Washington, DC – U.S. Supreme Court nomination protest organizers tried to get police to evict people who disagreed with them on Wednesday (videos below).
Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative organization Turning Point USA, attended the protest in front of the Capitol.
He tried to talk with some of the people holding up signs in protest of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh.
The president wants Kavanaugh to fill the seat of recently retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kirk said his mere presence “triggered” organizers of the demonstration who then immediately told him he was “not allowed” to talk with the protesters and ordered him out of the area.
Kirk appeared on FOX News on Thursday morning and gave context to the video of his interactions with the demonstrators.
The video showed Kirk calmly talking with several protesters holding signs, while his camera crew filmed the interaction.
He asked one man who was holding a sign that read “KAVA Nope” what his most disliked about the Supreme Court nominee.
“I’m just here to hold a sign,” the man told Kirk on the video.
Another young woman holding a sign said she was just there to get people out to vote for the 2018 midterm elections.
None of those people seemed to have a problem chatting – or arguing – with him on the video.
Kirk told FOX News Insider it appeared that many of the protesters were getting their talking points from the signs that they were given to hold at the protest.
He agreed that the group of a couple hundred protesters could be characterized as an “astro-turf crowd” protesting Kavanaugh’s nomination, meaning it was fake grassroots activism.
The video showed that everything was peaceful and Kirk’s banter with the demonstrators remained relatively respectful until he was approached by a woman who claimed to have the permit for the organized demonstration.
She tried to claim that he couldn't film in the public space, the video showed.
“We actually have a permit for this area. So we’re only allowing people to film that are with our group,” the woman told Kirk.
The area around the U.S. Capitol Building is open to the public, although groups must file for a permit to hold an organized protest. A permit to hold a demonstration does not exclude or prohibit other citizens from being in that public area, nor subject them to restrictions from the permitted group.
“We can go talk to the Capitol Police if you would like,” the protest organizer threatened when Kirk didn’t back down.
“I’d love that. You should have them come and tell me that I cannot be on U.S. federal government property,” he responded.
“I’m kicking you out because you’re here putting people on camera,” she whined in the video.
“With their consent,” Kirk pointed out.
At that point, she turned on the “protesters” who were sitting in chairs giving Kirk an interview when she interrupted.
“You shouldn’t actually agree to be on camera,” she lectured them in the video.
The woman sent somebody off to summon the Capitol Police and in the meantime, they continued to argue. Kirk remained calm while the protest organizer got more and more frustrated, the video showed.
“The permit is a permit to assemble, not to discriminate,” Kirk explained to the woman who seemed to believe she had reserved the entire area on the Capitol lawn for her group of protesters specifically.
“You’re not allowed to come talk to any of our people,” she told Kirk.
Eventually, an officer with the Capitol Police arrived and shut her down.
Kirk said the officer told the woman, “look, I can’t do anything here. Everyone has a right to assembly.”
But he said the woman kept telling the officer “well, we have a permit to be here.”
“You’re right to free speech doesn’t trump his,” the officer told the woman in the video, pointing to Kirk.
She backed down quickly at that point, but after the kerfuffle, fewer of the demonstrators appeared willing to chat on camera with Kirk.
You can see videos of the incident below (scroll down for more):