Jefferson Memorial Dance Arrests Poorly Handled

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Poorly handled by the demonstrators, that is.

The above video splices together several perspectives on yesterday’s arrests at the Jefferson Memorial of Adam Kokesh and others who were there to demonstrate against restrictions on personal expression at the memorial site.

The BoingBoing crowd is making a lot of the way Kokesh is brought to the ground, which is a highly unfortunate distraction from the more important issue of “free speech zones” in modern America. You can skip forward into the video to about the 2:20 mark and see the two more physical arrests. The first is of an unidentified individual; the arrest starts out with little physicality until another individual runs in and attempts to pull the first man away from the officer. Both are taken down to the ground and restrained.

The third arrest is of Kokesh and starts around 3:00. Viewing from there and listening to the audio it’s clear that the officer first attempts to tell Kokesh to submit to arrest without touching him, then endeavors to turn him around and detain him. Kokesh ignores the requests, continues to walk away, then refuses to kneel. It’s at that point that the officer lifts him and throws him to the ground to restrain and arrest him.

The selectively edited highlight reelJames O’Keefe would be proud – doesn’t show the first man interfering with the other man’s arrest nor do you see the officer attempt to arrest Kokesh without violence. It’s hard to tell to what extent anyone is resisting against the officers once they’re prone; while they don’t get any limbs free it’s clear they were physically resisting before that point. They could be straining against the hold the officers have on they – it’s impossible to tell from the video.

I’m personally a big supporter of civil disobedience against unjust laws and I was all the way behind Kokesh and the others… till the second the officers attempted to arrest them. The law against peaceful non-disruptive demonstration is baloney, but it’s the current law of the land. Getting charged with it and fighting it – although this is pretty pointless since there’s already a case in play that may be further appealed above the circuit court level - is great, but resisting that arrest is not.

Changing the law and changing public opinion via non-violent demonstration and challenging the constitutionality of an arrest is fine, but the additional escalation in this circumstance is entirely on Kokesh and the other demonstrators. They had the opportunity to get arrested for that they believe in and show the world the status quo – the arrest of the couple gently swaying, for example, is a perfect demonstration of how silly this restriction is. Forcing the encounter to be violent by resisting arrest cheapens the whole thing and distracts from what should have been the core issue.

Kokesh and the others could have chosen to go limp and non-violently resist the arrest. Instead they made this mess. Too bad.

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


124 thoughts on “Jefferson Memorial Dance Arrests Poorly Handled

  1. I did not hear the bit that John A alluded to where the officer didn’t answer the question about what they were being charged with. However there was never any doubt about what they would be charged with – the same thing as Oberwetter, specifically demonstrating without a permit (36 C.F.R. § 7.96(g)(3)(ii)(C))

    I’m not up on the specifics of what is required to be disclosed upon arrest; an officer needs to tell you why you are being detained but the requirement may not be the same for arrest. Mark is right that in the original Oberwetter case the charges were amended after the fact – after she’d been released, even – but that in itself isn’t unusual and that I do know. Charges are amended and added after the fact all the time, just as they are sometimes later dropped in part or in full.

  2. The USA is turning into a police state. Who cares if a small group of people stop for 5 minutes and dance, so what! Cops only protect corporations and the rich class of society, law enforcement is a public welfare system.

  3. I’m not saying what they did was right or wrong, to be honest I thought they acted quite childish but when asked the police refused to state what they was being arrested for. Although I am quite bias on things like this as I have in the past been subject to false arrest and assault as well as pre-crime, in my experience when charges are dropped thats the police saying sorry and nothing more.

  4. @Reuben (and others making similar comments)

    Why should we give credit to Officer Helmet for speaking in a “polite” tone of voice? It seems as though there was a polite group of people there yesterday, and it wasn’t the group in the light blue Park Police shirts. It was the group that the Park Police decided to wrestle to the ground because they were being polite, but not being polite in precisely the manner that the Park Police wanted.

