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It is just unbelievable how the Police have forgotten WHO they work for!!!!
Where is Kevin Bacon? A mere six degrees away, apparently!
Seriously. My son showed me this the other day.
It is shocking.
These are federal PARKS police!!!
I never did quite hear what the charge was, did I miss it?
Is it true that dancing at a public monument is now against the law?
Or is it that you must obey whatever a cop tells you, and if you dare to question him, you will be arrested?
This is one of the scariest things I've seen recently.
Incredible. What were they thinking? That he was irreverent and so should not be there? That his so wildly flailing arms and legs might hurt someone? That he was ugly or had the wrong color shirt? Was he falling down drunk?
What was his crime? Or that of the others?
They were arrested for assembly without a permit. Ticketed and released. We cant hear them - but it seems like resisting arrest would have been a valid charge and it was not used.
"Expressive Dancing" has been recently classified in the same boat as picketing and protesting - so they would have required a permit to stage a "flash dance'
In addition, The Jefferson Memorial does in fact have a "no dancing" law. The event was staged to bring attention to that.
There were likely no surprises about the arrest.
Seems like a whole bunch of nonsense to me, Im not a fan of police arresting people for such innocuous behavior -but I also think it would be common knowledge that parading about like a fool in a public memorial may lead to a faceslam. I would be more supportive of the flash dancers if they ..well ..actually could dance
But, what really is the Jefferson memorial for? Is reverence necessary? Ive been there several times, its not all that exciting. I wouldnt be personally offended by some people "dancing"/epileptic fitting about while I glanced at it - as long as I could still get a decent picture, that is.
Would anybody really be bothered by that? Im bothered by bad dancing in general - but not so much that I desire to contribute any money towards enforcing such a rule. Should one be "reverent" at the Jefferson memorial?
When I lived in Galveston, a woman was arrested for cussing out her mailbox. MAILBOX!
The arrest was for holding a demonstration without a permit (slight difference) but probably necessary in D.C. I probably wouldn't be too upset seeing dancing at the Jefferson Memorial but I would be highly upset at seeing it at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington. Also, I would expect to see it in front of the White House. But that's me, I live in Chicago and work downtown, and I can't walk 1/2 a block without seeing some sort of demonstration, almost none of them with a permit.
I really don't like the deceptive spin that goes along with OP making it look like it's illegal to dance in public. And like you said, this was staged to protest the recent ruling in DC prohibiting demonstrations without a permit.
Maybe I'm just seeing it from a different perspective but if I were a cop there doing my job and demonstrators were preventing me from doing my job and saying "I hate America" and "I hate the constitution" I think that would provoke me into taking it to the next level I'm talking tasers....lol
All kidding aside though, I can see why the police had to arrest them, as one could say those men were disturbing the peace for their protest. Personally, I think it's wrong for anyone here to blame the police for what they did, as you have to remember they're only doing their job. Sure, you don't have to agree with their actions, but most of what they do to maintain peace in society is necessary to protect people like us.
Plus, another way to look at this is that if other people actually started joining in, and chanting their anti-America cheers, then what? Who's to say their little stunt wouldn't have caused a huge riot? Then what? Several people would've gotten hurt in the process, and gone to jail. Whereas arresting the people starting the protest to begin with, it keeps it from escalating.
Oh well. I guess people have a funny way of remembering and interpreting things. After all, there are people to this day that still think Rodney King was a victim of police brutality. Even though the funny part is, most people tend to forget that the man was a drug dealer, and deserved to be arrested. No, I'm not a racist by saying that, as I'm half chinese, one quarter hispanic and Native American.
However, I guess it's easier to blame the police in today's society.
What Anti-America cheers?
One of the guys arrested was a Marine - there was no anti-america sentiment - just an intentional disregard for a law they felt was silly - consequences were expected, Im sure, and were really not anything they arent laughing about now while watching their youtube fame rise.
max fine is $250 or 90 days in jail
Rodney King WAS a victim of police brutality - 2 of the police officers involved were incarcerated, all4 are off the force now, and he one a large civil settlement.
he was struck 56 times with "power blows" , a bone in his face was broken as was his ankle - he had no weapon and there were scads of cops there - this was all after he was tased ... twice
Truly awful analogy, cant imagine one worse
Take part in next weeks Jefferson Memorial Dance Saturday at Noon.
