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  • jdtalley 12:52 pm on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Balko on the Washington Post’s Reporting 

    The article flat-out gets one fact wrong:

    A security guard soon appears, insisting that the group leave.

    Oberwetter was among those ushered out and was arrested after she kept returning to the chamber.

    The video pretty clearly shows that that’s not the way it happened. Oberwetter did not keep coming back. She was arrested after asking the officer to explain why she had to leave.

    As for the quotes from the Jefferson scholar, well, far be it from me to argue with someone who’s spent his entire life studying Jefferson, but I think the guy’s a bit full of himself. Jefferson adamantly warned that liberty is lost incrementally. Government takes over gradually. Not to mention the fact that the dancers still weren’t actually breaking any laws. No one provoked the officers. The dance was meant to be a celebration of Jefferson. No one thought there would be a confrontation.

    There a couple of other national media outlets looking at this story, now. Hopefully they’ll cover it a bit better.

    Original here.

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    • James Plummer 2:11 pm on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      That UVa professor is a blight on both Mr. Jefferson’s good name and The University.

  • jdtalley 11:04 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Help the Jefferson 1! 

    A defense fund has been set up for Brooke. You can donate here, or find out more about the fund here.

     
  • jdtalley 3:34 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    The story reaches Germany 

    Germany’s Spiegel magazine covers the U.S. Park Service’s mistreatment of the Jefferson 1. If you speak German we’d love a translation Thanks to Max, here is a translation:

    Brooke Oberwetter is well on her way to fame. For many bloggers, the american is a kind of resistance figher, because she wouldn’t let herself be forbid from dancing at the feet of the statue of the father of the U.S.-constitution, Thomas Jefferson. The police officers, who arrested Oberwetter, saw in her a perturbator, showing civil disobedience. Her “crime” consisted of nothing but dancing at the Jefferson memorial at night in a small group of people, while everyone enjoyed their own mp3-soundtrack.

    Thanks to commenters Myself & Lars for the tip!

     
    • phil 3:38 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      The land of the free who ever told you that is your enemy.

      grettings from germany

    • Torsten 3:50 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Must be a lousy job to guide that statue. How else can it be explained, that the officers doing that job have such a horrid lack of humor? But they were right, of course. All that dancing might have caused the building to collapse, especially because of the silence. Everyone knows that silent dancing can cause cataclysmic vibrations inside structures and eventually brings them down, probably killing millions in the process. If the guards had been issued better orders, they could have stopped the whole mess and shot her on the steps outside at the first sign of rhythmic movements.

      To hell with that. I say keep dancing till they run out of hate.

    • marcus 4:09 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      keep on dancing!

      greetings from germany
      marcus

    • halber Anon 4:09 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      greetings from germany, too ^^

      i cant believe what i read, this is the land of the free ?

    • Alexander 4:13 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.

      Friedrich Nietzsche

    • jonathan 4:46 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      free brooke oberwetter

      geatings from berlin (germany)

    • Max 4:46 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Let me try a translation (even though my english is not perfect):

      Brooke Oberwetter is well on her way to fame. For many bloggers, the american is a kind of resistance figher, because she wouldn’t let herself be forbid from dancing at the feet of the statue of the father of the U.S.-constitution, Thomas Jefferson. The police officers, who arrested Oberwetter, saw in her a perturbator, showing civil disobedience. Her “crime” consisted of nothing but dancing at the Jefferson memorial at night in a small group of people, while everyone enjoyed their own mp3-soundtrack.

      Greets from Germany, Max.

    • merlin 4:51 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hey guys,

      i´ll translate it for you no prob!
      it´ll just take a few minutes…=)

    • Max 5:16 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Further interesting paragraphy in the article:

      (…)

      Not surprising in modern times, the event was recorded and the evidence posted in blogs and on YouTube. They show nothing but a polite young woman who considers it her right, vested by the U.S.-constitution, to dance in the honor of one of its co-authors.

      (…)

      Was it all just about “a provocation, aimed at the police” or “stuff that only white people enjoy” as a few discussants claimed in a blog? No, is the reply, it is about civil rights. It is about that something is wrong with an America, where you can’t dance for Jefferson, as one of the Flashmobbers said on YouTube: “You”, he said to a police officer, “you are the guardian of these walls. Read what is written on them. Jefferson would not be pleased about this.”
      By this, the flashmob remains true to itself, because of course the whole movement is ironic through and through.

