The Federal Government has abruptly dismissed the charges against Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo today right before their trial was set to get underway. Choi and Pietranhelo were charged with “failure to obey a lawful order” after handcuffing themselves to the White House fence earlier this year. (March 18th, See Story below)
From reports everything was all set to go, the arresting officers and Secret Service witnesses were in the courtroom ready to proceed when the charges were mysteriously dismissed.
Joe Sudbay over at AmericaBlog is quoting Paul Yandura, who was in the courtroom: “It’s clear that they were embarrassed that we were going to expose the fiction that repeal is finished or imminent. They were embarrassed that we subpoenaed the President and were going to use his words. It’s clear that civil disobedience was the winner today.”
Immediately aftre the trail Choi asked the prosecutor if this meant the “stay away” order from the White House was no longer valid. The prosecutor said, yes. So I expect we can plan to see him there soon. (And it would be nice if others joined him.)
On May 11th, hundreds of veterans from around the country will descend on Washington D.C.to lobby Congress on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
“The National Veterans Lobby Day on DADT, a project of Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign, in partnership with a broad coalition of other pro-military and pro-equality organizations, will take place immediately before the National Defense Authorization Act – the bill that should contain DADT repeal language – is drafted on Capitol Hill.”
Today, organizers also announced that the Pentagon and White House will now be lobbied that day as well:
“On Monday morning, May 10, 2010, participants already in Washington DC will have the opportunity to attend either a meeting with the Pentagon Working Group on DADT at the Pentagon or a meeting with White House staff in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Both of these events will provide able participants the chance to meet with key leaders about DADT in advance of the formal Lobby Day program and Congressional office visits.”
PLEASE bring handcuffs. Hundreds of military vets handcuffed to the White House fence would make such a statement
The man who SHOULD have been President 6 years ago if it wasn’t for the media Howard Dean, spontaneously took the stage at Get EQUAL’s DADT Rally in Washington, DC today.
Below thanks to John avarois at AmericaBlog we have both video of Howard Dean speaking and Lt. Dan Choi just as the activists handcuff themselves at the White House. The video then moves across the street to the White House and the activists.
Coming on the heels of President Obama’s heckeling by the gay activist GetEqual at the Barbara Boxer fundraising event last night, today at noon, six military veterans, three women and three men including Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo handcuffed themselves to the White House fence in a protest against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
GetEqual writes in a press release:
At 1:00 pm: the service members were removed from the fence and arrested.
Lt. Dan Choi along with five other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) discharged veterans — Capt. Jim Pietrangelo II, Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd, and Airman Victor Price — handcuffed themselves to the White House gates to demand that President Obama keep his promise to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year. The vets are concerned about mounting signs that the President is wavering on his promise to push for repeal this year.”
Said Choi: “We are handcuffing ourselves to the White House gates once again to demand that President Obama show leadership on repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ If the President were serious about keeping his promise to repeal this year, he would put the repeal language in his Defense Authorization budget. The President gave us an order at the Human Rights Campaign dinner to keep pressure on him and we will continue to return to the White House, in larger numbers, until the President keeps his promise to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year.”
Today on other blogs I have been seeing the UBER PC Queens whining about these actions and against the heckling of Obama and the new activist actions taking place. In my opinion for a gay person to speak against this type of protest is sickening. And to them I say they DESERVE the second class citizen status they now have.
It’s tume for us ALL to grow a set and stand up and FIGHT for our rights. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Back2Stonewall is all for what GetEqual is doing!! In fact I have joined them and plan to support them.
To those who do not, you are free to do so of course but you need to come up with your own plans then instead of just complaining.
UPDATE – Courtesy of Towleroad.com
1:55 pm: Police just informed the crowd that everyone must leave the sidewalk in front of the White House or be arrested, according to MetroWeekly. Choi and Pietrangelo are the only two remaining.
1:58 pm: Lt. Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo have been removed from the fence and arrested.
2:02 pm: Choi and Pietrangelo get cheers from the crowd as they are put into police van. Crowd applauds them as heroes.
Tweets Michelangelo Signorile: “Dan Choi took HRC’s and @kathygriffin ‘s celebrity photo op and turned it into a real protest at White House. And they stayed behind.”
CNN and MSNBC seem to have totally ignored this protest.
2:19 pm: Kathy Griffin, who either disappeared or was advised not to follow Choi after the HRC rally, tweets…
And of course……Human Rights Campaign President “Little” Joe Solmonese was reportedly nowhere to be seen during the Choi action.