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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Thousands protest in Washington against Brett Kavanaugh vote

The demonstrations began on Thursday, with hundreds flooding the Senate atrium.

Washington saw unprecedented numbers of people gathering to protest the possible nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court on Thursday.

A number of arrests were made as men and women flooded the nation's capital chanting "We believe Dr Christine Blasey Ford" and waving signs bearing the same message.

Read more: American actress Amy Schumer among those arrested

The #CancelKavanaugh protests outside the Supreme Court building and later in the Senate office building represent a last-ditch attempt by those opposed to Mr Kavanaugh to be heard as the Senate readies itself to take a first vote on his nomination on Friday, with a final vote expected over the weekend.

The vote was scheduled following the release of an FBI report into Dr Blasey Ford's allegations to senators and a week of testimony from both Dr Blasey Ford and Mr Kavanaugh on an alleged incident of sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

Democrats criticised the FBI probe as a whitewash after the White House said investigators interviewed nine people - far short of the dozens of potential witnesses offered to the FBI by two Kavanaugh accusers.

Top Judiciary panel Democrat Dianne Feinstein said the probe seemed "incomplete" and that the White House appeared to have "blocked the FBI from doing its job."

However, six days after Trump reluctantly ordered the FBI to scrutinise the accusations, leading GOP lawmakers briefed on the agency's confidential document all reached the same conclusion: There was no verification of the women's past claims and nothing new.

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Read more:

Cosby conviction and Kavanaugh revelations inspire protests in US

Democrats accuse FBI of 'very limited' Kavanaugh probe

The Supreme Court controversy is testing the raison d'etre of Trump's presidency

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As the vote loomed, celebrities joined the cause. Model Emily Ratajkowski tweeted that she had been arrested during on Thursday, and actress Amy Schumer was videoed holding a sign reading: "We believe Anita Hill". According to reports, she was also detained.

"A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote saying women don't matter," Schumer said as she addressed the crowd outside the Supreme Court. "No matter how this goes, they cannot keep us down."

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Read more:

Amy Schumer among those arrested before Kavanaugh vote