NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and five others were arrested during a sit-in protest of Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the nominee for attorney general.
“We are about to be arrested,” Brooks told The New York Times in a phone call moments before he was taken into custody. “We are doing this as an act of civil disobedience standing in the tradition of Rosa Parks and members of the NAACP community.”
The protest took place in Sessions' office in Mobile, Alabama, and lasted more than seven hours, reported USA Today. Between 10 and 20 protesters vowed to sit in Sessions' office until he withdrew his name from the attorney general nomination.
President-elect Donald Trump nominated Sessions on Nov. 18, 2016.
“We are all well aware of the laws of trespass,” Brooks told police during an exchange that was aired on a Facebook livestream. “We are engaging in a voluntary act of civil disobedience.”
Hours before his arrest, Brooks pointed out the rise in vote suppression against minorities and the continued police violence, in particularly against black Americans, made Sessions “the worst possible nominee for attorney general at the worst possible moment.”
“If we understand depth of commitment to be a requirement for the job of attorney general, then he is not qualified for the job, because he has demonstrated no depth of commitment when it comes to civil rights,” Brooks said.
Sessions said the Voting Rights Act is “intrusive legislation,” reports USA Today.
And Sessions said in 2008 that he doesn't approve of federal intervention of local police departments, according to the Marshall Project.
"We don't derive any pleasure from opposing this nomination, but here's what we know: the Voting Rights Act was literally born in Selma, Alabama ... and Sen. Sessions is son of Selma, he was born in Selma, but if we look at what Selma means, if we look at what the Voting Rights Act means and we look at his record, we have to oppose him," Brooks said.