Dance Party at TJ’s upsets TJ due to lack of dancing

Back on April 12th, 2008, less than twenty friends got together at the Thomas Jefferson memorial (the date being his 265th birthday, thus the get-together) and had a silent dance (wearing headphones so as not to bother anyone). The police decided to arrest them for “demonstrating without a permit” (as if you need a permit for a basic civil right like dancing in spot silently) along with various resisting arrest type charges (that is, the charges you give if you have no real charges to offer). Those charges were eventually dismissed, but the law was upheld and they were blocked from suing over civil rights violations.

As a response, Adam Kokesh (TV/radio host of “Adam Vs The Man” and a former marine who you may remember from Iraq Veterans Against the War, made the announcement that he was hosting a “Dance Party at TJ’s. That was yesterday. A small group of them (less than ten when the police stepped in) got together an silently slowdanced (you may recognize Code Pink founder and Green Party senatorial candidate Medea Benjamin expressing confusion at her arrest) or stood in place grooving to their headphones — nothing that might not happen on any random day. No yelling, no placards, no obvious sign of protest. Only an idea, a thought. I would say the dancing was irrelevant since they were risking arrest not for their perfectly acceptable behavior, they were risking arrest for their thoughts alone. Their legal actions were not done to break a law, they were only done to make it obvious to the police that their values were inline with those of Thomas Jefferson, the symbolic America father being celebrated in this memorial in the first place.

Watch the video for the policestate overreaction — it’s shocking and somewhat Kafkaesque.

The police of course violently arrest them (including body slams and choking) and when asked what they were being arrested for, the pigs refused to tell them, only saying “you’ll find out” (after a promise of the entire weekend in jail). To top it off, they told anyone filming it, including journalists (getting it on FOX), that they had to stop. To do this in front of the statue of Thomas Jefferson, just wow… Then they took the action of shutting down the entire memorial, telling everyone that they had to leave or be arrested, without any explanation as to why, even though nearly all the people there were just tourists there to visit a memorial to “freedom”.

The icing on the cake was the police forcing Chinese tourists out of the Jefferson Memorial, telling then that if they didn’t leave they would be arrested. I gotta wonder what world I’m living in when tourists go back to China, thanking their lucky stars that at least they don’t live in a big brother state like America.

If you’re not afraid of being arrested and fined — be there next Saturday!

5 Comments

  1. Zandelion wrote:

    As a citizen of Toronto I was surprised you never commented on the G20.

    Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink
  2. Dara wrote:

    wow. wtf. i wish i could go and dance there.

    Monday, May 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink
  3. Sue Carboni wrote:

    I wish I could be there. Of course, if you want to organize a dance in Connecticut, you could be arrested for just THINKING about it. The Constitution will never die.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  4. Scott wrote:

    I’d say there was ample assholery on BOTH sides of that event. On tape it looks like the cops overreacted, but also looks like Adam’s group was doing their best to exacerbate the situation. I’d like to knowing what happened earlier, off-camera, or that wasn’t included in the posted video.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  5. Simon wrote:

    I don’t even know what to say. In the UK you get the right to be told why you’re why you’re being arrested. In fairness, it’s likely to be for a section 5 offence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment,_alarm_or_distress), which frankly covers all sorts of offences depending on the situation.

    Friday, June 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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