  5. I have to say, I am retired Army, I did not get wounded and have my friends die just for our government to turn around and make laws against our civil liberties. This is sick and totally infuriates me. These types of situations should be handled by a case-by-case basis. Just like someone has the right to scream and shout, it can become out of control and at that point an officer has the duty to arrest the offender for disorderly conduct. Dancing orginally happened at Jefferson’s memorial in 2008 because citizens of this great country thought it would be a fantastic way to express ourselves like Jefferson wanted. Like Jefferson said, “It’s better to have individuals over-express these liberties granted to us than have them under-expressed.” As a police officer in charge of enforcing this so called “law” I would have to enforce by a case-by-case basis. If that wasn’t acceptable to my superiors I would be forced to turn in my badge because I would not want to arrest someone for quietly expressing themselves. Yes, these people were challenging the law, and that’s their right. Yes, the cops did what they are allowed to do, shame on them anyway. They should be embarrassed for enforcing a law that violates our 1st ammendment right!

  6. Quite a few people in nazi Germany followed orders. Enforcing this law is pathetic. The state continues to grow and the sheep continue to listen.

  7. Adam Kokesh and his peoples are holding it down for all us fun/freedom loving folks!! Keep on dancing. Keep on sweating. Keep on riding. Keep on working. That is all we can do.

    peep the disco remix!!!! BOOOYAAAHHH!!

  8. The cop couldn’t even explain what law was being violated.

    This is a great example of how mindless laws are enforced everyday. Marijuana users are treated like this every day. Who cares? Ef’em – they broke the “law”.

  9. Pingback: U.S. Leftist With Russia TV Show Throws Protest/Publicity Stunt to Shut Down Jefferson Memorial | Matrix Blog

  10. I have to also voice my disagreement of the conclusion reached in this article, and it is disturbing to me that this is the only post I found under “google news” regarding this incident in any manner. trying to avoid this incident or spinning it in favor of law enforcement is a dangerous and telling sign of our times. the fact that this is going on at the Thomas Jefferson memorial is scandalous. These people were not informed of what law they would be detained under, they were never pronounced under arrest, and they were never read their rights! This is extremely basic constitutional law that is supposedly applicable everywhere in this country! Psh. Before too long it will be unwise to leave your home without a video camera in case something like this happens to you!

  11. Pingback: opassande » Blog Archive » Dansen vid Jefferson Memorial

  12. If you’re saying something along the lines of “They were right to be arrested because they disobeyed a direct police order” then you truly have lost your freedom. If a police officer said to you “Sir/Mam, don’t come any closer” while they were taking your children away to a death camp would you comply? Complying ins’t the point, it’s the fact that you can be held against your will for something as harmless as this. If the police hadn’t been there at all what would have happened? Would the wold have ended? No, there would have been some slightly crazy people dancing and mostly being ignored by the general public. America needs to wake up, all your liberties are being slowly stripped way to create an underclass for the wealthy. Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of great things and people have come out of the USA, that’s why I care enough to write this.

  13. Many of you have posted some excellent comments. The thing that bothers me the most is how our rights keep dwindeling. For me this takes the cake. Laws written to protect us from ourselves, such as euthenasia, seat belt laws, helmet laws etc. They’re even discussing laws about making hot dogs in smaller sizes to protect kids from choking. So it’s no surprise to arrest someone from dancing or hugging in the Memorial. My moral compass says this is maddness. A nation gone cookoo. I don’t care what a judge says, this is stupid. It’s my opinion too that these dancers and huggers were provoking an arrest. Seems apparent to me, but are they bad or wrong for this? Sure, a few can go to court and appeal the dicision, but think of the impact if enough people demanded the change. So, a little publicity stunt is a good thing. Did the Egyptians who protested their government do something bad or wrong with their protests? I’m sure if we Americans did what the Egyptians did, we would all be body slammed by cops and mass arrested by Riot police and the National Guard and all protesters charged with treason…because that’s the law. Even Obama told Murabek to listen to the will of the people, but that advice is never followed in America. I don’t remember voting if I think people can have free speech at that monument. Seems a judge decided that for, the government. What will it take for America to wake up and realise we are sliding into a Fascist state. It’s people like those dancers who keep the spirit of liberty alive, not the cops. Ask yourself, could you have done what those cops did? I couldn’t, so maybe that’s why I’m not a cop. Freedom is no guarantee, not even in America.

