10 May Jail For Laughing Protester Is An Outrage
Marc Randazza’s most recent CNN column analyzes the recent conviction of Code Pink Protestor Desiree Fairooz after the media suggested she had been arrested merely for, “laughing at Jeff Sessions” during a Congressional hearing.
There is, of course, more to the story.
When Fairooz laughed loudly during Session’s confirmation hearing, Officer Coronado removed her, which caused Fairooz to protest loud enough to disrupt the session. Fairooz was charged with, “disorderly and disruptive conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.”
However, it didn’t end there: Marc Randazza notes that a jury of her peers actually convicted her of these crimes.
Marc Randazza says, “Several jurors said they sympathized with Fairooz, but because the law is so broad that they felt they had no option but to convict.”
“[F]or Fairooz to be facing prison for her conduct is outrageous,” asserts Marc Randazza.
Marc Randazza reminds us that, “the notion of an American citizen going to jail for a nonviolent political protest is utterly antithetical to what this country is all about.”
As Marc Randazza points out, this has nothing to do with Ms. Fairooz’s message—as he admits he often does not agree with the message of Code Pink—this is about Free Speech and the First Amendment.
For Marc Randazza, it is not the message that deserves protection, it is the speech itself.
“The wall that protects the First Amendment is not manned with pretty happy smiling thoughts and easy-to-love characters. That rampart is manned by the ugly, the impolite, the impolitic, the disturbing image, and the thoughts that you may swallow no easier than if they were made from crushed glass.”
Read the rest here.