    • Max 5:22 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hm… I didn’t want this (…), I wanted this ( … )

    • Freedom 5:25 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      America needs a strong movement for a change. While the pope parties with a mass-murderer and liar like beeing the biggest friends, people dancing peacefully for Jefferson are confronted with police forces. These are the symbols of our times and it is a clear wakeup call. AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE, WAKE UP!!!

    • Hannes 5:48 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “Good luck” for your friend.

    • Mike from Germany 5:53 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      @ Brooke Oberwetter and other freakin Punks here…

      U freaking punks better get a life and go work, all the things you do are just crazy sick, paid by taxpayers and maybe your rich parents…
      Stop critisize the state for your sick being.
      U Looser enjoy your life by dancing in streets and lookin like a moron.

      FREAKS

      get a life
      go work
      3. finnallenjoy your life, haters

    • Niels 5:57 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings from Rostock, Germany!

    • jdtalley 6:06 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the speedy translation Max!

    • jdtalley 6:09 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Ok, looks like we better close up shop here because “Mike from Germany” doesn’t approve. It was good while it lasted but, despite his inability to spell, we better listen to Mike. Thanks for the transatlantic wake up call.

    • David 6:10 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry To you guys in america ..

      But your country has every aspect of a police state on it. I visited the US two weeks ago and it had on me the surreal feel of a bad science fiction movie.

      The announcements in the trains and subways telling everybody to watch anybody for suspicious behavior and wishing everybody a save day. And the constant surveillance in public space. Do anything out of norm and soon a few security guards will tell you to stop.

      I had a experience in a late night train trip where the police where called and removed a lady whose only mistake was to have drunk o much and to sleep..

      Just hope this new fad of policing the citizens dosn’t reach europe….

    • preacher of J. 6:14 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      lol @ Mike from Germany.

      The only punk I see around is you. Considering that you consider it an insult to be labeled punk. You clearly have no understanding about socio-evolutionary behavior and yet claim the right to ostracize others?

      How dare you1

    • kns 6:15 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hey mike, in what way this action has to be payed by the state or parents? Is dancing expensive in germany? how do you figuered out that those guys do not work? …because there can afford dancing? ROFL

    • basse 6:27 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      @Mike Was bist n Du für einer? LOL Du musst ein trauriger Mensch sein!

      @ all others! keep it going! I love what you´re doing, and in fall you have the chance for a change!

      Yes we can!
      greetings from Hamburg, Germany

    • Max 6:37 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      You`re welcome. 🙂
      I find it very sad that in the past few years the U.S., who have brought a stable and wealthy democracy to my country, seem to struggle more and more with these very values. I think that one can tell the state of a country by the behavior of its authorities, and for quite a while now the impression one gets in europe is that there has been a profound change in the way that U.S. officials treat people. For a foreigner this change in behavior is best to be experienced when trying to travel into the U.S. and having to endure not only impolite and rude, but sometimes even arbitrary and humiliating procedures. I have just read that this treatment of foreigners has led to so many tourists avoid the U.S that tourist organizations in america have already complained that the U.S loose literally billions of dollars because of this.
      I am sure that those impressions are not representative for all of americas officials and I am also very sure that the vast mayority of americans doesn’t agree with incidents like the Jefferson1. Still, people in the U.S. have the power, as vested to them by the constitution, and I think that it is about time to bring the U.S. officials’ view on civil and human rights back into perspective.

    • Armin 7:01 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings from Germany

      We all realy wait for a change in your country.

      The last 7 years were horribel and unbelievebal!

      Keep dancing for freedom!

    • blanksslate 9:14 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Couple things:

      1) If I have rich parents, I’m the last to know about it.

      2) Jefferson isn’t the father of the Constitution. He wrote the Declaration. The Constitution was much more of Madison’s baby.

      Just sayin’.

    • Nils Hitze 9:47 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      This was fun watching, i can’t believe she was arrested for dancing.

      “I was told most Terrorists are female, white and they are dancing. Can’t trust anyone” … no really some people need a big hit with a stick on the head, maybe then world is getting a bit better.

    • Gesine 10:44 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Check out our website:

      http://www.tanzguerilla.de

      We’re dancing in public places in Berlin and also in front of the Reichstag with mp3-players etc. since 2003!

    • Robert Stacy McCain 4:36 am on April 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      A “perturbator”! I’ve suspected it for months, but never dared voice my suspicions. Now the crack investigative journalists at Spiegel expose the deep dark secret: Brooke is a perturbator!

      In my mind, I’m picturing the tabloid cover-story headline.

  • jdtalley 2:05 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Twitter & Flickr links 

    For fast breaking updates you can find us on twitter.

