A woman who laughed at Jeff Sessions is now facing prison time for her "crime." Desiree Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct and demonstrating on Capitol grounds after she attended Sessions' hearing confirmation and audibly laughed when a senator described him as holding a well-documented and extensive "record of treating all Americans equally under the law."
Ariel Gold, the Code Pink campaign director, described the laugh as more of an "audible gasp," according to The New York Times, but the U.S. Attorney's Office charged claimed that Fairooz "let out a loud burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter" and then became disruptive when police tried to escort her from the room. According to Code Pink, which describes itself as a "women-led grassroots organization," as Fairooz was escorted from the room, she unfurled a banner that read, "Support civil rights; Stop Sessions."
Two other Code Pink activists were acquitted of disorderly conduct charges but convicted of the parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds charges. The other activists, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, wore KKK garb to the hearing. Now, all three of them are staring down the possibility of a year in prison, $2,000 in fines, or both, The New York Times reported.
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
The three activists will be sentenced on June 21 and have not said whether or not they will appeal, though Fairooz's lawyer told the Times he would file motions to try to set the verdict aside.
"I felt it was my responsibility as a citizen to dissent at the confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions, a man who professes anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT policies, who has voted against several civil rights measures and who jokes about the white supremacist terrorist group the Ku Klux Klan," Fairooz said in a Code Pink statement.
Code Pink protests for and against various issues, including the situation in Syria, Donald Trump, and issues that affect women's rights. The group — and Fairooz — say this setback won't stop them. "That our members were convicted for peacefully protesting and speaking truth to lies hatred and racism of Jeff Sessions is an affront to justice," Gold said.