NAACP Leads Sit-In At Sessions’ Alabama Office To Protest AG Nom

Members of the NAACP began a sit-in Tuesday at Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) office in Mobile, Alabama, vowing only to leave if Sessions withdrew his bid to be President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general or if they were arrested.

The NAACP’s national president and CEO, Cornell William Brooks, posted a picture of himself and Alabama NAACP activists in Sessions’ office on Twitter around midday Tuesday.

Brooks and the other protesters were still in Sessions’ office as of early Tuesday evening, and were occasionally posting live streams of the sit-in on the NAACP’s Facebook page and elsewhere.

A statement published on the NAACP’s website Saturday said that concurrent press conferences and demonstrations would take place at all five of the senators’ Alabama’s offices. The Montgomery Advertiser reported Tuesday that press conferences critical of Sessions’ nomination had taken place in front of the federal courthouse in Montgomery, as well as in Huntsville, Birmingham, and Dothan, although it does not appear as if sit-ins are taking place at Sessions’ other local offices.

“As a matter of conscience and conviction, we can neither be mute nor mumble our opposition to Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming Attorney General of the United States. Senator Sessions has callously ignored the reality of voter suppression but zealously prosecuted innocent civil rights leaders on trumped-up charges of voter fraud,” Brooks said in the statement.

He appeared to be referencing an incident in which Sessions brought 29 charges related to voter fraud and conspiracy against each of three black activists when he was a U.S. attorney in the 1980s. A jury found the activists innocent in a matter of hours.

“As an opponent of the vote, he can’t be trusted to be the chief law enforcement officer for voting rights,” Brooks continued in the statement.

Sessions was rejected from a federal judgeship in 1986 after a former colleague testified during his confirmation hearings that Sessions had made racially insensitive remarks. During those hearings, a Justice Department employee said Sessions had called the ACLU and NAACP “Communist-inspired” and “un-American,” comments for which Sessions said he had “meant no harm.”