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Here Are The "D.C. 41"

Photo by thisisbossi.

At Monday's protest on Capitol Hill, Mayor Vince Gray and six members of the D.C. Council were arrested while protesting for D.C. voting rights and self-determination. They were joined by 34 other residents and activists, many of whom have remained anonymous or unknown to the general public.

Not anymore: listed below are the names of the "D.C. 41" (or, as they've also been called, the "41 for 51") in the order in which they were processed by the U.S. Capitol Police. (Gray is actually still wearing his #3 bracelet tag, which he showed off during his weekly press conference this morning.) The first person released was out past midnight; the last, Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), wasn't home until close to 5 a.m.  . . .

(Mike DeBonis's list  with additional annotations)

Michael A. Brown — D.C. Council Member (I-At Large)

Kwame Brown — D.C. Council Chairman (D)

Vincent Gray Mayor of the District of Columbia

Jack Evans — activist, not the D.C. Council Member

Eugene Kinlow — Outreach Director, D.C. Vote

Deangelo Scott

Lawrence Hams

Brian Pate

Marc Ferrara

Peter Bishop

Deborah Shore — Executive Director, Sasha Bruce Youthwork

Patricia Vrandenburg — Board Member, D.C. Vote

Yvette Alexander — D.C. Council Member (D-Ward 7)

Anise Jenkins — activist, Stand Up! for Democracy in D.C.

Muriel Bowser — D.C. Council Member (D-Ward 4)

Karen Hixson

Ann Aldrich

Carly Skidmore

Billie Day - League of Women Voters

Rachel Madelham

Mary Gosselink

Corryn Freeman - Howard University law student

Joseph Martin Perta — Board Member, D.C. Vote

Robert Brannum - President, D.C. Federation of Civic Associations

Maceo Thomas

Adam Maier — Chief of Staff to D.C. Council Member Sekou Biddle

Ilir Zherka — Executive Director, D.C. Vote and Maryland resident

Ryan Velasco

Sekou Biddle D.C. Council Member (D-At Large)

Lafayette Barnes

Jeffrey Richardson — Director, Mayor’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, and former head of Ward 8 Dems

Nicholas McCoy

Daniel Solomon — Board Member, D.C. Vote

George Marion Jr.

John Klenert — former Board Member, D.C. Vote

Jay Tamboli

Michael Panetta — “shadow” U.S. Representative

Bruce Spiva — former Board Chairman, D.C. Vote

Martin Moulton - President, Convention Center Community Association

Jason Cross - Special Assistant to Mayor Gray

Thomas Wells— D.C. Council Member (D-Ward 6)



