NAACP President Arrested at Jeff Sessions' Office

Dozens of activists staged all-day sit-in
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2017 12:34 AM CST
In this Nov. 29, 2016, photo, Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is shown during a meeting in Washington.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)
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(Newser) – Cornell William Brooks, national president of the NAACP, was among six people arrested Tuesday evening after an all-day sit-in at the Alabama offices of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general. Around two dozen civil rights activists occupied the Republican's Mobile offices at around 11am, denouncing Sessions' record on voting rights and calling him to withdraw his name from consideration for AG, the New York Times reports. Brooks and the other five, including Bernard Simelton, NAACP's Alabama director, prayed in front of police and agreed to be arrested. "We are about to be arrested," Brooks said as police moved in around 6:30pm. "We are doing this as an act of civil disobedience standing in the tradition of Rosa Parks and members of the NAACP community."

Sessions has long been dogged by accusations of racism and was rejected for a federal judgeship in 1986. In a live-stream of the protest, Simelton said everybody had been polite and hospitable, with Sessions even ordering lunch for protesters. "As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming attorney general of the United States," Brooks said in an earlier statement, per AL.com. "Sen. Sessions has callously ignored the reality of voter suppression but zealously prosecuted innocent civil rights leaders on trumped-up charges of voter fraud. As an opponent of the vote, he can't be trusted to be the chief law enforcement officer for voting rights." All six were charged with trespassing, according to Mobile County Jail records. (Read more Jeff Sessions stories.)

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