Thursday, March 18, 2010

Breaking:Dan Choi Hijacks HRC/Kathy Griffin DADT Rally, Chains Himself to White House Fence

This story has been burning up the interwebs all afternoon. Details are coming in quicker than I  can keep up. At about 1:00 pm this afternoon, the Human Rights Campaign held a rally at Freedom Plaza in the heart of a very busy DC, just two blocks from the White House, to kick off tomorrow's lobbying effort for the repeal  of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).

Towleroad's Andy Towle reported the following earlier today:

According to Tweets from Robin McGehee at GetEqual (see stream below) reporting from the Kathy Griffin - Human Rights Campaign "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rally, McGehee, who is traveling with Lt. Dan Choi, asked Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese if Choi could speak at the rally and he rebuffed her, telling her it was Kathy Griffin's rally.
McGehee is the co-director of the National Equality March and the organizer of the Meet in the Middle 4 Equality rallies in California.
Choi took the stage anyway, told Griffin DADT is not a joke, and announced that he was marching to the White House. Choi then began leading hundreds on a march to the White House. Reports are now coming in that Choi has chained himself to the White House fence, "Until we have full equality," Choi reportedly says. Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo are reportedly both handcuffed to the White House fence.
According to McGehee's tweets from the scene, within minutes, about 20 secret service agents were on the scene along with DC police, who proceeded to put yellow police tape around Lt. Choi. The crowd that followed Choi from Freedom Plaza was estimated in the hundreds, but disbursed to 50 or less after authorities arrived.

Reports from the scene say that Lt. Choi, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, who also handcuffed himself to the fence, where arrested along with McGehee, founder of Get Equal and Meet in the Middle and an organizer on the National Equality March.

Radio host, blogger and activist Michelangelo Signorile tweeted from the scene, "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."

The following video of the White House prtest was posted on YouTube this afternoon. You can see Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo in the middle of the screen:

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