CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Nine women were handcuffed and removed from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s campaign headquarters here early Tuesday, ending an 11-hour protest to persuade him to vote against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Democrat Manchin is seeking re-election and has declined to say how he will vote. He is under pressure to support Kavanaugh or risk defeat on Nov. 6 in a state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump two years ago.
A score of women clad in black occupied Manchin’s office early Monday afternoon, intending to confront him face-to-face. Some said they were sexual assault survivors.
But the senator was at work in Washington, D. C. As dinner time rolled around, his campaign staff fed the women pizza, hoping they would leave afterwards but they did not.
Around 11 p.m., nine hours after they assembled in his office, Manchin talked with the group by phone, saying he will not decide on Kavanaugh until reviewing the FBI investigation into sexual misconduct accusations against the Trump nominee.
Some of the women left Manchin’s campaign office then, but 11 remained.
At 1 a.m. Tuesday, Charleston police ordered everyone to depart. The nine women who resisted were arrested, escorted in handcuffs to a parking lot outside the office and released. They were told to appear in court Nov. 8.
A Facebook Live video recorded by a protester shows police ordering the demonstrators to vacate the premises.
“At this time, we’re going to ask you to leave,” an officer is heard telling the women. “Those who choose not to will be placed under arrest and charged with trespassing.”
An unidentified woman on the video can be heard saying: “We believe survivors, Manchin should believe survivors, and Manchin needs to vote no on Kavanaugh. And thank you to these brave ladies now being arrested for taking a stand and making their voices heard.”
Manchin issued a statement saying he does not want the women charged.
Details for this story were provided by the Beckley, W.Va., Register-Herald.