium, reading "We believe Christine Blasey Ford" and "November Is Coming."
The view from the floor where we’re being arrested for protesting the appointment of a sexual predator on our nation’s highest court. #WomenDisobey #CancelKavanaugh #BelieveSurvivors pic.twitter.com/mwca3L20BO
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 4, 2018
Roe is at risk of being overturned by an openly misogynistic president who's bragged about assaulting women—who nominated a judge who's been credibly accused of sexual assault himself. THESE MEN CAN'T BE TRUSTED TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT OUR LIVES & BODIES. #StopKavanaugh pic.twitter.com/C4AirWpB8h
— NARAL (@NARAL) October 4, 2018