On Saturday night twenty people were at the Jefferson Memorial while dancing to the music of their own iPods disturbing no one. The park police showed up and ordered them to leave, despite the fact that they were not doing anything obviously illegal. One of the men tried to explain that they were merely celebrating the birthday of founding father Thomas Jefferson and questioned why they should have to leave. Eventually the police showed up and roughed them up a bit, cuffed one of them, Brooke Oberwetter, and brought her downtown and booked her. The real irony is that all of this happened at the Jefferson Memorial, on Jefferson’s birthday.
It is amazing the violent crimes no longer are a problem in Washington when the police can concentrate on hardcore criminals that practice that horrible art of dancing. Where’s Kevin Bacon when you need him?
Radley Balko a participant had this to say:
“Everyone I spoke with says there was no noise, there were no threats, and no laws broken (the park police I spoke with–including the arresting officer (who, oddly enough, denied to me that he was the arresting officer)–declined to say why she had been arrested).
The police refused to answer any questions, referring all calls to the communication number of the Park Police, which at this hour is closed. They also refused to give their badge numbers.”
Jason Talley another person there said this:
“First- I’d like to make a few things clear. We decided to use iPods to be respectful of other people’s experience at the Jefferson Memorial. No music was heard by anyone other than those wearing headphones. We chose midnight so that we wouldn’t disturb anyone. There were about six other people there that were not with us or the police. If you were one of these people I’d like to hear from you to get your account of what happened.
Perhaps six minutes into the event, security tried to stop us and kick us out of the memorial. Most of the Jefferson fans questioned the officers to try to understand what authority they citing to use force against us. Unfortunately I wasn’t near the “Jefferson 1” so I can’t tell you what she did or didn’t do but she was hauled away, handcuffed, in a police van and charged with disorderly conduct.
So in the 2008 version of the USA you cannot dance at the Jefferson Memorial without being disorderly it seems.”
The attitudes of those who are supposed to protect us is getting scarier by the minute. When it finally hits home, maybe someday there will be mass awareness and the motivation to stop this nonsense before we become a country of few freedoms.