Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dan Choi, Troy Yocum

Victory for truth today! Government drops case against us. #DADT #LGBT

That's Lt Dan Choi yesterday on his Twitter feed. Yesterday Lt Dan Choi and Capt James Pietrangelo II went on trial for peaceful demonstrations on the sidewalk in front of the White House March 18th and April 20th. They were charged with failing to obey a lawful order (to disperse). Yusef Najafi (Metro Weekly) reports both men were in the DC court yesterday prepared for the start of the trial only to be told by DC Superior Court Judge Fredrick J. Sullivan, "Your cases are dismissed." South Florida Gay News adds, "Although the prosecution was ready to move forward and the arresting officers were present in courtroom 120 of DC Superior Court this morning, the government decided at the last minute today to drop the charges against Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II. Apparently, Prosecutor Christine Chang was unaware of the government's decision as she stated, 'I was ready,' and wasn't able to explain the last-minute decision not to prosecute." Eve Conant (Newsweek) reports, "Both men have faced criticism for continued acts of civil disobedience designed to fight the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, including a short hunger strike, as the Obama administration and Congress have recently begun steps toward repealing the 17-year-old ban. Choi has repeatedly told NEWSWEEK that any movement short of full and immediate repeal is welcome, but that without repeal the 'injustice' remains in force and he will continue to fight it. (Last week many gay-rights groups widely criticized a Pentagon survey on the repeal that they said was biased and could produce skewed results.)"

Zachary Wilson (Queer Sighted) offers
this evaluation, "Congrats to Choi, now a gay right icon, on his victory for truth. And congrats to the movement." Chris Geidner (Metro Weekly) reveals that GetEQUAL is already gearing up for a focus on ENDA, "The organization sent an email to its mailing list on Wednesday morning, asking 'Which Democratic leader should we hold accountable next for workplace protections for LGBT people?'"

army_mil-73865-2010-05-19-060544 by AnnWilson2010.
Troy Yocum. US military photo by John Crosby.

Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum is hiking across the US to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. He is in Kansas now and this is from his Twitter feed:

The map for the rest of Troys walk through Kansas. if you live in or near any of these cities let us know if you... 15 minutes ago reply

At his Facebook page, he currently has 92,895 people as friends. And they note:

Hike for our Heroes We got a challenge from a fan that if we can reach 100,000 fans by Aug 11th then he will match our donation to a Military Family. 7282 left to reach that. Please suggest your friends to this page so we can double a donation to a family in need.

I am not on Facebook, I don't endorse Facebook. If you are on Facebook, however, please consider friending Troy Yocum. If you're not familiar with Troy Yocum, his mission is explained here:

Our soldiers are ready at a moments notice. They don't pick their battles, but when called to service they respond. Keeping our enemies at bay. Our heroes are champions of freedom not eager for war but willing to sacrifice.

One for the need of many. Many veterans live by this military code and have done so when our country needed it the most. Now it is our NATIONAL HEROES who need our help and its time that we all stand by them with honor.

While one soldier may miss holidays, a birthday, or a birth of a child, others may suffer mentally and develop anxiety, depression or PTSD. Some even sacrifice much more by being injured by road side bombs, being shot or taking shrapnel. Some pay the ultimate price.

In any case, we ask a lot of our men and women in uniform and when in their time of strife, who can they call on?
And that's where we come in!


Is to further spread the word that our American Heroes are fighting just as hard at home as they do overseas. We hope to provide a peace of mind and lay the foundation for military families in need to succeed. Troy will literally put one foot in front of the other, crossing the great states of America to reach people and help spread the importance of helping our military families.

Our goal is to raise the needed $5 million for these families!

Raising $5 million for military families is no easy task. Here is a list of goals we hope to accomplish in-order to help us spread the word and support

-Get permission to perform a "Walk of Honor Ceremony" at The Churchill Downs track on Derby day.
This will immediately help us draw attention to our mission and hopefully get seen by Millions of people

-Enlist the help from many different organizations!
We need several groups of well organized people to help join in the hike. We hope the Police, Fire, and E.M.S departments along with Boy Scouts, Musicians, Young Marines and many Veterans whom can step up to the challenge of hiking throughout their cities to help raise awareness.

-Enlist the help from the American Legion and VFW
We will need space to park our RV and run our operations in the larger cities. We hope to team up with these great organizations and get many of these great men and women to walk along side Troy when possible.

-Get into every sports venue possible
Already we are working towards this goal and have secured some of the many MLB/Minor League Baseball games along Troy's route. We hope to be able to hike several football and basketball games as well. Here we hope to get an advertisement on the Jumbo Tron or programs promoting awareness.

-Meet Diane Sawyer
Yocum hopes to meet with one of his hometown's most prominent and beloved daughters in hopes to spread our story nationally.

-Get story and charity info into every Newspaper along route 2-5 days before we arrive.
It is imperative that we reach people with our story before Troy arrives. This will help get more publicity for the event and in-turn help raise more money.

-Publish the story in 30 magazines and 1000 websites
The more people read about the story the more chances of helping military families

-Find Bands who can help with the benefit shows
The Music benefit shows play a vital role in spreading the word. Not everyone will go to a sports game but many people love music

-Be interviewed on 2 major talk Shows
We are hoping to use our contacts to be on a late night talk show. Spring boarding the hike into national press.

-Do a PSA or interviews on 5 major Radio shows
We are looking for radio shows to donate air time to run a PSA about Troy's hike. Troy also has a goal of getting on the Dennis Miller radio program and several others along his route.

-Get A Book Deal
With the release of the documentary we hope to promote and distribute the story of Troy and Emmie's hike across America!

Turning to political prisoner Lynne Stewart, Mary Reinholz (Villager) reports:

Lynne Stewart, the jailed Downtown radical ex-lawyer awaiting resentencing July 15 on charges of materially aiding an Islamic terrorist conspiracy abroad, can still rouse a crowd of committed lefties on a steamy summer night in Greenwich Village.
More than 300 of Stewart's supporters showed up at a July 8 fundraiser for her defense at Judson Memorial Church on Washington
Square South. Many paid more than the recommended $20 apiece to hear speakers like former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Fred Hampton, Jr., and WBAI talk show host Ralph Schoenman proclaim Stewart's innocence.

Tuesday's Taking Aim (WBAI) broadcast excerpts from the event. Ruth noted that here and you can go to the WBAI archives to hear it (expires in approximately 90 days). Remember this event to show support for Lynne is this afternoon:

JULY 15, 2010
Sentencing is at 2:30pm, we will be there at 11am
Federal Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
Doors will open at 2pm

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