Martin Moulton, #39

Posted on17 April 2011
Martin Moulton, #39. He was one of 41 D.C. residents arrested April 11 during a sit-in demonstration near the U.S. Capitol. (Luis Gomez Photos)
From Keri Douglas. She is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who lives in Logan Circle.
What does an American Freedom Fighter look like in 2011? Meet Martin Moulton: a tall, handsome man sporting a sky blue bike shirt, and donning a Tiffany-like black choker strand with a thick red charm fitted front and center, marked #39.
Moulton, a Shaw resident and entrepreneur, when asked what it felt like to be arrested on Monday, April 11, 2011, smiled and responded instinctively while holding the police issue #39 tag, “Fun.”
It began as an impromptu street protest of Congress for imposing its will on D.C. residents regarding spending restrictions and obligations. City leaders finally had enough and decided to stage a sit-in. Provoking arrest, detention and risking a police record for a lifetime, Moulton, too, sat down. The location as the middle of Constitution Avenue at 1st Street NE. According to dcist, they were chanting, “don’t tread on D.C., we demand democracy.”
Along with 40 other leaders of Washington, D.C. — including Mayor Vincent Gray, Council Chair Kwame Brown and several members of the D.C. Council — Moulton, president of the Convention Center Community Association (CCCA), was arrested.
Cuffed with plastic restraints, Moulton joined City Council Members Tommy Wells and Sekou Biddle in the police wagon to the Southwest Detention Center for processing. Held for almost 10 hours, Moulton and the others were denied food and only offered water. By 4:30 a.m., Moulton, like 26 others, paid a $50 fine and was released.
Though a Republican, Moulton says Democratic Mayor Gray is “standing up to Congress, standing up for voters rights!” “It was a good thing!” exclaims Moulton. “City leaders were finally doing something. I was doing this for myself and for fellow citizens of D.C.”
“It is frustrating when President Barack Obama has the world stage and says nothing,” Moulton continues, “Why can’t he criticize and just ask, what about D.C. citizens?” Even non-voting Delegate to the Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton, Moulton explains, was out there the weeks preceding. Moulton suggests the “message needs to get out there, spark a more serious dialogue. This is totally within our grasp.”
Moulton calculates that “if only 2,000 out of the 600,000 people would show up” the District would be successful in at least reaching the minimal goal of full representation with two Senators and one Representative, if not full statehood. When asked when full statehood could happen, Moulton quickly responds with “this year!”
“We must take the lessons learned from gay activists who brought same sex marriage to the national agenda.” Moulton, named after Martin Luther King, Jr., offers as a potential strategy to successfully reach the goal of full statehood.
The three riders put into the bill that instigated the act of civil disobedience included: removing federal funding for abortion for low income women; adding federal funding for school vouchers for parochial schools; and removing federal funding for needle exchanges. “Change can happen,” he explains further, “they put back the needle exchange.”
Moulton, a native of Berkley, California, is surprised Senator Barbara Boxer “caved” and women activists around the country didn’t aggressively fight back. “If only Boxer had been as aggressive as she was with Condoleezza Rice during the hearings.” Moulton says, “We need to set up the game and make this a national level issue.”
Unfortunately, Moulton explains, D.C. is plagued with consistent leadership challenges of corruption, cronyism and perception of a city poorly run. In addition, Moulton explains, “people are not engaged and instead are into their iPods, gadgets and lattes. People are complacent.”
Moulton insists that the arrests of the 41 should have been on the front page of The Washington Post, Washington Times and Washington Examiner, “they should be ashamed of themselves. Now there is silence. Who will cover the upcoming 15 trials?”
Moulton sees opportunities for change in the city indicated by the opening of the African American History Museum this fall, and the steady increase of residents to the District. People have choices and so many free resources available like no other city, Moulton insists, all within their reach. “Think of the world you want to live in, with equal rights. Young Americans deserve that!”
Moulton’s parents were “thrilled” to learn that he chose to stand up for the rights of D.C. citizens. His father, originally from Costa Rica and a former classmate of the legendary Civil Rights leader and now Congressman John Lewis, had to watch from the sidelines in 1961 as Lewis participated in sit-ins and led the Freedom Rides to desegregate the South.
Exactly 50 years later after the Civil Rights movement, civil disobedience continues for what is right. In fact, April 16 marked the 149 anniversary of the D.C. Emancipation Act, which freed the first slaves in the nation — those who lived in Washington, D.C.; it is 236 years after both free and enslaved blacks fought in the American Revolution against the British for taxation without representation.
Moulton says, “Make people feel empowered. Stand up and grab what you need, it is like fruit on a tree.”
Are you for equal rights for citizens of D.C.? Tell us your story.


Reflecting on the "D.C. 41," One Week Later

By Martin Austermuhle in News on April 18, 2011 3:30 PM

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A week ago today, 41 people, including Mayor Vince Gray and six members of the D.C. Council, got themselves arrested at a protest on Capitol Hill for D.C. voting rights and autonomy. (On Friday, three more people were arrested, and another protest organized by Ward 6 ANC commissioners is set for tomorrow at noonthis evening at 6 p.m.) Since then, plenty of ink has been spilled on the value -- or lack thereof -- of the protest, the wisdom of the tactics and what exactly comes next.Some cheered the protest, others thought it was counterproductive.

Some saw it as a cynical ploy by Gray to distract attention from his political problems, others disagreed. After six years of not-so-disinterested observation of the movement for D.C. voting rights, I've jotted down a few thoughts on the arrest of the "D.C. 41" and the larger fight for voting rights, self-determination and statehood.

1) The protest helped the larger movement for D.C. voting rights and self-determination: Anyone who's been to a protest for D.C. voting rights over the last few years knows that they don't often attract a lot of people. While last Monday's protest wasn't as big as the 2007 Voting Rights March, which attracted an estimated 5,000 people on a blustery spring day, it still saw a few hundred people energetically raise their voices and demand their rights. More than that, the cynicism that often afflicts the fight for D.C. voting rights was quieted by the broad excitement surrounding the fact that for once a group of elected officials was doing more than just talking about local autonomy -- they were acting on it. The protest also helped bring into sharp relief a part of the debate over D.C. voting rights that doesn't often get much attention -- legislative and budgetary autonomy. Ironically enough, the District's ability to craft its own legislation and budgets is the least sexy part of the fight, though it may be the one area where the most gains can be achieved. Congress has the constitutional right to govern over the District, though not the constitutional obligation. It can butt out if it chooses to. With enough energy and lobbying, the city may well succeed in getting Congress to for once limit its own interference in our affairs.

