Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the Jefferson Memorial.
Only it might get you arrested.
And if you try videotaping the arrests, that will also get you arrested. Well, that one shouldn’t surprise us.
There is actually a law in the books that forbids dancing in the Jefferson Memorial. And no, this is not one of those stupid laws that remained intact from the 19th century that never go enforced.
This one does get enforced as five activists learned last Saturday.
But videos of the arrests – which include police body slamming and choke-holding one of the dancers – have gone viral.
And now these same activists are planning another dance at the Jefferson Memorial this Saturday.
So I imagine the U.S. Park Police will prepare for the dance by donning riot gear and bringing out the dogs.
If it weren’t so absurd, this would have the makings of a great Broadway musical.
Organized by Adam Kokesh, an Iraq War veteran turned activist, last Saturday’s dance was actually a protest against a recent ruling by a U.S. Federal Court that upheld a ban on dancing, even silent dancing, after another group of activists were arrested in 2008.
Kokesh – whom I wrote about in 2008 after he was handcuffed for trying to photograph police – has a huge following.
He even has his own TV show.
And he’s been hyping the hell out of this Saturday’s planned dance at the Jefferson Memorial by promoting a video contest.
All you have to do to enter is create a video that promotes this Saturday’s dance. You don’t even have to live in D.C. to do that.
So far, there have been almost 20 entries, including one of those “Hitler finds out …” videos.
A Facebook page promoting this Saturday’s dance has drawn more than 2,400 guests who say they will attend.
But most, like myself, will be there only in spirit because geographical distances won’t allow us to actually attend.
The dance protest will place police in an interesting position because they are still obliged to enforce the law, which as stupid as it sounds, forbids silent dancing.
But police are already coming under heavy criticism for their heavy-handed behavior and are being investigated internally for their actions.
And even though it is technically illegal to dance at the Jefferson Memorial, I seriously doubt there are any laws that forbid cameras. That probably wouldn’t go too well with tourists.
But at 2:25 in the above video, a cop tells a videographer that he is not allowed to record inside the memorial.
Jefferson, of course, is probably rolling over in his grave.