Citizen action

The Jefferson Memorial Dance Contest is on.


As there’s no america.craigslist.com, I’m posting this here since the topic I’m about to rant about took place in your district.

I’m referring to April the 13th, the birthday of Thomas Jefferson. A group of people decided to show up to the Jefferson Memorial (which is open 24 hours) at 11:55 at night (as to not interfere with anyone else who might have been there earlier during the day) and dance. Dance, that is, equipped with headphones and MP3 players, so as not to disturb anyone else. Not my cup of tea, but this is the US, isn’t it?

About 10 minutes into this, the police had arrived, apparently telling everyone to “shut the fuck up”. When one woman asked why they were being stopped by the police, she was shoved up against a pillar, cuffed, then booked and held. Of course, none of this was witnessed by me, and I’m going off of published articles. The first link below tends to be a bit slow, so there’s another similar story linked below it.

http://www.theagitator.com/2008/04/13/so-about-that-tree-of-liberty/
http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/dancing_fools.php

Now, we all know what’s going to happen. The charges will be dropped and we’ll all forget about it. But that’s not the point – how often are we going to let certain police departments stop people on a whim, only to drop the charges later?

There was an excellent comment in the latter link, which reads:

“I think a peaceful gathering at midnight on every Saturday from now on is in order. I predict that the government will change the rules to ban protests there once this starts.

I can't think of a better way to re-enforce the Founding Fathers views than to start the push back at the steps of the man who expressly demanded we do it.”

Well I second that.

I’m not from DC – but I’m damn willing to head out there with a few friends and have a peaceful stand-around. Not a protest, not some inane statement. Just a group of us standing around, acknowledging what happened, and hopefully sending some small message that this just isn’t fucking acceptable.

So what do you say? April 20th, 11:55 at night. If I get a few dozen people interested in this, we’ll make it happen. I’ll throw up a website or a mailing list or something so we can stay in contact and organise this better if I get some feedback.

But now’s your chance. Now you can finally take note of something like this and do something. Even if that something is just meeting other people who feel the same way.

Please. This transcends political parties, this should transcend everything. We are Americans. Let’s stand together for a night. And then…