White House DADT protester Scott Wooledge says ‘Try Me’

On Friday, we reported on the developments at the Federal Court House here in DC in the legal proceedings against the 13 DADT protesters who were arrested on November 15, 2010. For whatever reason, the U.S. Department of Justice is taking a harsher stance against these LGBT protesters than is normal under the circumstances. As we reported, even the Federal Judge said as much to the prosecutor. But, at the end of the day, there was no deal. The DOJ is standing firm and won’t reduce the charges.

Today, over at DailyKos, one of the protesters, Scott Wooledge, wrote an in-depth first person account of the proceedings. It’s a great read:

On Novermber 15, 2010, 13 Americans participated in an act of civil disobedience.

Thirty-seven days later they stood in a room crowded with most honored heroes of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal movement. The occasion was the signing ceremony for the legislation they so passionately advocated passing. The gracious invitation, extended by President Barack Obama himself, seemed to mark, for the players and for the country, a hopeful moment of mutual conciliation.

Now this same group finds themselves still being treated like common criminals by the very same administration.

Four months of negotiations with the Obama administration’s Department of Justice to broker a very simple plea agreement hit yet another wall on Friday, March 18. Thanks to psychodrew for following this story closely, some background here and here.

This is my first person account of how the “White House 13” found themselves on the path to an expensive and wholly unnecessary criminal trial.

The key sticking point from day one of the plea negotiations has been the prosecution’s unrelenting insistence that we demonstrators must be left with a permanent adult criminal record for taking action.

Of course, we always recognized this as a distinct possibility from the start. But it isn’t actually the case for most acts of civil disobedience. This is especially true for first-time offenders, which I, and most of the demonstrators are.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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