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Dancing protestors arrested at the Jefferson Memorial

May 28, 2011

Dancing protestors arrested at the Jefferson Memorial

In April 2008, a group of less than 20 young people came to the memorial as part of a flash mob where they would dance to music played through their headphones. U.S. Park Police then told the dancers to leave, and eventually arrested one woman on misdemeanor charges, Mary Oberwetter. Oberwetter fought the charges in court, arguing that dancing was protected free speech, and noting that groups of noisy school children are routine at the memorial. She lost that case, with the courts agreeing that the U.S. Park service has a duty to maintain decorum at the nation's monuments, and no demonstrations are allowed inside the monuments. A district court judge recently upheld a lower court ruling that dancing at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC is illegal.

Several people were arrested May, 28th, 2011 (Memorial Day Weekend) afternoon at the Jefferson Memorial, protesting the recent court decision that upheld a ban on dancing at the memorial. They gathered peacefully to dance silently and announced they would be present well in advance on a wide variety of Social Media Sites. Still, Andrew Sharp, one of the protesters, says they were told they would not be given a warning and would be immediately arrested if they started dancing in the monument.

The memorial was closed for a short time after the protesters were arrested, but was opened a short time later.


If these videos disturb you as much as they did me please take the time to write a LETTER OF COMPLAINT against the Officers involved and mail it (snail mail) to: Office of the Chief - Dwight E. Pettiford, 1100 Ohio Drive S.W., Washington, D. C. 20242

Thank You!


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