September 28, 2006
It didn't take long Thursday morning for two protesters to be arrested. Several people had been sitting in protest outside of the Army Recruitment office in Seminole Square protesting what they call an unjust policy.
"I am completely serious about joining the Air Force but I have not applied because I know the, Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy won't let me in," said Rachel Miller.
Rachel Miller was one of two protesters arrested this morning at the Army Recruitment Center in Seminole Square. She wants to join the Air Force but the military's 13-year-old 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy automatically excludes openly gay individuals from enlisting. She said she has lived in secrecy before and wants the policy changed.
"We hope that people listen to this and just realize that oppression of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people happen everyday here," Miller said.
To have their message heard, Miller made an appointment to try and enlist. When she was denied because of her open sexuality, she and another protesters conducted a sit-in. Charlottesville City Police removed them from the building and placed them under arrest. While the protests ended with arrests, others say the will continue to try and invoke change.
"I am going to fight this oppression and do whatever we can to make a change in the current system," said protester Katie Kendall.
Both protesters were released from jail a short time later. They were each charged with one count of trespassing and will be in court on October 11th. They say they are going to take the fight to their local legislators to try and make a change.