VIDEO – Leaders of the state and national NAACP and other groups protest and get arrested again –
By Glynn Wilson –
MOBILE, Ala. — After hearing the news in municipal court Monday morning that the city was not going to press charges against NAACP protesters for staging a sit-in January 3 at Republican Senator Jeff Sessions’ local office, Cornell William Brooks, national president of the NAACP, led Sessions’ opponents in another rally, march and sit-in, only to get arrested again.
The six people arrested the first time for staging a sit-in at the Sessions’ office faced trespassing charges, a Class C misdemeanor, and could have faced up to three months in jail and a $500 fine. But not wanting to see more of a confrontation, sources say, Sessions asked the city not to press charges.
Three of the protesters who were arrested appeared in court Monday morning, including Alabama NAACP State Conference President Benard Simelton, Mobile NAACP Branch President Lizzetta McConnell, and Joe Keffer of the Alabama Moral Movement. Apparently the other three could not make it because their flights were delayed as part of computer glitch that interrupted service for Delta Air Lines, according to local reporting.
U.S. Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on Sessions’ appointment last week, but he is expected to be easily confirmed with a majority of Republican votes on Tuesday.
In answering the question of why protesters are willing to break the law now in acts of civil disobedience to oppose Sessions’ nomination like they did in the 1960s for civil rights and voting rights, national president of the NAACP Cornell William Brooks, a civil rights attorney and ordained minister, said it was because Sessions’ record “is not one that makes him fit to serve as attorney general.”
Brooks said Sessions has opposed the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and cheered when it was gutted. He said Sessions did not stand against those who claim there is widespread voter fraud in the U.S., including President Trump, and in fact lent credibility to “voter suppression” by supporting voter ID laws that discriminated against minorities and kept them from the polls.
“He cheered voter supression,” Brooks said. “If you do not respect the rights that our forebears gave their lives for we must oppose you.”
He said Sessions supported Trump by denying that grabbing a women’s genetalia was sexual assault.
“If you can’t call grabbing a woman’s genetalia assault, we can never call you attorney general,” Brooks said.
He made the case that Sessions record shows he is not committed to the “just application of the law” and “equal justice for everyone under the law,” and he argued that for activists, “this is the time to break the law that we might have a more effective attorney general.”
He indicated that what people are seeing from the Trump White House just in the first week “is not only sobering, not only frightening, not only alarming,” he said. “It is a call to action.”
“The choice before us,” he said, “is not between liberalism and conservatism, but authoritarianism and democracy.
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© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.