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Local activists protest Sessions at Capitol office in Martinsburg

By DANYEL VANREENEN

The Journal

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  — The West Virginia Women’s March on Washington, D.C. organizers gathered outside of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s, R-W.Va., Foxcroft Avenue office on Monday to protest the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for Attorney General.

Local activists gather in front of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s, R-W.Va., office in Martinsburg on Monday to protest the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to the position of Attorney General of the Department of Justice.
(Photo by Danyel VanReenen)

The rally gathered at 4 p.m. and event organizer Kim Krapf said the group planned to have a presence outside the building until 6 p.m.

Both Krapf and Sandra Lynch, another organizer, believe the local and nationwide rallies are making a difference.

“I hope we’re making a difference,” Lynch said. “Some people don’t understand why we’re doing this, and we just keep explaining.”

Krapf said the main reason the rally formed outside of Capito’s local office was to prevent Sessions from being confirmed as Attorney General. Many in attendance said Sessions was the wrong choice for the position.

“I feel that Sessions is the completely wrong person for the position, especially over civil rights issues” said Christine Johnson, an attendee.

Johnson said she also attended the rally because she’s concerned about the federal ban restricting travel between the United States and seven countries, including Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Johnson said she and her husband served in the military alongside Muslims from many countries named on the federal ban. She said many of those they worked with were promised special treatment for visas to the United States. Johnson believes the ban is going back on those promises and will hurt U.S. troops in the long run.

“Going back on our promises makes us no better than the people we’re fighting,” Johnson said.

Cherie Casari is against Sessions being confirmed to the Attorney General position as well. According to Casari, Sessions has been involved with racist programs and expressed homophobic views. Casari also said Sessions is anti-Muslim.

“I don’t think Sessions is the right choice for Attorney General,” Casari said.

Barbara Palmer’s reason for attending went deeper than preventing Sessions’ confirmation. Palmer, who grew up in England, recounted her recollections of the World War II era.

“I was so disgusted with everyone who sat back knowing what was in those ovens,” Palmer said. “It started with hate, discrimination and prejudice, and I don’t want that to happen here.”

Krapf said the Senate will consider Sessions’ confirmation today at 9:30 a.m. She and other attendees hope their efforts pay off during the meeting.

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