  14. This country needs a civil war NOW. The time is now , our freedoms are being squashed.

  15. You need to watch the movie DUNE., The way the “desert people” handle this type of situation is the way freedom loving Americans need to respond to tyranny like this… We will NOT fall into a police state! We must send the perpetrators of this tyranny to the depths of hell.

  16. There is a use of force continuum officers are supposed to use as a guideline. Putting your hands around someones neck and choking them is deadly force. The life of the officer was never in jeopardy, he had no reason to resort to choking someone. Additionally, choking someone in such a manner is not police SOP. Officers are trained in pain compliance, using pressure points and holds, choking someone is not part of that training.

  17. I have a few cops as friends. I know how they would have handled this situation: they would have simply smiled and let the dancing continue, as long as the dancers weren’t bumping into or obstructing other patrons at the memorial. That is, they would have silently been civil disobedient themselves, ignoring the stupid law.

  18. Kevin — Those cops were doing their job. We should be addressing “why is it their job to stop someone from dancing.” They were mostly respectful. All the talk on this board, from “rape” (seriously??) to “illegal arrest” should go to a courtroom for discussion. Let’s focus our efforts where they belong… defeating this nonsensical and unconstitutional “no speech zone” rather than being douchey in public. Their protest was poorly executed and followed none of the basic protocols for civil disobedience. I would join them if they did.

  19. To be clear, the police DID tell them, up front, that it was against the law to demonstrate inside the memorial, and that the “dance-in” (which the organizers had BILLED as a demonstration) was therefore against the law. We don’t know when folks were merandized, but assuming they weren’t because it wasn’t taped is silly. Police are not required to know the law by heart — they knew it was an illegal demonstration (as did the organizers) and were very clear that if they continued to dance, they’d be arrested.

    If you think the law against demonstrations in the Jefferson memorial, if you think that all laws that declare some publicly owned space to be “non-public forums”, by all means challenge the law. But don’t confuse the issue by blaming the police for the law, or trying to claim police brutality because they used the amount of force necessary to arrest folks who were deliberately engaged in an act of civil disobedience. Focus on getting the law changed. The organizers have already scheduled another demonstration for next Saturday — go on down, and get yourself arrested to highlight your objection to what you believe is an unjust law. But cooperate with the police, as did King and Gandhi and Parks and all kinds of other folks who have brought attention to laws they believed were unjust.

    Personally, I hope you don’t succeed. I’d hate to see the likes of Fred Phelps draping his hate filled crap in the Jefferson Memorial or a White Supremest group inside the Lincoln Memorial — and, if you succeed, those things will be legal. And I would, reluctantly, have to support their right to be there.

    But at least keep the focus on the law you want to change instead of shifting it to how the police behaved. I don’t think that was supposed to be the issue.

  20. There are two very different viewpoints coming into this discussion.

    One viewpoint, which I hold, is that I still have faith in our Courts to (eventually) make the proper decision based on the Constitution and established jurisprudence. I believe that the decision by the Circuit Court was reasonable and just. I also believe in the value and efficacy of civil disobedience. I firmly support the Civil Rights era civil disobedience. One huge tenant of that fight was that if you are going to get arrested, you get arrested only for violating the unjust law. You also present yourself in a way that is otherwise unimpeachable. That’s why the civil rights era protesters always wore their Sunday best while engaging in civil disobedience. Had this group of dancers been wearing ballroom attire and silently dancing, and submitted peacefully to their arrest, this discussion would be much different. The only thing that would be discussed would be the merit of the regulation that prohibits demonstrations.

