Saturday, June 4, 2011

Illegal Dance Party in Danville, IL

Federal Park Police arrested five people on Saturday May 28th for dancing at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The group was protesting a May 17 ruling in a case that dates back to April 2008, when a group of young libertarians organized by the now defunct group "Bureaucrash" decided to rendezvous at the memorial for a silent celebration of TJ's birthday.

Below is an account from "Spectator's" of the 2008

So as not to disturb any fellow memorial visitors, the group -- which numbered about 20, fewer than the 25 that would require a permit -- opted to wear headphones and listen to their own iPods. As it turned out, the half-dozen or so unrelated onlookers who happened to be on-hand (the park is open 24 hours) appeared mostly amused by the spectacle.

SECURITY PERSONNEL MOST assuredly were not amused. Within two minutes of the event's start, they began moving to disperse the crowd, ordering the dancers to leave immediately, forcibly laying their hands on some and hurling profanities at others.

A few party-goers attempted to explain the nature of the event, but memorial staff were in no mood to discuss political theory. At 11:59, just four minutes after the event's start, U.S. Park Police had detained and were handcuffing the aforementioned "Jefferson 1" -- 28-year-old occasional Spectator contributor Brooke Oberwetter -- ostensibly for unauthorized dancing.

Or, as former Bureaucrash chief Jason Talley puts it, "One minute I'm taking video of people celebrating the freedoms etched in the walls surrounding us, the next we see armed agents of the state putting chains on a friend of ours.

On 5-17-2011 The D.C. Circuit affirms there is no constitutional right to dance at the Jefferson Memorial Too read more of the court opinion on 5-17-2011 Click Here.

See my piece on "Protest Permits" for more information.

Below is our illegal dance party.

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