SmartScarecrow

just another guy with straw for brains …

20110604 – Dance Party at TJ’s Place

My news rant on The SmartScarecrow Show for June 2, 2011 included a video showing Russia Today personality Adam Kokesh being body slammed and arrested for his participation in a “Dance Party” protest at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC. 
It appears there is some obscure judge’s ruling, not really a law as such, just a ruling, that dancing at the Jefferson Memorial is “disrespectful” of the solemn nature of the place. 
Many considered the response of the police to be justified based on that ruling. 
Others considered it a clear cut case of overreaction, abuse of power and brutality. 
There are also first amendment issues to consider.
The word went out that as a means of showing solidarity and demonstrating “push back”, there would be a follow-up dance party at the Jefferson Memorial at noon on Saturday June 4th 2011.
The hope was that this event would draw a fairly substantial crowd and demonstrate to anyone paying attention that the violent abuse of peaceful protesters was not going to be tolerated by a large cross section of America.
As this event was being held so near me, I determined that I had no good excuse not to add myself to the numbers.
So my wife and I made the short drive, easily found parking and made our way to the Memorial.
The event did not appear to be very well covered by the media. 
I noted a truck belonging to local News Channel 8 in the parking area, but that appeared to be the only corporate media covering the event.
However, it seemed that nearly every person attending was prepared to act as a citizen journalist as there was more cameras at the event than at a pawn shop on a Friday night.
It was pretty obvious that the police had advanced warning of what was coming down and had plenty of time to make preparations.
The police presence was at the very least, robust.
I counted 8 US Park Police on horseback, a total of 12 Motorcycle Police, a SWAT unit that consisted of at least 6 members maybe more, and a contingent of blue shirts numbering maybe as many as 20, at least 4 of which were armed with fully automatic carbines.
If you happened to be a criminal operating in Washington DC that day, you were pretty much assured a free hand as it seemed most of the police in the nation’s capitol were otherwise occupied.
As far as the results of the event are concerned, I would call it a draw.
The protesters were permitted by the police to stage their act of civil disobedience for a predetermined period of time and were then peacefully ejected from the rotunda with only the most modest amount of pushing and shoving.
The police were in general restrained and very professional.
No skulls were cracked and no one was arrested.
The protesters got to dance in the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial for a period of about 15 minutes then moved their demonstration to the steps of the Memorial for speeches and self congratulations.
All things considered, I think it was a well choreographed media event that both sides can point to with some pride.
I have posted two videos of the event to YouTube.
A slide show put to the music of Jimi Hendrix playing “The Star Spangled Banner” is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HXu-Uhpot8
A video presentation that documents the event is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtCg9c9Vxpc

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