Skip to comments.Dancing at Jefferson Memorial is Illegal; Demonstrating at Funerals Okay
Posted on 06/01/2011 5:17:14 PM PDT by digger48
This video has been around for a few days, but I ignored it. It is another lesson why assumptions should never be made. When I first heard that protesters were arrested at the Jefferson Memorial for dancing, I assumed it involved loud music and wild gyrations. I assumed it was something that would be distracting to those who come to visit the Memorial.
Well, the only distractions that came from this event were the arrests.
First, a little history. In 2008, a group gathered to dance at the Jefferson Memorial in silence. The only music they had was heard through earphones. One person was arrested. The case wound through the courts until a judge ruled that in order to maintain an atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence dancing should remain banned at the Memorial.
Five people were arrested last week in protest of the courts ruling. Several images jump out while watching the video. The dancers are not ostentatious by any means. Their dancing is more like gliding. Loud talking would be more of a disruption. One man even continues to dance after being handcuffed. Another man becomes agitated after being told to shut up by the police officers. Rightly, he defends himself. Free speech has not yet been banned at the Memorial, just free dancing.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the camera people chased from the Memorial. They are threatened with arrest and told videoing the Memorial is illegal. That is absolutely false. Who has not visited the monuments in Washington, D.C., and not taken a picture or video? The cops simply do not want to be held accountable.
It is one thing to put a restriction on dancing in the Smithsonian or some other closed facility where admission may be required and space limited. The Jefferson Memorial is open air. Unless it is a large group holding an event, visitors are not going to be inconvenienced by the free spirit of dancing, something wholly appropriate to Jeffersons ideology.
That the judge would rule that an atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence is paramount for the Memorial stands in stark contrast with the Supreme Court that has ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church can properly demonstrate at funerals of dead soldiers. In comparison to the Jefferson Memorial, those are events for tranquility and reverence.
Harassing Funeral Goers is Constitutional Yes, the Westboro Baptist Church people are staying some distance away from the funeral. Legally, that is the difference between these people chanting, Thank God for dead soldiers and a few dancers trying to honor Jeffersons memory inside the Memorial.
Practically, a funeral is a private matter, and the Jefferson Memorial a public place. Protests are far more appropriate for public places.
This is not to say that the Westboro Baptist Church people should not have the right to protest. Putting up with people like this is the price to pay for the First Amendment. On the other hand, arresting silent and unobtrusive dancers at the Jefferson Memorial weakens the First Amendment.
This does not honor Thomas Jefferson.
One is illegal
One is not
Libertarians always remind me of people who suddenly think the speed limit should be raised after they get a speeding ticket
LOL! So true.
chickens coming home to roost.
The westboro morons don’t protest in the cemeteries.
These marxist agitators deliberately chose a place with rules in place because they wanted to get attention. Would it be OK if they decided to climb on the statues in DC?
“Protests are far more appropriate for public places.”
LOL. Not in the Rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial. They do not allow protests there as they disrupt people attempting to enjoy the inside of the Memorial.
Please name another Memorial that allows protests INSIDE.
The asshats selected this place because they knew they could dupe people into thinking this was an egregious offense at our liberties.
Congrats, poster...you’ve succeeded in being duped.
If Adam Kokesh and Code Pink want to protest anywhere in DC, they need to get a permit just like FReepers have to.
More about Kokesh and gang:
The protesters were communists from COde Pink along with Iraq-war veteran turned commie Adam Kokesh (He now works for Russia Today television, a hip version of the old Pravda).
This was staged to get attention, nothing else.
I don’t understand the point? other than ‘entitlement’ attitude gone wild that one feels entitled to act out in whatever abberant behaviour wherever one wants in order to make it to youtube or the 6pm news. Wouldn’t it be nice if those ‘dancers’ directed their creative energies into something more productive, like raising money for museums or whatever?
What a group of morons.
Its not like DC has a protest venue deficit.
Winning The Future was the purpose of all that?
The “protest leader” the LEFT brags is a “veteran” in this stupid dancing stunt is a former US Marine Reservist who was bounced for smuggling a handgun back from overseas.
These people want to dance? Go someplace ELSE and don’t mock and destroy parents and schools teaching our kids about our Nation.
Isn't it frustrating when people want to argue that something has been declared illegal wrongly? They really don't get it, do they? The point is that their betters have declared it wrong. More than their betters - their government masters have declared it wrong. To somehow thing this decision is subject to... to... questioning, by mere citizens, let alone, of all things, protest... LOL! What fools!
I, for one, am thankful that someone such as you, who can remind the rest of us of the utter simplicity of reality, and what America truly is (as opposed to childish fantasies), takes the time, and has the patience, to post such clarity.
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