(Holy criminy I hate "BREAKING" diaries. Someone please flog me.)
UPDATED 2:00PM Eastern: Via @kerryeleveld of The Advocate, Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo have been arrested and removed from the fence.
I'm waiting for a "mainstream" news source to put this up, but the DC Agenda (formerly known as the Washington Blade) is reporting via its Twitter feed that Lt. Dan Choi, the West Point alum who cofounded Knights Out and has quickly become a leading voice for the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, has chained himself to the fence in front of the White House.
Choi had recently been deployed on active duty, but was in DC today to testify at a Senate hearing on the DADT repeal. I don't have much to go on here, but we'll piece it together over the fold...
About 20 minutes ago, from @DCAgenda:
Dan Choi just chained himself to the White House fence. Our reporter on the scene says security there is "freaking out."
Yellow police tape is being put up around Dan Choi, and Secret Service agents are standing with him. Choi remains chained to the fence.
Co-chair of GetEqual.org, the organization behind this event, is the woman who's been arrested. She's the only person arrested so far.
Dan Choi still has both arms chained to the White House fence. He's standing there stoically and silently.
The presser's still going on in the Rose Garden. Let's watch this one unfold...
@queerunity is now reporting that a second soldier, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, has also chained himself to the fence. Also, the ever fabulous Mike Signorile has this photo:
Choi's statement before he chained himself to the fence, courtesy of Pam's House Blend:
"Hello. My name is Lt. Dan Choi. I am being discharged from the US Army because I am gay and dared to say it out loud.
Today, I am here on a mission with Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, and we are asking you all to join us. We're calling you to action because we are at a turning point -- a moment in time where talk is no longer enough, and action is required.
Equality is not going to happen by itself.
You have been told that the President has a plan. But Congressman Barney Frank confirmed to us this week that the President still is not fully committed to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell this year.
And if we don't seize this moment it may not happen for a very long time.
Some may tell you that I am one of the lucky ones. I have been welcomed back by my unit with open arms. And it would be easy for me to stay quiet and hope that change will happen.
But what I was taught at West Point and learned in war is -- hope is not a strategy. As officers, James and I both find it a dereliction of our moral duty to remain silent while thousands of our brothers and sister are not allowed to serve openly and honestly.
Capt. Pietrangelo was honorably discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2004 and I will be subject to the same shortly. As officers we are here today fighting for those in the ranks, and we need our Commander in Chief to do the same.
Our fight is not here at Freedom Plaza, it is at the White House. We are walking to the White House right now to send the President a message. So...take out your cell phones and your cameras. Document this moment. Join us as together -- we make history."
UPDATED YET AGAIN!:
GetEqual.org, the group behind the protest, has officially put out a call for all LGBT activists and allies in the DC area to make their way to the protest site. Only one person has been arrested so far, Robin McGehee.