Immigrants Rights Activist From CASA Latino at the Sessions Hearing:
“We are all going to lose if we don’t fight for justice and real democracy”
Q: Tell us what happened in the confirmation hearing.
Young woman: We went inside. There was a very diverse group of activists. And citizens that are very, very much concerned about the possibility of having somebody like Sessions as our Attorney General. The person who becomes the Attorney General is going to be basically the architect who’s going to shape the policies that effect immigrants, Muslims, the LGBT community, women, and African Americans, basically the minorities.
So, we went there to denounce what we know about Sessions. That he has worked with the KKK. That he has called African American men “boys”, and that he has always been very anti-immigrant. He has never collaborated on any immigration reform bills. He’s also anti LGBT. And we expressed our concern, and asked the other Senators to do their job and defend the American people. And not vote him in.
I know there were folks from Code Pink. The beautiful thing about this is that we, were seven. But we were told there were 26 people arrested today from different organizations arrested. Which shows that there is activity resonating, with concern about our message.
Q: Talk more about this being a “beautiful thing.”
Young woman – That we are not alone when we are taking a stand. We immediately realized that there were many others with us, also defending very similar positions that we hold dear to our hearts. For me that was a beautiful thing. It wasn’t a coordinated effort. I mean, we didn’t know Code Pink was gonna be here. We didn’t know that these other groups were going to be here. United We Dream. We all converged, and said what we needed to say, and now we’re all here.
Q: What happened inside the Senate?
Young Woman: During the hearing, different Senators were asking questions. When it was our turn to be inside the hall … Senator Ted Cruz was speaking, and at that point we realized that Senator Cruz was not going to do any critical inquiries, and he was just there grandstanding. So one by one, all seven stood up and spoke their minds very loudly. They were removed from the room and arrested. They said that Sessions has worked with the KKK. And with white supremacist groups, and that he is an enemy of the African American community, of the immigrant community. And that the Senators have to do their job, and not confirm him. Variations of that message, in one way or another.
Q: What do you see as what needs to be done now?
Young woman: What we have to do right now, is this is the first hearing of a serious nomination that the president elect is trying desperately to railroad, to get his way, without proper vetting, and basically discouraging any form of protest and dissent. Its really critical that the progressive community set the tone and say we are not going to take this lying down. And that we are going to be fighting every step of the way. With all of our resources available. Whether it is civil disobedience… we’re in this together, whether we realize it or not, or want to or not. And we are all going to lose if we don’t fight for justice and real democracy.
(Interview by Revolution)