Be there or be square.
Edit: Not meant to offend any self-proclaimed squares?
Well maybe saying they were chanting anti-American chants is a bit of a stretch, but they were still publicly disrespecting the police while making a huge scene out of it. Are you saying that it's okay for people to openly mock public authority?
What does one guy's profession has to do with this?
Well don't get me wrong Sunforged, I think people should always stand up for what they believe is right. However, there's a constructive way to do it, and there's a deconstructive way to do it as well. If these men really want to see the laws changed, then they need to become more proactive in politics through voting, writing their local politicians, or just organizing activist groups that gain attention to key issues that concern them.
I'm sure they are laughing about it. Although I don't know how anyone can celebrate going to jail, as I know I wouldn't want to go there.
Awful analogy? This coming from the guy that once thought a "how to book on how to be a pedophile" was a legitimate work of art?
No, say what you want about the Rodney King incident, but if you honestly looked at his record, he does have a long criminal record. plus, not only that. He did speed up instead of pulling over like he should have, as various articles even stated that he was way above the alcohol legal limit and didn't want to risk getting pulled over because it would violate his parole. Not only that, but it's funny on how the media never goes over the full story of what happened in that incident, as most of it only covers Rodney's point of view. Therefore, you're clearly getting a biased perspective on things.
edit: Look, I'm not saying that Rodney deserved to get beaten within an inch of his life, but he did deserve to go to jail. That's just reality. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of silly laws that I don't agree with either, but there's better ways of changing said laws than to do what those guys in the video did.
If it is not OK then Leno, Letterman and Stewart better be shackled for life?
I never said that, as there's a difference. Those celebrities do it for entertainment purposes to appeal to their audiences that watch them; while those men in the video even clearly said their intent was to send a message about how the police doesn't actually enforce the law but rather just a government tool to keep society in line.
Trust me, it's not the same thing.
I do understand the difference, I also understand the dancer's point. There are many Laws whose only benefit is to prove control and authority of public servants over the People. Which is completely false!
These Laws are just waiting for Civil Disobedience to prove their uselessness. That and the point of making the Court Systems provide Jury Trials for all those that are charged, which will cost more then is received by the Control systems. Pleaing out to a fine only feeds the control monstrosity!
I read you as saying that mocking authority for entertainment is OK
but mocking the law to send a serious message is wrong!
Please tell me that I misunderstand you.
As I said earlier, there is a distinct difference between a celebrity openly cracking jokes about authority versus what those guys did in the video. First of all, I doubt seriously Jay Leno or any other talk show host really cares about such incidences, as it's all about ratings. They make those jokes because it's popular, and they're trying to appeal to the younger audiences of America today. Seriously, if those guys really cared, then why don't they help pay the fine for those guys or join the rally with them? After all, they can afford the fine, as they are millionaires. plus, I'm sure their star appeal would attract more followers for the cause, but they don't. why? Because it's about ratings, and money to them. David Letterman isn't going to risk losing his audience to take part in this protest, but he'll gladly make jokes about it if it means more ratings for himself.
Whereas these guys in the video, they're the only ones putting their own reputations on the line to prove a point, and said they felt public authority was nothing more than a tool of the government. It's a big difference there.
But are you, or are you not saying that entertainment is fine and genuine protest isn't?
I'm not saying that genuine protests isn't fine, as long as they're within reason, and it's for causes worth fighting for. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that these men have no right to voice their complaints, but I simply don't agree with their actions on how they went about it is all.
As for entertainment, I never take what a celebrity jokes about seriously. Sure, if they're organizing something politically like Angelina Jolie does occasionally to raise awareness for an issue, then it should be noted. However, most celebrities just make jokes about society to garner attention to themselves, so it's hardly worth taking seriously. After all, the point about entertainment mediums is that it's supposed to provide a level of escapism for their audience. Sometimes that means a TV host will make jokes about certain political issues to make it more laughable than it really is. Am I saying it's right that they do this? No, but I can certainly understand the logic behind it, as you have to remember it's a business to most of them to try to keep in touch with their core audiences.
You disapprove of a peaceful protest!
