DC arraignment for ENDA 4 today; local rally planned outside Hutchison's office

Posted on 06 Apr 2010 at 8:46am
Chastity Kiven and others as they are led in handcuffs from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on March 18
Chastity Kiven and others as they are led in handcuffs from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on March 18.

The ENDA 4 will appear in a D.C. courtroom today for their arraignment. Dallas activist Chastity Kirven said that their attorney, former Attorney General for the District of Columbia Robert Spagnoletti, has worked out a plea agreement.

Kirven said that more than 200 supporters signed up to attend the hearing. Demonstrations supporting the ENDA 4 and their goal of getting the Employment Non-discrimination Act out of committee and onto the House floor for a vote will take place today across the country.

In Dallas, supporters will gather outside the office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The rally will begin at 3:30 p.m. The office is located at 10440 N. Central Expressway in the hotels.com building (on the east side of Central Expressway between Meadow Rd. and Royal Lane).

When the rally ends at 5:15 p.m., Get Equal, the group sponsoring the demonstration, will gather at The Brick in Oak Lawn and get an update on the arraignment in D.C.

Kirven and three other activists were charged with illegal entry when they refused to leave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office after a scheduled meeting with her staff. The meeting was to encourage Pelosi to move ENDA out of committee and up for a vote.

UPDATE: 10:55 a.m. — From a report from National Equality March and Get Equal in Washington D.C.

The ENDA 4 pleaded NOT GUILTY to charges stemming from the March 18 meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. They have been sent to an immediate “status hearing” in the same courthouse. The judge has ordered them to stay away from the Capitol and related buildings.

Kirven told Dallas Voice yesterday that she expected to plead “no contest” and was told that her attorney had worked out a plea deal that would have included community service and six months probation. No word on what happened to the plea bargain.

Among those in attendance at the hearing was Lt. Dan Choi who has been charged separately. Earlier on that same day, he was handcuffed to the White House fence protesting “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

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