13 LGBT Activists Arrested after Sit-in at Senator Durbins Office

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Just got this information from the Gay Liberation after their planned sit-in at Senator Durbin's office.
Chicago, IL - May 20, 2010 -  As part of a broad strategy to gain a vote on ENDA this year, a group of thirteen Chicago activists have been arrested after a sit-in in Senator Richard J. Durbin's office.   The sit-in was initiated due to the Senator's lack of response regarding a pledge that a coalition of activist groups sent to the Senator for signature.  The pledge (in its entirety below) affirms his commitment to a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and forceful advocacy of the bill before the Media and Senate.  The 'form letter' response received from the Senator via email did state his support for ENDA, but does not mention transgender protections as part of the bill he supports:
In each of the last several Congresses, I have joined Senator Ted Kennedy as an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This measure would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Specifically, it would make it unlawful for employers to discharge or refuse to hire any individual, or limit any individual's employment opportunities, based on that person's sexual orientation.
The activists arrived in Senator Durbin's office at noon during a protest in support of ENDA that was taking place in front of the Federal Building.  With the pledge in hand they arrived and stated they would not leave until the Senator signed the pledge.  The Senator was not in the Chicago office and when the group asked to speak to the Senator via phone, they were told "that is not possible."  They refused to leave until the pledge was signed.  The staffer then called the Federal authorities to have them removed from the office. 
"I am here because we can no longer sit around and wait for our rights to be handed to us by politicians, we must demand our rights from them," said Lindsey Dietzler of LGBT Change and one of those arrested.  "We have to be here to fight for those who are forced to remain invisible and deny who they are just to make a living.  I want Senator Durbin to know that until there is full federal equality for every queer citizen, no one in this country is free."
The activists arrested are: Andrea Crain, Kevin Connaghan, Lindsey Dietzler, Roger Fraser, Judy Heithmar, Brent Holman-Gomez, Nik Maciejewski, Rachael McIntosh, Corrine Mina, Michael Oboza, Samantha Pajor, Sherry Wolf, Danelle Wylder. 
 "The LGBTQ community has stepped up to the plate and done our part. We gave votes, money, and countless hours of volunteer work to elect a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and put a Democrat in the White House," said Andrea Crain of Join the Impact Chicago.  "We have lobbied our representatives and educated the public. We were told to wait until after the health care bill passed, and it has passed. We did our work, now Senator Durbin must do his!"
Pease also contact Senator Durbin at his office at (312) 353-4952 and tell him to help get ENDA passed this year!


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  • More STUPID from GetATTENTION.

    Nobody is participating in these juvenile publicity stunts. The strategy of "demanding" is not effective and it is counterproductive. If demanding was all it took, we'd have achieved our equality a long time ago. Barney Frank was right - these are "stupid, childish stunts" and "they don't change any minds."

    It's time for GetATTENTION to GetLOST.

  • Why I

  • In reply to brentluishg:

    And Senator Durbin laughed at you and your friends.

    Please get over this juvenile idea that "demanding" is a strategy - it isn't. It's just complaining, anyone can do it.

    Today's publicity stunt didn't accomplish anything. "Results" means we change minds or votes - this silly "direct action" did neither.

    I appreciate your enthusiasm and your frustration. Find something effective to do, pissing on LGBT-friendly politicians or yelling in the street are NOT helpful.

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