Desiree Fairooz considers herself to be an ordinary person. She is a mother and grandmother who loves to hike, bike, and dance. Fairooz likes shopping at Costco and watching documentaries. Fairooz also has a couple of pets. She considers herself a regular human being that is also interested in peace, justice, and human rights issues.
However, Fairooz was arrested for laughing during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions. She was convicted of the two charges she received during her arrest. Fairooz was charged with disorderly and disruptive conduct, along with one charge of parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds. At her sentencing, Fairooz could spend some time in jail simply for laughing.
GFairooz feels that the government is petty for prosecuting her over laughter. Fairooz notes that during the same hearing, other people were laughing during the proceedings as well. Fairooz wonders why none of the attendees were arrested for laughing except for her. Fairooz feels that the only realistic reason why that happened is because she was there to protest Sessions’s confirmation. There should be more outrage that a few seconds of laughter during a public hearing could lead to jail time. Fairooz feels that her right to free speech was violated and everyone should be concerned about their freedoms.
Fairooz has been active since the George W. Bush Administration, when she joined the Code Pink; a female led peace group. Fairooz did not agree with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Code Pink wrote letters, made phone calls, and even attempted to visit the office, but were ignored. Code Pink protested at the fundraiser of Congress member Joe Barton. They also protested outside of President Bush’s ranch seeking an end to the war. Fairooz moved to Washington DC to continue her work with Code Pink. Fairooz has marched, fasted, and rallied numerous times, often getting arrested.
There was something different about the sessions hearings. Fairooz felt that it was her responsibility as a citizen to show her displeasure with him being named to a powerful law enforcement position. Sessions is known for supporting anti-immigrant and LGBTQ policies. Sessions has also voted against a few civil rights measures, and has the support of the Ku Klux Klan. There is real concern that sessions will not enforce equal protection of the law. That’s why Fairooz and Code Pink decided to take a stand during Sessions’s public hearing.
Fairooz and the rest of Code Pink held up signs about civil liberties. A few people were removed from the room by Capitol Police. However, when one senator made note of Sessions having a record of treating all Americans equal under the law, Fairooz laughed because she thought about Sessions’s record of voting against civil rights policies. The Capitol Police offer asked Fairooz to leave the hearing. When she questioned why she was being removed, other officers came over and used force to remove her from her chair. Fairooz does not regret her actions at the hearing.
Fairooz feels that her arrest and trial were a waste of taxpayer money. Fairooz feels that she was unfairly treated like a criminal. Fairooz feels that all of the money spent on multiple marshals, attorneys, lighting, and other courtroom maintenance was a waste of taxpayer money because it was unnecessary.
Fairooz is still confused about being prosecuted for laughing. Fairooz believes that this is a sign of how the Trump Administration will be, considering the fact that they don’t like being criticized and retribution often follows.