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Soulforce Greensboro DADT sit-in activists receive minor charges

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Blender and local activist Matt Hill Comer of Right to Serve passed on great news to report, a follow-up on the organization of and participation in a Don't Ask, Don't Tell sit-in recently at an Army Recruiting Center in Greensboro.
The nine Soulforce Right to Serve Campaign activists arrested during a sit-in after four youth attempted to enlist in the Army as proud, able-bodied, openly gay Americans on September 21, 2006, at the Army Recruiting Center in Greensboro attended their scheduled court appearance this morning in Guilford County District Court. The eight youth and one adult supporter were charged with Class 2 misdemeanor trespassing and were originally scheduled to appear on October 23, 2006, but the matter was then postponed for a month.

Soulforce activists Jessica Arvidson, Alex Barbato, Matt Hill Comer, Cris Elkins, Jacquelyn Hernandez, Danielle Hoffman, Leslie Hughes, Alex Nini, and Caitlin Stroud each signed statements agreeing to not break any laws and not to return to the Army Recruiting Center for 90 days. District Attorney Doug Henderson has agreed to drop all charges after 90 days if the nine activists uphold their court agreement. The nine activists were represented by Greensboro attorney, Samuel Johnson. The Honorable Susan Bray was the presiding judge.

"We are extremely happy and grateful that Guilford County District Attorney Doug Henderson has been willing to recognize the right of citizens to challenge the actions of its government in non-violence and civil disobedience," said Soulforce City Organizer Matt Hill Comer, "We thank District Attorney Henderson for recognizing the commitment these youth and supporters made in honoring the great American tradition of change through non-violent, civil disobedience, as set by four brave and committed NC A&T State University students right here in our own City of Greensboro more than forty years ago."