    There seems to be another viewpoint here, that the government is mostly illegitimate at this point and that there’s no hope for attempting to fight things in Court. While I do not hold this view, I do understand to a point how some people may.

    To those who do hold that view, I’m not sure what would be an acceptable remedy, short of complete overthrow of the government (see the comment referring to Civil War.)

  21. If you see no difference between police upholding a law (whether you agree with it or not) and an officer violently assaulting a citizen (as in John’s link) then I don’t know what to say to you – we are so far apart in our perspectives and personal moral stances that I don’t see how we can ever understand each other.

    I firmly oppose the use of unnecessary physical force by law enforcement and there are days where it terrifies me how blase we have become about the use of tasers and gas. But I strongly believe that we will never get enough people to share that concern unless we can point at an incident and say “that was unnecessary” without any disagreement from rational folks.

    When someone being arrested pulls away from an officer, refuses to comply with an order to submit to arrest, physically interferes with an arrest in progress, moves about unpredictably, keeps their hands hidden… all these things raise doubt. They provide law enforcement with the thing to point to and say “we did what we had to because of THAT.”

    Was there another way that the arresting officer could have restrained Kokesh as he kept walking and pulling away? Maybe. I’m not trained in restraint techniques and my gut tells me the way to go is to trip someone rather than lift and drop. But maybe this isn’t the accepted method; maybe there’s concern about knocking their head and dropping them on their ass is less likely to cause permanent damage. Maybe the officer wasn’t adequately trained in such methods.

    Which is exactly the point and the problem – Kokesh and the others, by resisting, opened the door to this hair-splitting. If they’d been violently thrown down while not moving or choked as they went limp we wouldn’t have to discuss it – we’d know that the force used was too much. Instead we’re parsing degrees instead of being able to say “that was obviously too much.”

  22. This is a bit complicated. When there is a law that the public is uncomfortable with, they may change it. But how do you even know what law to change? How could this group get people to change the law against demonstrating/dancing in the Memorial? They had to demonstrate to eh, demonstrate the law and how police respond. The guy holding the arm of his fellow is obstructing justice and the other fellow who keeps trying to walk out of the policeman’s holding is resisting arrest. But he is resisting arrest because the law is stupid and not specific. I can understand that if you had too many people demonstrating in this rather small space, people could get hurt and if they let a small group like this go (as they couldn’t possibly harm anyone as they were) then others can get away with it too.

    The officers were polite in the beginning but they never answered the group’s question of what law would they break if they were to dance. He could have said that the courts have determined (I am not sure they did) that dancing within this space could be considered demonstrating if the parties dancing were in fact a part of the group that is demonstrating. But what if I were to visit with a lady and we were swaying to some music either recorded or being performed outside – would we be arrested? If so, this is obviously wrong. I should be told what the law is at the least and in this case it wouldn’t be part of a group so no demonstration is involved.

    Too many officers are turning into soldiers. The Posse Comitatus was created to stop police from being professional killers which what a soldier is. Police are supposed to be the enforcers of the law. These officers were enforcing a law. We may want to change that law. They don’t have to slam people who are unarmed and not violent to the hard ground and hurt them though.

    We do live in a police state. If you don’t believe this, just do the research

  23. Kokesh and his mates knew what they we’re doing and knew there was a possibility of being arrested. That was the point, folks. This automatically gets them the exposure they needed. The police state is alive and well. Peace officers should keep the peace and turn a blind eye to the laws that are worthless. Unfortunately we no longer have peace officers.

  24. I don’t much care for the idea of police ignoring laws they don’t like. That seems hand in hand with deciding you’re only going to enforce laws against people you don’t like.

