POLITICS
10/04/2018 12:48 pm ET Updated Oct 04, 2018

Thousands Of Protesters Rally In Final Push To 'Cancel Kavanaugh'

Capitol Police arrested 302 people for protesting at the Senate office buildings as of Thursday afternoon.
Demonstrators gather outside Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's courthouse in Washington on Oct. 4 to protest his possib
Courtesy of Sierra Club / @SierraClubLive
Demonstrators gather outside Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's courthouse in Washington on Oct. 4 to protest his possible confirmation.

This is the last hurrah. The final fight. The desperate plea:

“Cancel Kavanaugh.”

Thousands of protesters — including sexual assault survivors and their allies —marched on Washington from the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, where Kavanaugh currently works, to the Hart Senate Office Building in a last-ditch effort to appeal to senators to vote no on his confirmation.

As crowds filled the Senate halls, police began making arrests for civil disobedience. 

Capitol Police had arrested 302 people for “unlawfully demonstrating” at the Senate office buildings as of Thursday afternoon. At 3:30 p.m. ET, police detained 293 people at the Hart Senate Office Building. Nine more people were detained nearly two hours later at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

In a statement to HuffPost, police said they were processing and releasing the individuals on site. Videos at the protest show long lines of demonstrators who were under arrest.

Comedian Amy Schumer, as well as actress Emily Ratajkowski were reportedly among those arrested there.

Busloads of women from other parts of the country — including survivors from West Virginia — made their way to D.C. in the morning for demonstrations that would take place throughout the day.

Caitlin Gaffin, 30, was one of them. She was among nine protesters arrested in West Virginia while occupying the campaign headquarters of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for more than 10 hours on Monday. Today, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, she and several dozen other assault survivors and allies met with Manchin to tell their stories.

She said Manchin was “teary eyed” as he listened but made no indication of which way he’d vote. The group had another meeting scheduled with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), but she never showed up, Gaffin said.

“It feels like one of our last shots. This is the most we can do right now — drop everything and try to talk face to face,” Gaffin told HuffPost on Thursday morning. “We’re going to share our stories. We’re hoping to be able to appeal to them in some way to show how personal this is for their constituents, for everyone.”

In D.C., speeches by celebrities like Alicia Keys and Whoopi Golberg are planned. Additional #CancelKavanaugh protests are slated across the country, from Portland, Oregon to New York City. 

Protesters fill the Hart Senate Office Building, where arrests were being made for civil disobedience.
Courtesy of Caitlin Gaffin
Protesters fill the Hart Senate Office Building, where arrests were being made for civil disobedience.

Activist groups across the country have been holding demonstrations all week, ever since Kavanaugh lied under oath during testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, ever since Christine Blasey Ford cried in front of millions of TV viewers when she publicly accused him of forcing himself on her in high school.

Since then, other women have come forward against the judge, and many of his former classmates have tried to distance themselves from him or backed up claims by his alleged victims.

The vote was delayed last Friday by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who called for an FBI investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh. With less than a week to look into them, the bureau focused on only a few allegations, which reportedly included an interview with another of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Deborah Ramirez. Not included in the investigation were Kavanaugh, Ford, classmates who had told the press that he was a “sloppy drunk” in school or allegations that he lied under oath about his excessive drinking.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) vowed that a full Senate vote will happen this week. There’s already talk that the short delay requested by Flake was a sham, meant to make it easier for Republicans to vote in Kavanaugh with an unscathed conscience or character.

This article has been updated with details on arrests.

Carla Herreria contributed to this report.

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