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Howard Students Arrested While Protesting Senator Sessions’ AG Confirmation Hearing

By Paul Holston, Editor-in-Chief
Posted 3:30 PM EST, Tues., Jan. 10, 2017
Updated 8:25 PM EST, Tues., Jan. 10, 2017

About 10 Howard University students were arrested Tuesday afternoon after protesting the confirmation hearing of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as the next attorney general under President-elect Donald Trump. They were held at the United States Capitol Police Department and later released in the evening.

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Howard students that were arrested include Jacqueline Grant, Josh Parks, Llewellyn Robinson, Jamison Davis, Brittany McClendon-Weary and Anthony Davis, Jr. Grant is president of the Howard University NAACP College Chapter and Davis, Jr. is an administrative coordinator for the NAACP’s Youth and College Division. Kai Newkirk and Tonya Maduro, staff members of Democracy Spring, a movement organization committed to winning fundamental reforms to end the corruption of big money in politics and guarantee the right to vote for all Americans, were also arrested.

The HU NAACP planned to do a call of action early this morning at the Russell Senate Office Building to demand Sessions to withdraw from his nomination for attorney general.

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After attempting to enter the hearing, they were unsuccessful, and therefore, did a sit-in at Sessions’ senate office and delivered their demands vocally, according to Devin Crawford, a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow for the NAACP national headquarters.

“This is a movement for young people to move forward and to show the best traditions of HBCUs and NAACP with dissent and civil disobedience,” Crawford said.

Howard University Student Association Executive President Allyson Carpenter, who was not directly involved with HU NAACP’s actions, was also trying to attend the hearing, but did not get in because the large amount of people in attendance. Carpenter said that she fully supports HU NAACP’s actions and their courage to speak out.

“During our campaign, we told students that we would support efforts to restore the voting rights. Voting rights shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but during his career Jeff Sessions has made it one,” said Carpenter. “We hope that the Senate rejects the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions, as they did in 1986. We remain convinced that the bigoted views that he held 30 years ago are still relevant today and should be considered before giving him control of the Department of Justice.”

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Allyson is calling for students to join HUSA and HU NAACP in the second day of protests tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Full video of the sit-in can be found below on Democracy Spring’s Facebook page:

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