  25. The court ruled WESTBORO Baptist Church may continue to protest at military funerals. A time when everyone’s emotions are extremely volatile and rational thinking may not be an option for some. Its dangerous, but only to the followers of Westboro Baptist church, so I really don’t care. So they may continue to protest at a funeral (which in my mind is completely irrational since I don’t see what you could possibly be protesting, unless it was the war) They can do that but we can’t dance quietly or kiss at Jefferson’s Monument? Keep it up government, there’s many more citizens who love their freedoms then there is government officials to control them :)

  26. Yes, the dancers intentionally broke a law. Yes, the police were technically right to arrest them, although the law is dumb. BUT the way in which the arrest was carried out was inappropriate, which is what’s under investigation, it was way too forcible. We need to go back to privileging the spirit of the law over the letter.

  27. danged hippies..look im all for standing up for what is right..but there is a right and wrong way to do it..and not putting your hands behind your back when an officer asks you a few times then crying foul when he takes action isnt the right way.

  28. “POORLY HANDLED?” These “officers” should be imprisoned immediately. They have, regardless of the “ban” on a perfectly legal and constitutional activity, violated the rights of citizens, and have attacked the sovereignty of the United States, by violently attacking its citizens. I’m all for stringing them up. No, I’m not kidding. And I don’t feel I’m overreacting. These enemies of the people should be tried and this video played for the jury. After that (and after they are subsequently found guilty), they should be imprisoned for the rest of their miserable lives, if not executed for treason. How in any reasonable realm of reality, can the author of this article claim that the citizens in this instance “escalated” the situation. When a scoundrel is standing over you with his hands on your throat, telling you this is “your last warning” under the threat of lethal force, you’re not “escalating” anything. I’m libertarian/conservative. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the state doing what it does with its power.

  29. My second post on this topic…I’m tired of reading comments such as, “if you don’t like the law, then go change the law” or “The cops aren’t the bad guy, but resisting arrest is”…etc. None of these comments make sense to me. First, “did we the people” make this law? No. The government did (a judge). There is irony in our American Democracy in the fact that “we the people” aren’t the ones truly governing ourselves. Instead, it has turned out that we the people have to appeal what the government is telling us. There’s irony in that. Do our elected officials really speak for us? Bwahhhahha. I laugh. Then, there are cops who go out and arrest folks…because that’s the law, regardless of how stupid the law is (audience can now say Seig Heil!). The government and cops work in tandem…to control us..oh, forgot a lawyer or two is need too. So are we the people really making the laws that govern us or is it the government who knows best? My point is that we’ve lost our freedoms when we have to appeal laws that we the people never created in the first place. Maybe in a true democracy it should be the other way around. We shouldn’t have to write our congressmen or government officials asking like little children for “them” to change the law. For me peaceful demonstration says to the government…”we’re not going to take it.”

  30. Read the case finding below and remind anyone you know not to do the following at the Jefferson Memorial: Be a grandma with blue hair, wear a tee shirt with writing on it, wear a Hijab, be a cripple in a wheel chair, or hold hands with a loved one, or bring a fussy baby….oh and dance. Make sure Johnny takes his dilantin dose before going. Don’t want any seizure activity at the memorial, that will definately get your kid body slammed. Any of those previous examples could be construde by the feared Park Police as an “intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers.” So a cop at the memorial could body slam a cripple with MS because “the cop knows the family brought the cripple their to the monument to draw a crowd or onlookers.” Wow, I’m glad all cops are so knowledgeable. So weather or not a crowd is drawn or not, doesn’t matter, but the wise park cop knows the intent. Bwahhaaahaaa.

    Plaintiff Oberwetter and sixteen others were “silently dancing” inside the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial in celebration of Thomas Jefferson’s 265th birthday. After Oberwetter twice refused requests to stop, Park Police officers arrested her for “interfering with an agency function” and “demonstrating without a permit” in violation of the National Park Service Regulations, 36 C.F.R. § 7.96(g)(3)(ii)(C). The regulations defined demonstrations to include “picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct … the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers.” Oberwetter filed suit alleging that the regulations violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. She also brought Bivens claims against the arresting officer. The District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed Oberwetter’s complaint for failure to state a claim. The D.C. Circuit affirmed.

