Either we have freedom of expression or we don’t. The United States doesn’t.
Mary Oberwetter was charged with “interfering with an agency function” and “demonstrating without a permit” in violation of the National Park Services Regulations on April 12th, 2008. She was silently dancing with friends to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s 265th Birthday.
She argued back saying:
“Regulations to prohibit her expressive dancing violated her first amendment rights to free speech and assembly.”
The May 17th, 2011 ruling in Oberwetter’s case said that no one has the right to ‘demonstrate‘ in the Jefferson Memorial. The law previously stated that activities such as demonstrations, picketing and speech-making were prohibited. This ruling now expands that list to include dancing.
On May 29th a group of people opposed to this ruling gathered at the Jefferson Memorial and were silently dancing. They were told by Park Services that if they danced they would be arrested. However when asked what law they would be arrested for violating the Park Services Official refused to answer by taunting them saying, “You’ll find out.”
A couple was holding each other and leaned in for a sweet kiss when they were pulled apart and arrested. Others started silently dancing and they too were arrested. The manner in which they were arrested was not calm and orderly but rather included aggressive grabbing and throwing down and even choking.
What’s the difference if dancing is inside the memorial or not? Silent dancing is not disruptive, it is not a protest or a speech, or demanding of people’s attention, but rather a natural human expression of joy and happiness. They can’t say you’re free to be yourself here and not there.
I find it ridiculous that this law even exists and people are being forcibly arrested for such a harmless action.
The whole event is ironic. Hello people! Thomas Jefferson was a man all about freedom and he would roll over in his grave if he knew people were being arrested for something as harmless as dancing or embracing one another.
On Saturday, June 4th a gathering is being held at the Jefferson Memorial at 12pm for all that wish to join in dance.
This dance party is also being held in Orlando Florida, Las Vegas and even in New Delhi, India! People from half way around the world show a greater understanding of your First Amendment than your own Park Service officials.
This is NOT a protest. That would be illegal. This is an exercise in protecting your rights.
Stand up for your rights. Participate in this silent dance to celebrate and exercise your Constitutional Rights and Freedoms!
** Originally published at KateysFirearmsFacts.com