It might not seem like the spot for a dance party, but on Saturday, dozens of people shimmied, shook and even funky-walked inside the Jefferson Memorial in protest of a recent court ruling banning such behavior.
About 200 people gathered on the steps to highlight their opposition to a U.S. Appeals Court decision handed down in May that banned dancing inside the memorial. More than 3,000 had signed up via Facebook to attend the event.
But unlike last weekend when five people were arrested and video posted to YouTube raised questions about police conduct, no arrests were reported. However, the memorial was shut down for about 90 minutes as officers worked to clear demonstrators.
The festivities began a little after noon with a series of speeches on the steps of the memorial.
“If our government refuses to treat us like human beings, then it’s time for revolt,’’ said Adam Kokesh, an Iraq War veteran and well-known protester in Washington, who was one of the five arrested last week. The crowd hooted and cheered.
Then, slowly, demonstrators began moving inside the memorial. About 75 people — some wearing tutus, one dressed as Abe Lincoln and another as Thomas Jefferson — began dancing around the third president’s statue. At one point, there appeared to be more people shooting video and snapping pictures than actual dancers. About a dozen U.S. Park Police officers looked on. One officer shot photographs of those dancing.
Update - Video of dancing:
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