  31. “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

    –Abraham Linclon

    “I am… against all violations of the Constitution to silence by
    force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.”
    –Thomas Jefferson

    “The spirit of resistance to government
    is so valuable on certain occasions,
    that I wish it to be always kept alive.
    It will often be exercised when wrong,
    but better so than not to be exercised at all.
    I like a little rebellion now and then.”

    –Thomas Jefferson

  32. All you fuckin white people need to get a life.
    Thousands of people in Bahrain, and Libya are walking the streets in non violence for their HUMAN RIGHTS and you dumb white people without a fuckin life protest NOTHING with like 15 of you dancing beside a statue?!!!
    Holy crap! Whatever happened to standing up for real issues? The poor? The taxes? The fact that your money goes towards killing people overseas?
    Fuck, you white people dont know how good you have it!!! Look at this video; I’m embarrassed FOR you. You dont know half the shit people struggle through in this world, and you’re protesting free expression?! get the hell out of here. You’re so shallow I can’t stand it!

  33. Improperly handled? OMG, you white people need to travel! You want to look at how bad your country is? How unfair the law is?
    Look at the people assembling in Libya in non-violence, being shot from above by helicopters by their own government? Go to Bahrain, see people walking in peace in protest, and see them shot down by their government’s tanks!!!! THATS what you call improperly handled
    This stupid video and protest is the epitome of White-American Ungrateful Ignorance.
    If you can’t dare to go to the middle east or asia, where they block twitter and youtube, then at least go on youtube yourself and see what the fuck is happening in the world! THEN tell me about how unjust our laws are because 5 of you can’t dance in a public park.
    You think y’all are soldiers? Look at that guy wearing the Gandhi shirt! The Sikhs were shot in a closed in area at the protest in Amritzar, hundreds of women and children and men. Gandhi went to jail a number of times, and sorry – not for the night or the weekend.
    You protesting shit like this is a shame to Gandhi. You’re protesting free expression of a ban against dancing beside a statue and Gandhi was protesting INDENTURED LABOR and OPPRESSION and SEGREGATION!!! HUMAN RIGHTS, whitey. But what would you know about that? Your biggest issue is being able to dance beside a statue. Burn your shirt man. You white people need a clue. Big time.

  34. So if they hadn’t called it a demonstration, maybe a ‘birthday celebration’ perhaps, would that have made any difference? Context is relevant but the objective reading of the events makes the law look like a complete ass here.

  35. The whole thing is silly 1. Why was there a need to pass a law against dancing at National Monuments? Was there a problem with this? Who was bothered by dancing? No one else in the video was even noticing until the Park Police got involved and things escalated. How much fun could it be to dance around if no one notices? 2. The protestors were obviously there to disobey and protest the law (and create their 15 minutes of fame) 3. The police are required to enforce laws (even those with which they disagree) 4. I agree that the response was pretty heavy-handed. A true no-win situation initially started by the protestors. The protestors go to jail over dancing–not war policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, not really even freedom of speech–nothing important. The police look like a bunch of hot-heads. Really silly.

  36. The cop didn’t say what the violation was because EVERYBODY knew it already. The protesters are in the wrong.

    There is a law that you can’t protest there.
    It is THAT simple. They went there KNOWING that
    and with the intent of forcing the cops to arrest them.

  37. I swear, go look at what Adam Kokesh is about. He’s a war vet that helped start the Iraq Veterans Against War. He’s been arrested several times for civil disobedience. It’s not just about the dancing. Before you go off about what’s going on around the world, understand that Kokesh knows and so do the people around him. Does it have to get so bad, like in Egypt and Libya before we can start noticing?

