Tuesday, April 20, 2010
SOLDIERS PROTEST AGAIN AT WHITE HOUSE
On Tuesday afternoon, Lt. Dan Choi, with Captain Jim Pietrangelo and four other uniformed members of the military, engaged in a new protest by handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. After a brief time, all six were arrested by capitol police and are now being held at the Anacostia police station. This was the second arrest for Choi and Pietrangelo, who chained themselves to the same fence last month during an HRC rally.
Before a group of reporters, Choi challenged President Obama to submit “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal language to Congress for inclusion in the defense authorization bill, which is now before the the Armed Services Committees of both the House and Senate. “We call on our commander in chief, the president of the United States to take bold action, to show firm resolve and real leadership on his promise to repeal 'don’t ask, don’t tell. To make good on that promise, he has an opportunity to transmit to Congress for the defense authorization bill repeal language.”
When a reporter asked, “Do you feel the president has let you down on this issue?” Choi fell silent and remained silent for the rest of the action.
The group also included Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, Cadet Mara Boyd, and Petty Officer Larry Whitt.
Robin McGeehee, co-founder of the new activist group GetEQUAL, worked the crowd with a blowhorn while other members held a banner demanded the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Meanwhile, police worked hard to squash any coverage of the protest, closing the area entirely and forcing both reporters and public back as far as two blocks. Reporter Brian Hinkley was one the scene. Listen to his cell phone conversation during this taped coverage: