Dancing Protesters Return To Jefferson Memorial In Defiance | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Dancing Protesters Return To Jefferson Memorial In Defiance

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Protesters turned Jefferson Memorial into a dance hall on June 4 after Park Police arrested dancers at a previous protest.
Matt Laslo
Protesters turned Jefferson Memorial into a dance hall on June 4 after Park Police arrested dancers at a previous protest.

Last week five people were arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. One was forcibly taken to the ground, and the Park Police are investigating if his rights were violated.

To speak out against those arrests, more than 50 people turned the memorial into a dance hall on Saturday.

Park Police saw the movement gathering on Facebook and called in their SWAT unit. When they arrived, they booted everyone – including stunned tourists – out of the memorial.

The officers wrapped police tape around the area and claimed the dancers were disrupting the public. The protestors claimed their right to free speech was infringed upon. Still, organizer Adam Kokesh says it was a good day because no arrests occurred.

Michael Hagelberg, a visitor from Rochester, NY, lamented police actions more than the demonstrators' dance moves.

"It's joyful, it's happy, and it's fundamental rights that we have for speech and assembly and it's really unfortunate they try to make it into something else," says Hagelberg.

A federal appeal court recently ruled that it's illegal to dance at the Jefferson Memorial.

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