According to GetEQUAL’s Twitter feed, six activists including Lt. Dan Choi have chained themselves to the White House fence today in protest of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Here’s a photo. Stay tuned for updates. This marks the second time Choi has chained himself to the fence. On March 18, Choi and another outed military officer, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo were arrested. Choi and Pietrangelo were scheduled to go to trial April 26 for failure to obey a lawful order.
11:45 a.m. Central Time, UPDATE: According to GetEQUAL, the six activists are Choi, Pietrangelo, Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd and Cpl. Evelyn Thomas.
11:50 a.m., UPDATE: According to AmericaBLOG, the White House has closed Lafayette Park to stop the media from covering the protest. The activists are still chained to the fence. Here’s a photo:
12:03 p.m., UPDATE: After the jump, the press release from GetEQUAL, including bios of the activists. One of them, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, reportedly grew up in Texas.
12:12 p.m., UPDATE: All six of the protesters have been removed from the fence and taken away in a paddy wagon. The Huffington Post has a full report. Here’s an excerpt:
“We were here over 30 days ago demanding that the president add repeal language into the Defense Authorization bill,” said Robin McGehee, the co-founder of the organization. “He has not shown leadership to do that as of this time… [And] we don’t believe that you need to be delaying the service members who are suffering under this policy any longer.”
Asked whether Monday and Tuesday’s protest was a harbinger of things to come, McGehee, replied: “Absolutely. In our opinion we need equality all across the United States for all LGBT Americans. Service members are one group of people who are treated unjustly, but there are people who suffer…”
“At our national dinner he said: ‘Pressure me,'” she added. “We’re here to do it, That’s what we’re here to do.”