Uploaded on May 28, 2011
"WASHINGTON - Several people were arrested Saturday afternoon at the Jefferson Memorial, protesting the recent court decision that upheld a ban on dancing at the memorial.
In April 2008, a group of less than 20 young people came to the memorial as part of a flash mob where they would dance to music played through their headphones.
U.S. Park Police then told the dancers to leave, and eventually arrested one woman on misdemeanor charges, Mary Oberwetter.
Oberwetter fought the charges in court, arguing that dancing was protected free speech, and noting that groups of noisy school children are routine at the memorial.
She lost that case, with the courts agreeing that the U.S. Park service has a duty to maintain decorum at the nation's monuments, and no demonstrations are allowed inside the monuments.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the earlier decision.
The group that gathered at the monument Saturday was there in protest of the upheld ban.
Andrew Sharp, one of the protesters, says they were told they would not be given a warning and would be immediately arrested if they started dancing in the monument.
"I think some people thought it was a joke at first, and then they started putting handcuffs on people and were very, very serious about it," says Sharp.
Sharp says there were about a dozen protesters, and five of them were arrested.
"It's good that only five people got arrested, but there were many more than that there that were supportive and were there to protest the ruling," adds Sharp.
The memorial was closed for a short time after the protesters were arrested, but was opened a short time later." - prisonplanet.com forum
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