CODEPINK holds rally at Justice Department for three activistsBaltimore Post-Examiner

CODEPINK holds rally at Justice Department for 3 activists

A spirited rally was held Wednesday by CODEPINK and its allies, on the steps of the U.S. Justice Department, in Washington, D.C.

Its purpose was to protest that three of its members were recently found guilty of disorderly conduct by a court in the District and each face a possible sentence of a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Tighe Barry as Jeff Sessions

The three activists are: Desiree Fariooz, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi. Their “disorderly conduct” took place at the confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on Jan. 10, 2017, of the then-U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions. He was appointed by President Donald Trump to be the head of the Justice Department. (His confirmation was approved by the Senate.)

Two of the defendants were arrested before the hearing even began. The third defendant, Fairooz, was locked-up because she was caught laughing out-loud when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Al), (with a straight face), had referred to Sessions as someone who had a documented record “of treating all Americans equally under the law.”

Keep in mind, that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) was barred from reading, at Sesssions’ hearing, a letter from the widow of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., (Coretta Scott King), which had sharply criticizing Sessions on his Civil Rights record.

CODEPINK is a national organization working for Peace and Justice on a wide array of issues. It is known for conducting demonstrations, but always in a peaceful and nonviolent manner.

The fear, as expressed by some activists, is that the Justice Department under the Trump-Pence regime may go out of its way to “crackdown on dissent, especially in the form of nonviolent protests.” In the past, they added, charges would not have been brought in this type of situation. Trump is well known to be very thin-skinned about any criticism directed his way.

One of the defendants, Tighe Barry, appeared at the rally, as Attorney General Sessions in a clown outfit. His antics mocking his arrest brought a lot of laughter from the demonstrators.

CODEPINK Co-Founder Medea Benjamin

The sentencing hearing for the three defendants is set for June 21, 2017, before the Robert E. Morin, Chief Judge of the Superior Court of D.C.

Speaking at the rally was Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK. She expressed her concerns about the status of the three cases and how justice wasn’t served by the jury’s verdicts. Her remarks can be found on Vimeo.

More of my photos can be found on Facebook.

(Video is Special to the Baltimore-Post Examiner)

Photos by Bill Hughes





About the author

Bill Hughes

Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: Contact the author.

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