All she did was laugh during Jeff Sessions U.S. Attorney General confirmation hearing. But because she did that, she now faces time in prison.
Sessions supporters failed to see the irony of the situation
Code Pink activist Desiree A. Fairooz was convicted on charges of disorderly conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds, Raw Story reports. But the only distraction she really created was laughing during the hearing, and that's why she was escorted from the chamber.
She faces up to one year in jail.
"We'll face that music when we get to that," said Fairooz, 61, after the trial. "I'm so disgusted with so many different aspects of our current government."
She laughed because Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) remarked that Sessions had a well-documented and "extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law," notes Ryan J. Reilly, writing for The Huffington Post.
What's particularly shocking is that Justice Department attorneys claimed during the trial that laughter was a sufficient reason to bring criminal charges against her. Their claim is that "heads turned around" when Fairooz burst out laughing. But their main focus was on how she acted when she was confronted by police officers.
"Why am I being taken out of here?" Fairooz asked. "I was going to be quiet, and now you're going to have me arrested? For what?"
She referred to Sessions' record as "evil," and said Shelby's comment was "ridiculous." Then she appeared to hold up her sign, which may be a violation of the ban on picketing, Reilly noted.
Another protester escorted out of Sessions hearing. Her original offense appeared to be simply laughing. pic.twitter.com/p6lWzBVFRW
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 10, 2017
Some jurors say that if Fairooz hadn't said anything while being escorted out, the outcome of the trial would have been different.
"Mrs. Fairooz's comments as she was being escorted out caused the session to stop," said the jury foreperson. "It disrupted the session."
Two other protesters, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who pretended to be pro-Sessions members of the KKK, were tried alongside Fairooz. They were convicted on two of three charges. They were found not guilty on one count of disruption because because the incident occurred before the hearing was gaveled in.
Related: BREAKING: Trump's AG Jeff Sessions Had Contact With Russia, Lied To Congress During Confirmation
All three protesters are all due back in court in June, Reilly reports. Jail time is possible because of the statutes they were convicted under, but there is a chance that they won't have to do time.
Let's hope that's true. While Donald Trump continually complains about the First Amendment, we still have a right to free speech. And while Trump is still president, we should protest whenever he does anything that harms Americans or other citizens of the world. Since he's continually doing things like this, we'll be busy.
Kudos to Fairooz, Bianchi and Barry for standing up for our rights. Now let's stand up for their rights as well.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
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