2) The District's issues went national: While the majority of those arrested were ordinary residents, Gray's participation projected the protest into the national realm. He made the media rounds throughout the week, appearing on everything from CNN to Bill O'Reilly to C-SPAN's Washington Journal and provoking powerful editorials and coverage from outlets like the Los Angeles Times and POLITICO. While polls have found that the majority of informed Americans support D.C. voting rights, the problem is that most people simply don't know that the District doesn't partake in the full menu of democratic rights available to other Americans. Making them aware of that fact has been the movement's most obvious Achilles heel, and Gray's appearance on national TV and radio to discuss his own arrest sheds invaluable light on the city's plight.

3) The protest was part of a multi-pronged strategy: After Gray and the six councilmembers were arrested, plenty of people called the event a stunt that would simply alienate the District from the very members of Congress it should be courting. Yes and no. Movements of this sort cannot follow one just one prong -- they need to appeal both to the grassroots and to official channels. There's no doubt that Gray needs to be more active on the Hill, and there's certainly something to be said for a lost opportunity in his one meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner. (D.C. voting rights was not discussed.) But simply going along to get along hasn't worked before, and we shouldn't assume it will work now. Gray and the District's other elected officials need grassroots support and energy behind them to better press their claims through official channels, and they won't get that support unless they show a little indignation over what they're fighting for.

4) The protest was a tactic, but not a strategy or a goal: Despite everything said above, the protest is merely a tactic. It's not a strategy for success, nor is it an end point. All 600,000 of the city's residents could take turns getting arrested throughout 2011 and end up with nothing more than misdemeanor charges against us. The movement and the city's elected officials have to find a way to work the success of last week's protest into a larger end-goal, be it full legislative and budgetary autonomy or a reinvigorated push for statehood. The political context may not be great -- Republicans will hold the House until at least next year, if not beyond -- but the timing is. Next year is the 150th anniversary of D.C. Emancipation Day, and the year after that is the 40th anniversary of the Home Rule Act. Those two dates could bookend a large citywide push for a stated goal, say legislative and budgetary autonomy. Can more people get arrested in the process? Sure. But should them getting arrested be the only thing that gets done? Absolutely not.

5) The protest was a distraction, but not on purpose: Plenty of people pointed out that Gray's arrestconveniently stole the limelight away from the persistent scandals involving shady hires and inflated pay for senior aides. That's true. But did Gray plan to get arrested solely for that reason? I don't think so. (Jonetta Rose Barras certainly disagrees, so read her take on it.) Gray's been strong on voting rights, self-determination and statehood for a while, and he long stated that he'd be willing to get arrested if there was a good enough reason for it and a groundswell of people willing to join him. The week leading up to the almost-shutdown of the federal and local government saw that groundswell -- thousands of people joined a Facebook group that threatened to take its trash down to Boehner's Capitol Hill apartment, and the abortion deal that averted a shutdown angered many others. Gray and voting rights activists knew that they would rarely see that much energy and anger fueling their cause, and they smartly went with it. Did Gray cynically see it as a way to push Sulaimon Brown's name out of the media for a few days? Probably. But did that dictate his decision? Likely not. If distracting the city had been his primary motivation, he could have chosen to get himself arrested the same day the D.C. Council was questioning some of his former aides on the administration's sketchy hiring practices. As it is, the hearings will go on, whether or not Gray emerged favorably from the arrest.

6) This isn't about abortion, but we shouldn't pretend that abortion has nothing to do with it: Barras and the Post's Courtland Milloy are none-too-happy that Gray had a press conference the day after his arrest in front of a Planned Parenthood office. To them, bringing an issue as controversial as abortion into the mix will only alienate potential supporters. ("Not even the most liberal black congregations will have their ministers standing in the pulpit on Sunday mornings advocating self-determination to fund abortions, needles for heroin addicts and legalized marijuana," angrily wrote Milloy.) To be sure, the fight isn't about abortion -- but neither should we pretend the issue has nothing to do with it. The main attacks on D.C. Home Rule have come by way of budget riders affecting local initiatives that are controversial to culture warriors -- medical marijuana, needle-exchange programs, abortion, same-sex marriage and gun control. While D.C. residents may have differing opinions on these issues, many of those same residents recognize that they should be left to local officials and voters to decide. To my knowledge, Dick Heller, the man that single-handedly brought down the city's three-decade-old ban on handguns, never went to Congress to ask them to do away with it. Instead, he appealed to the courts -- and won. That the concrete examples of Congress interfering in our business are controversial isn't our fault, nor should we sidestep them. Ultimately, this isn't about abortion -- it's about District residents and officials being able to debate and discuss controversial issues without having Congress tell us one way or another what to believe or what to do.

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