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Protesters gather on Capitol Hill ahead of Kavanaugh vote

Hundreds of protesters have gathered around the Capitol and Supreme Court on Saturday in anticipation of the final vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the high court.

A large group of loudly chanting protesters gathered on the East Lawn of the Capitol to protest the expected confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, with a vote scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Holding up a rainbow of different colored signs, the crowd chanted, “We don’t want no Kavanaugh” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Kavanaugh has got to go!” {mosads}

Police fenced off the plaza in front of the Capitol to keep the crowd away from senators driving to the building for the vote.

Streams of people were spotted walking from Union Station to join the protest, including a woman dressed as Wonder Woman.

Protesters holding signs saying “Shame,” “Rage,” “Kava nope” and “Vote no!” massed in front of the Supreme Court.

Amanda Wise, a protester from Washington, D.C., said she was “discouraged, but not surprised” Republican holdouts ultimately decided to support Kavanaugh.

“I am a Yale [University] grad, I’m also a Yale Law grad, I also went to high school at the National Cathedral in the ’80s and this is all just so frustratingly, terrifyingly familiar,” she said. “And I just feel so impotent and outraged.”

Kavanaugh attended Yale in the 1980s.

Laura Putnam said she had been protesting in Pittsburgh and opted to join the protest in Washington, D.C., while visiting her son in the area.

“When it turned out that this weekend the Kavanaugh nominee was going forward, we felt like it was important to change the other social plans we made while being down here and to at least be part of, you know, articulating our distress of what’s happening,” she said.

“It makes me super sad to realize that this is the state of our country now — that people are so polarized that they can’t look at the sort of facts that are being presented and that the Republicans have sort of backed themselves into the position of minimizing sexual assault,” Putnam added.

“I’m out here to support, you know, women’s rights. I’m out here to show that like we should believe women when they come forward about their stories of sexual assault,” said Michael Shallal, a member of the D.C. chapter of the International Socialists Organization. “It’s really disgusting to see the process of Kavanaugh being nominated. I’m just like appalled — we’re out here to show our opposition to this vote and to stand in solidarity with victims of abuse, sexual abuse and violence.”

Tracy Thompson, of Georgia — a Trump supporter who arrived at the protest wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat — said she had planned a trip to Washington ahead of the event, but has come out every day since Thursday to see the protests.

“I think they absolutely have the right. You know it’s America — they have the right to be here and protest and you know free speech and so I respect their right to that,” Thompson said.

“But walking through the crowd not even say anything, being respectful like me and my husband have been, they don’t respect our right to be here at all. That’s what I’m finding. We’ve been shouted at, we’ve been called despicable. I’ve been called a traitor to my gender,” she continued. “Today I feel a different kind of vibe, I feel like some things may go down today — it’s kind of nasty.”

A number of people broke into chants of “We believe survivors” and “The people united will never be divided.”

Trump, responding to the protests in real time, tweeted that supporters of Kavanaugh were gathering “all over Capitol Hill” ahead of the vote.

“It is a beautiful thing to see – and they are not paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs. Big day for America!” he wrote.

Kavanaugh is poised to be confirmed to the Supreme Court after several undecided senators announced their support for his nomination on Friday.

Saturday’s vote caps off weeks of bitter controversy over the nominee, Trump’s second for the high court, whose nomination was roiled by allegations of sexual misconduct from over three decades ago, all of which Kavanaugh has denied.

“The mob was not able to intimidate the Senate. We stood up to the mob. We did the right thing for a good man and filled a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during an appearance on Fox News on Friday night, taking an early victory lap on the vote.

— Updated 12:15 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell

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