  38. I’m directing this comment toward post #90 ImproperlyHandled….I’m assuming you have personally been to these “hot spots” and have pesonally seen these autrocities you mention, or are you just reading about it on Google News from the comfort of your living room? Don’t dare start quoting Ghandi especially in the same sentence you are bashing white people. Would Ghandi act like you? No. A Hindu once approached Ghandi and told Ghandi how he had snatched a Muslem baby from the arms of it’s mother and smashed the babies head against a stone front of the mother. What did Ghandi do? He told the Hindu to raise a Muslem orphan, but raise the orphan in the Muslem faith. Maybe us white folks know more about Ghandi, than someone who just wants to be a bigot like you. Would Ghandi sing, “I’m gonna get me a shot-gun and shoot all the whities I see…” No. Until Arab brothers start helping Arab brothers instead of casting blame on the Western world, the mid East will continue to fester and autrocities continue. Don’t expect Americans to put our concerns on hold because the Mid East continues to fester…we don’t have another 1,000 years to wait. America isn’t just whitey, it’s Hispanic, African and Asian…a heterogenious mixture. These blogs are about our civil liberties here in America, specifically the incident at the Thomas Jefferson Monument. So et off your bigotted soap box and go over to the Mid East…put your money (life) where your mouth is. For me, I’m trying to clean up our own back yard. So, maybe it is you that needs to get a clue.

  39. Each incident enacted must be looked at on it’s own merits. For those who say they should just go limp and be arrested perhaps you should read the appeals court findings. Then you should read the following.

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  40. This all so much reminds me when I was in China, near Tiananmen Square, walking down the street hand-in-hand with my Hong Kong-born wife (I’m Cajun). A cop approached us, and said, as interpreted by my wife, “you can’t hold hands here”. Knowing I was in a country where rights have no meaning, I just let go of my wife’s hands, smiled at the cop, and said very brightly, “you racist pig”. He smiled back, and said thank you in Mandarin.

    Cops every day choose not to enforce many thousands of laws. Broken taillights, unregistered cats and dogs walking down the street, still-on-the-books sodomy laws between husband and wife, etc., etc.; and we’re not talking about a law against dancing here, merely a district court’s interpretation of what a “demonstration” is. The cops still had plenty of latitude in this situation, yet they still chose to break up a couple’s dancing (I’m not going to comment on Kokesh’s own interpretative performance that some call “dance” – ouch, that was painful to my eyes!). If they had arrested a interracial couple for holding hands at a monument, I suspect we’d still see apologists defending the practice, because it was the “law” at the time and it disturbed other visitor’s enjoyment … but we as moral citizens would still see it as wrong.

  41. Pingback: Legal Analysis on the Jefferson Dance Restrictions » We Love DC

  42. @Marie Your lack of common sense and completley twisted arguments leads me to belive that you are not being subjective at ALL towards this event. Truth is that THIS COUNTRY advertises its “liberties” and freedom of “choice” to the rest of the world and attempts to get every other political system to adopt its funcionality to their own agenda. As an american Citizen and a European Citizen as well i have lived on both sides of the globe and have witnessed many opressions against personal liberties by goverments around the world. Generally a foreign goverment who engages in eliminating personal liberties is at least maintaining that “perspective” contained within their own sociopolitical enviroment. America However, projects these laws towards the rest of the world, in this situation i think IT MAKES IT THAT MUCH more important for People like Adam Kokesh to do what they did at the Jefferson Memorial. ACTUALLY its your personal responsiblity to not be a sheep and truly try to understand why such things happen and not just look at it as a set of laws that have their purpose. Are you even at all familiar or involved in any of the discussions on how and why some of “laws” are put into place?

    and please anybody who agrees with Marie, go educate yoruselves in more than just the contents of the box you have lived in your entire lives.

    This Country has been on a Steady decline and just so its Clear, the rest of the world does not think the US is “fit” as a leader anymore. Clearly the population here has a lot to learn about how to DITCh this american ignornce and ego problem that keeps you folks from seeing things as THEY really are.