Busted in Conway | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Busted in Conway

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2006 at 4:34 PM

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Randi Romo, a local activist, tells us that eight were arrested for refusing to end a protest at the armed forces recruiting center in Conway today. Two lesbians tried unsuccessfully to enlist in the Navy in defiance of the don't-ask-don't-tell policy.

Romo says one of the would-be volunteers, Esther Mead (in black jacket and red shirt) -- scored double the Arkansas average on the test given recruits. The other person who wanted to enlist, Aixa Zaldivar (immediately left of Mead), is an honorably discharged Marine veteran who tried to re-enlist. She's the daughter of military parents, both now serving overseas, Romo said.

When the Conway Eight refused to leave, they were arrested and handcuffed and then charged with trespassing. Romo reports that the Navy recruiters were polite in the refusal.

The idea of the demonstration was to raise public awareness about the discriminatory nature of the don't-tell policy. Able-bodied people are willing to serve but are being refused on account of sexual orientation, Romo said. She said they shouldn't have to lie about themselves to be able to serve,

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