Paid protesters at Kavanaugh hearings? Twitter abuzz after photo shows activist receiving cash
The hearings for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court have been mired by raucous protests and disruptions and now the emergence of photos from the scene has prompted some to ask if the protestors are paid actors.
Amid prolonged chaos and a reported 70 arrests in the first two days of hearings, rumors began circulating online that activist groups were handing out cash to protesters who would then storm the courtroom to cause as much disruption as possible with a view to getting arrested.
One such alleged paid-for actor was Vickie Lampron, who can be seen in this arrest video from inside the courtroom, shared by the Center for Popular Democracy, which is involved in the demonstrations. She was arrested shortly afterwards.
BREAKING: More arrest footage: A woman screaming in defense of her children's healthcare and Eric being dragged out the door of the Kavanaugh hearings! @PplsAction@popdemoc@mainepeople#StopKavanaugh#CancelKavanaugh#grassrootspic.twitter.com/Q29umuOEpB— Rights & Democracy (@RightsVT) September 4, 2018
In the below photo, shared by Adam Schindler, the Director of Online Strategy for Central, Lampron can be seen outside the courtroom speaking with Vinay Krishnan, a writer for SLAM magazine and an attorney, handing what appears to be money to Lampron outside the courthouse.
Schindler later added that he spoke to the protest’s organizer who confirmed that they were handing out cash which the protesters were using to pay fines they received for breaking the law.
Spoke to the protest organizer. She confirmed handing out cash, but said they intend cash to be used to pay fines they know come when protestors break the law. A small price to pay to be “heard” I suppose. #KavanaughConfirmation— Adam W. Schindler (@AdamSchindler) September 5, 2018
Twitter users chimed in to support the claims that something was amiss, with some asking questions about the source of the funds.
They’re all paid, check craigslist, local papers.....— K Rodriguez (@wbroadway) September 5, 2018
Founder and President of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk, decried the perceived hypocrisy on Twitter. He even described it as treasonous in nature.
Could you imagine the media's outrage if conservatives were paying cash to protestors to try & get them to disrupt Liberal confirmations?Here you see a woman receiving a cash payment who then went on to scream during the hearingIf this is real, the left is paying for chaos pic.twitter.com/WAWqg2x1gq— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) September 6, 2018
Definition of treason:The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow state to which the offender owes allegiance to, to harm or injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family. 2 : the betrayal of a trust- treacheryBehavior described in oped is absolutely treason— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) September 6, 2018
Others were quick to dismiss the photos as one big nothingburger.
Are you kidding? You think protesters had to be PAID to voice their concerns about their rights??— vicki pogatshnik🇺🇸 (@vickip24) September 6, 2018
I have to admit, I am skeptical. How do we know she didn't just buy tickets or a t-shirt? How is this "proof" of anything?— David Peterson (@dwp_david) September 5, 2018
Anyone could have staged that.— Dentoning (@dentoning) September 5, 2018
Winnie Wong, senior adviser to the Women's March, along with co-founders Linda Sarsour and Bob Bland were all arrested Monday for their part in disrupting the confirmation hearings.
"This is well-organized and scripted. This isn't chaos,” Wong told CNN. "It's exercising your constitutional rights.”
Wong confirmed to CNN that The Women's March had been fundraising for the planned protests via the group's email list and was paying protesters the $35 to $50 bail.
RT.com has contacted Vickie Lampron, the Women’s March and the Center for Popular Democracy for comment on what is taking place in the photo but it has yet to receive responses. It has been unable to reach Krishnan.
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