Desiree Fairooz: Convicted and Facing Jail for Laughing at a Fascist Attorney General

May 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


January 20, Desiree Fairooz, was arrested for laughing during the confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions as attorney general. She now faces up to a year in jail.

Twenty people were arrested for disrupting Sessions’ confirmation hearing, including Carl Dix from the Revolutionary Communist Party; people with Refuse Fascism; immigrants’ rights activists; and three members of Code Pink, including Desiree Fairooz.

Prosecutors claimed Fairooz was protesting, not just laughing. Even if it were the case that she was arrested for protesting, that would be outrageous. But in fact she was arrested for laughing. She explained in an interview with Jezebel, “[W]hen [Alabama Senator Richard] Shelby said something to the effect of [Sessions] would defend all Americans, I found that statement ridiculous. It was absurd, because his history shows otherwise. At that point, I could not hold in my chortle. I just thought it was crazy. I don’t regret having laughed.”

And, she explained, “[T]hat’s when they created disturbance by bringing over other police officers. I was charged with parading, but they paraded me. It was maddening. I was upset at that point and I thought this was unjust and that they were just making an example of me. And then I thought well, they’re going to arrest me, I might as well have my message up while they do so. And that’s when I held the sign.”

In 1985, Sessions prosecuted three Black civil rights workers for registering Black people to vote in Alabama, and a sworn witness reported that he once called a white civil rights lawyer doing voting rights cases a “disgrace to his race,” and said he believed the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was OK until he learned its members smoked marijuana. He opposes a woman’s right to abortion, opposes gay marriage, and says immigrants create “cultural problems” in this country. Now he has a powerful position in the fascist Trump/Pence regime to enforce white supremacy. It was a very good thing people protested his confirmation hearing and none of those protesters should do ANY TIME behind bars.

Desiree Fairooz and the other Code Pink activists were convicted in a two-day trial, and face a possible sentence of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. She told Jezebel, “Now every day, I ask myself, is it fascism now? And so if we don’t stand up while we still have some modicum of democracy, it’ll be too late. So if anything, I hope others feel inspired to do likewise.”



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