How then should they have gone about it then? With big sticks and smoke bombs perhaps!
I'm constantly being told about how free you are in the US, I no longer believe that.
BTW did you see, about 40 secs into the second video where the policeman grabs a fellow round the waist, lifts him from behind and drops him on the ground, then puts a strangle hold on his neck? Unbelievable!
I never said that. Look part of being in a democracy is that not everyone is going to agree with each other. Another thing is that I tend to sense a lot of anger in your post John, as it seems you get angry fairly easily if anyone disagrees with you.
Well as I told you earlier, America is full of hypocrites and contradictions if you honestly broke down our history from it's humble beginnings leading all the way up to now. However, if you honestly feel we're not free in this country, then who am I to say you're wrong? I don't know how the media covers what goes on in the US over in the UK, so I'm sure you have a lot of valid reasons to feel the way you do.
And quite frankly, I probably wouldn't disagree with many of their assessments, as America is full of contradictions when you stop to think about it.
Oi, how dare you accuse me of getting angry!
I don't get angry that often and very very rarely over anything written on here. I tend to back away rather than engage with the people who could make me angry, like the racists.
I'm sorry if my normal inquisitiveness came across as anger, it wasn't meant to.
As I said earlier, we must've seen a different video then, as I didn't see any of the officers lift up anyone and throw them to the ground. Now if you wanted to say they tackled him to the ground, as it seemed like he was resisting arrest, then i'd agree. On that note, I guess they did force the man to the ground after all. Sorry about that.
Wow that is just...excessive. I don't really know what to say..
Stevennix, but why the heavy handedness? You know there is a policeman in the UK who is going on trial for man slaughter, he pushed a man to the ground (pretty much as the police in the clip did) and the man died.
Why not just close the memorial for ten or fifteen minutes and deprive the peaceful protesters of their publicity?
It was a massive over reaction.
Heavy handedness? Did we watch the same video? I watched that video for 3 times before commenting, and all I saw was the police cuffing these people, and trying to get the situation under control before it could escalate. I didn't see any officers hit anyone or force anyone to the ground in that video, so I don't see how this is anywhere near similar to what you're referring to what happened in the UK.
Plus, from watching the video, I don't think we're seeing the full story, as it seems like the people recording this incident are trying to paint a picture of the police being the alleged bad guys so to speak. As the video doesn't exactly show why the protesters were dancing or chanting anti-American cheers to begin with, nor how it started. No, all we see is what happens after these guys started dancing, and the events that transpired after that.
A news report interviewing one of the dancers.
AFter seeing his interview, I am thoroughly swayed.
I hope the next "protest" is far larger and that a few of those officers end up jobless. I wouldnt mind sparing a few cents towards their unemployment fund.
There should be an equivalent of meghans law for Officers and Public Workers who dishonor their positions and/or are convicted of brutality or negligence.
To be fair, if another video comes out with the officers describing what wasnt recorded as being any type of goading or insults - that rather tame takedown didn't look painful nor did the choke seem to have much pressure applied. I might change my tune yet again. It must suck being forced into such positions. Their duty is to uphold the law as it is written, not to make personal judgement calls about what is "dancing" and whether the law should exist in the first place.
Why didn't the cop, when asked REPEATEDLY, simply state the law the dancers were breaking? He refused. He could have diffused the whole situation by simply being honest about the law they were breaking.
Now they're legislating against flash mobs?
Well you are right about that, as it could've helped avoided the whole incident altogether.
Absolutely ! The Jefferson Memorial is the perfect place for such a thing!
I know what reverence I have for Jefferson .. was actually seeing what everybody else's conception was when I asked earlier.
Must not know many Marines? ..and certainly are not in a position to call one un-american while sheltered away on your laptop.
Their approach was hugely effective - and was previously practiced by Gandhi, MLk - freedom riders etc. If you think what you listed is effective then you will live an ineffective life..truly
Thats what they did.
such is what separates mice and men, activists and sheep, sheeple and americans. fear of ones own safety and well being over pursuit of liberty as you believe it to be. Whether its a small symbolic issue or a glaring threat.
You have misquoted me, dont. In my limited conversations with you I get a sense of an inability to grasp the abstract. Why someone may support something they dont appreciate in an effort to protect against a greater threat of censorship and the culture that acceptance of censorship engenders is rather relevant to why some protesters may choose to bring attention to unjust ruling however trivial even at the risk of personal injury or the annoyance of a few tickets.
I wont quote your Rodney King twaddle - no relationship exists between 6-7 competent armed men beating an unarmed drunk with their nightsticks after tasing him twice and the mans past criminal history. None. Perhaps, it hard to shed a tear for him - but the point is you cannot allow your police force to act with such disdain for personal rights lest you end up on the other side of those sticks for something equally inane.
Media Bias? Of Course- who does legitimate research from big media sources, the Video is pretty clear, media aside.
so the fun part:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
In matters of style, swim with the current;
In matters of principle, stand like a rock.
When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
The man who reads nothing at all is better than educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers
Ive always though Jefferson was the man and can think of no single place in DC better suited for standing up to any ruling that citizen finds to be unjust. Those that stand up can expect consequences and shouldnt whine about proving themselves true. In this tiny case , the protesters arent whining, they are just planning on doing it all over gain.
Is it just a few epileptic fits and a simple ticket? or is it a very public demonstration of how far we have devolved from the Jeffersonian model - the tenets of which are clearly define my conception of liberty.
I fear, and often accept- that the new concept of liberty is something along the lines of "please dont hurt me, as long as it doesnt hurt me" -its ok as long as it doesnt effect you and your walk to starbucks remains distraction free
Well you do have a point there.
I never called any of the men in the video un-American (just questioning their actions) and for the record, I've actually had the honor of meeting many marines in my life, as I grew up in a military family. Not only that, but i was briefly in the military myself, so I was privileged to meet quite a few of them. Oh for the record, when my father was working security once in the Air Force, he was forced to stop a marine who was drunk at a bar, who attacked many people that night; including many other military officers while intoxicated. This goes to show you that even Marines are not always right about everything they do. Don't get me wrong, I do have the utmost respect for them, as I do anyone who bravely serves in the military. All I'm saying is that just because a person is in the military, it doesn't automatically make their actions justified.
hmm...well I didn't think of it that way, as you do bring up a valid point.
And you've made your point, as I was mistaken in that assessment. thanks for pointing that out.
I don't disagree, but I see you fail to distinguish humor sometimes in forums, as I clearly made the statement about going to jail in jest. Perhaps, I should've made that clearer in regards to that one particular statement, as I do apologize for that.
misquoted you? I never misquoted you.
And from my limited conversations with you, I sense that you have the inability to grasp the big picture of things. Sure, I understood your point in our last debate about how a book on "How to be a pedophile" could be useful in helping parents figure out how to protect their children, but you fail to realize the potential dangers the book could do too. After all, are we going to be so naive as to assume that all the people that read and buy said book are nothing but well to do parents?
Let's get serious about that, as we both know that if there's such a thing as closet homosexuals, then logic would dictate that there's such a thing as closet pedophiles. therefore, what's to stop a pedophile from using said book to maliciously harm children? After all, I doubt seriously a clerk at "Barnes & Nobles" is going to ask every customer why they're buying said book and if they did, you really think everyone is going to be completely honest about it?
Again, you're not looking at the big picture here. According to various reports, the man did have a long criminal record, and he speeded up when he saw the police was trying to pull him over that night of the incident. Why? Because he was well above the legal alcohol limit which would violate his parole, so we know he was trying to avoid the police. As I said before, I'm not saying he deserved the beating. All I said was that he deserved to go to jail, as the man was a criminal. It's that simple, and no I doubt I would ever find myself in Rodney King's shoes, as I never do anything illegal nor would I ever allow myself to be involved in such things.
Well I have to say Sunforged, you always do know how make colorful speeches, and I agree with you that people should stand up for what they believe in. However, it's also my right to disagree as well. However, I understand what you're getting at, and you do make a lot of valid assessments.
v. danced, danc·ing, danc·es
1. To move rhythmically usually to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures.
a. To leap or skip about excitedly.
b. To appear to flash or twinkle: eyes that danced with merriment.
c. Informal To appear to skip about; vacillate: danced around the issue.
To leap or skip about excitedly. (Almost every child that visits the Jefferson Memorial would probably perform actions that would fall under this definition.) Just scary!
Would you rather that police enforce only those laws that they personally like and agree with? Police are not charged with creating laws or interpreting them. They are neither legislature nor courts - they are police, charged with enforcing laws and nothing else.
On the face of it, the law is a stupid one; on par with thousands upon thousands of other equally stupid laws althouugh I wasn't there during discussion of the law and I don't have any idea (nor can I really conceive of one) just why it was created. Nevertheless, the police must enforce it; the idea that they will pick and choose what to enforce is what is scary.
The Police did do their job. The battering of the defendants was just part of the fun.
The cases should be brought before the Court! The defendants should all seek a Jury trial and allow the People to decide the validity of the Law!
Indeed, the police actions looked way out of line to me.
Yes, the cases should go to court. But face reality, RB:
1. There won't be a jury trial for a minor misdemeanor like dancing.
2. If there was a jury trial, the validity of the law won't be part of it and the jury cannot decide that matter in a case that has nothing to do with it.
3. If the jury finds the dancers innocent in the face of all the videos plainly showing them guilty the judge should and probably would ignore the jury and find them guilty regardless of an innocent verdict. Jurors can't write or interpret the law any more than cops can.
How it all started, if anyone is interested:
Judge Rules Against Jefferson Memorial Dancer
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the National Park Service that stemmed from the 2008 arrest of a D.C. woman for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial.
In a 26-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that "expressive dancing" does constitute an act that undermines "an atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence" at the memorial.
"A prohibition on expressive activities in a nonpublic forum does not violate the First Amendment if it is viewpoint neutral and is 'reasonable in light of the use to which the forum is dedicated,'" Bates wrote. "Here, the ban on demonstrations at the Jefferson Memorial satisfies these requirements."
The complainant, Mary B. Oberwetter, was arrested around midnight on April 13, 2008. She and a group of friends had gathered at the memorial that night to dance silently while wearing earphones, as a way to celebrate Jefferson's birthday. U.S. Park Police Officer Kenneth Hilliard eventually told them to disperse, at which point Oberwetter refused and began asking why they couldn't continue dancing. Hilliard then arrested her on charges of demonstrating without a permit and interfering with an agency function, but those charges were eventually dropped.
In the lawsuit, filed in March, Oberwetter alleged that the arrest violated her right to free expression. But Judge Bates ultimately ruled that Hilliard had probable cause to arrest Oberwetter, and that the Jefferson Memorial is not a public forum where people may dance, silently or otherwise.
"Obviously this outcome is disappointing," Oberwetter said when reached for comment. But, she said, "I still feel like this has been well worth the effort."
http://dcist.com/2010/01/judge_rules_ag … _memor.php
A little personal story:
Once as I was entering my local District Court upon an invitation from the Court to appear as a witness, I sent the metal detectors in an uproar, I was not sure why?
The Court Officer proceeded to attempt to wand me while another asked me to step aside for a pat down. I refused the pat down and began to explain that I would leave the Court building first and that she could explain to the Judge why I was not in the Courtroom.
She told me to "shutup", which caused my mouth to expel words in a respectful yet consistent manner. She told me if I did not "shutup" she would arrest me.
I told her that in order to pat me down they would have to arrest me. Now I am surrounded by Officers, one of them with a few stripes asked if I had been wanded. The answer was No! The Officer in charge brought me over wanded me, figured out it was my zipper which had set off the detectors and wished me a pleasant day.
Why should I have freely given consent to have my Rights denied to me?
I don't see what the big deal is, but I'm sure Jefferson was rolling his eyes.
Oh, Steven! This ruins everything! Now we're going to have to cancel our scheduled flash mob dance at the American Airlines Arena. Tssssssk... what a shame!
Yeah, but they have to win four games against the Mavericks first Klara before celebrating anything.
edit: besides, im sure the laws are different in Miami anyway.
Damn...there go my plans for arranging a flash mob at the Lincoln Memorial...
Now, if I were dancing... that's a different story! I could understand why they'd arrest me in a matter of seconds. Elaine from Seinfeld dances better than me.
Welcome to the USSA!!!
it is getting more absurd every day it seems
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