Cpt. Jim Pietrangelo and Lt. Dan Choi pleaded NOT GUILTY today to charges brought against them for handcuffing themselves to The White House Fence yesterday in an act of civil disobedience because of the constant inaction on the White House and Congress on repealing DADT. Pietangelo and Choi’s trial will take place on April 26.
Said Choi after his arraignment:
“There was no freer moment than being in that prison. It was freeing for me, and I thought of all of the other people that were still trapped – that were still handcuffed and fettered in their hearts. And we might have been caged up physically, but the message was very clear to all of the people who think that equality can be purchased with a donation, or with a cocktail party, or with tokens, that are serving in a public role. We are worth more than tokens. We have absolute value. And when the person who is oppressed by his own country wants to find out how to get that dignity back – being chained up and being arrested – that’s how you get your dignity conferred back upon you. And so I think that by actions, my call is to every leader – not just talking gay leaders – I’m talking any leader who believes in America, and the promises of America can be manifest. We’re gonna do it again. And we’re going to keep doing it until the promises are manifest. And we will not stop. This is a very clear message to President Obama and any other leader who supposes to talk for the American promise and the American people. We will not go away.”
AmericaBlog reports that the Human Rights Campaign was “on lockdown” today for fear of sit-ins from protesters, as well they should be.
“Apparently HRC is on lockdown, out of fear that gays civil rights advocate, angry at the organization for providing cover for the President’s and the Congress’s in action on DADT and ENDA, might try to stage a sit-in. I hear that even staff had to use key cards to get into the building, as everything was locked up tight (normally the front door is open). Locking the building down like the gay CTU is certainly one option. Another is simply doing your job. NB “Inaction” is incorrect. The White House is quite literally not interested in doing DADT this year. And HRC is publicly misleading the community about it. That’s why Barney Frank had to come out last Monday and ask the White House, publicly, to say that it wants DADT repealed this year.”
Watch Dan Choi’s Statement below: