Six Arrested at White House Protest

Six Arrested at White House Protest

BY Kerry Eleveld

May 02 2010 12:15 PM ET

Servicemembers United’s Nicholson told the crowd he had run into White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel over the weekend and asked him whether there was still a chance that repeal could happen this year.

“He said he thought we had a 30 to 40 percent shot of repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ left this year,” Nicholson said. “You know why it’s not 60 to 80 percent? Because they don’t support us right now,” he added, pointing at the White House as the crowd cheered.

The demonstration was organized by the groups GetEqual, Queer Rising, and Talk about Equality. As the rally continued, Anne Tischer, Nora Camp, Alan Bounville, Natasha Dillon, Iana Dibona, and Mark Reed quietly handcuffed themselves to the White House gates. Once the throng of protesters noticed, they directed their chants at the White House.

The crowd grew to about 150 as people shouted, “We will not ... disappear. We'll remember ... in November” and waved signs reading, “Obama, Keep Your Promises,” and “Mr. Obama, What’s The Hold Up?”

One of the speakers at the rally, Robin Chaurasiya, said she had skipped classes when she was still a college student so that she could intern 20 hours a week at the office of then-senator Barack Obama.

“Why?” Chaurasiya said. “Because you were, in my mind, the face of ‘change’ for America.”

At a brown bag lunch for interns of the senator, she had asked Obama to share his best advice for success. “Always fight for what you believe in, never compromise your values, and you’ll be successful,” Obama told them.

“Well, Mr. President,” she continued on Sunday, “it is May 2, 2010, exactly one and a half years after your election, during which you promised to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ Look at us — we are all here, fighting for our beliefs, unwilling to compromise our values. But President Obama, only you can make us successful.”
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