    To view photos of the incident and art please visit our Flickr account. And don’t miss the desktop wallpapers based on the logo by the talented Mr. Suderman.

    If you were at the event and have photos please post them to the Flickr group. It’s also the place to post relevant art of your own.

     
  • jdtalley 12:30 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Washington Post Story Correction 

    We’re in the Washington Post. Several of us were interviewed by Michael E. Ruane, the Washington Post’s metro reporter today. Mike seems like a good guy and an honest reporter but we took exceptions to a few things so I sent him this e-mail:

    Mike:

    Hi, it’s jason Talley, we spoke on the phone this morning. I wanted to reach you as soon as possible so that you could correct an error in you report. You wrote:

    “Oberwetter was among those ushered out and was arrested after she kept returning to the chamber.”

    I don’t know the source who told you that Oberwetter left and then re-entered the memorial but that is 100% inaccurate. She entered to dance silently in the main chamber just before 11:55 with the rest of us, and didn’t leave until she was in handcuffs roughly 5 minutes later.  She was ushered toward the outer chamber, but did not leave the inner chamber of the memorial of her own volition at any point.

    Also, I would imagine that other Jefferson scholars would disagree with the one that you selected. Jefferson wrote that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    We did something far less radical. We just danced, quietly.

    It’s worth noting that we respect the differences of opinion out there but there are only one set of facts and we feel confident that those are on the side of the Jefferson 1.

     
    • Dave Mason 8:58 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I’d have to agree with the Jefferson scholar here, and not the dancers.

      While the quite gathering was fine, the location was not designed for such a use.

      Dancing and celebrating, quietly or otherwise, would have been acceptable (and legal) at any other location outside of the inner chamber.

      I can understand the desire to be in the inner chamber to recognize and celebrate Jefferson’s birthday, but certainly we can also recognize the need to have order and permissible uses in such a location.

      In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if a reveler left and re-entered the inner chamber or not. The group was asked to leave and stop their disorderly conduct at that inner chamber location. They did not, and the law enforcement officials enforce the law.

      Either disagree or agree with the laws in this instance. The option to disobey those laws comes with consequences.

    • Muffler 9:56 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Can some define the law that was broken?

    • blanksslate 10:34 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Muffler: the charge is “interfering with an agency function.” So to answer your question, no.

    • MediaMisfit 11:09 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Reporters should report the news based on facts instead of bridging gaps on assumptions.

    • Felix Ling 2:28 pm on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “While the quite gathering was fine, the location was not designed for such a use.”

      What do you need besides a floor?

    • Dave Mason 11:11 am on April 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

    • Dave Mason 11:21 am on April 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “What do you need besides a floor?”

      I would imagine the answer is an “unrestricted” place.

      http://www.nps.gov/thje/planyourvisit/permits.htm

      —————–
      Permits

      National Mall & Memorial Parks is a unique and bustling park visited by over 25 million visitors per year and issuing approximately 3000 permits per year. As such a permit is required for many activities to assure that various activities will not conflict with each other or with general visitor activities. Specific areas within the individual memorials are considered restricted space. For more information please contact the Park Programs office at 202.619.7225.
      —————–

    • Felix Ling 4:43 pm on April 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      The design of the place does not dictate whether it is restricted or unrestricted. That designation is artificially applied to it after the fact.

  • jdtalley 2:26 pm on April 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    The Jefferson 1 Press Release 

    Dancing for Freedom in Public Will Get You Arrested

    Jefferson Memorial Visitor Charged with “Interfering with an Agency Function”

    Washington, D.C., April 15, 2008— A DC resident celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to our nation’s founding was arrested at the Jefferson Memorial on Saturday night, April 12th. Now known as “The Jefferson 1,” 28 year-old Brooke Oberwetter and approximately 20 other fans of the founders’ ideas were present at the monument in celebration of Jefferson’s birthday.

    The revelers gathered just before midnight to silently dance with iPods and headphones in front of the statue of Jefferson, who once noted that “Dancing is a healthy and elegant exercise, a specific against social awkwardness.” The celebration was intentionally scheduled late at night—the memorial is open 24 hours a day—in order to not disturb other visitors.

    Shortly after the dancing began, U.S. Park Police officers began forcibly pushing people toward the steps. According to witnesses, an officer approached Oberwetter, who was near a wall in the chamber, talking to friends, and standing in place “bopping” to the beat of Rob Base’s 1988 classic “It Takes Two.” The officer, later identified as Officer Hilliard, badge number 246, unit D-1, asked her to leave and physically pushed her toward the outer chamber of the memorial.

    Oberwetter repeatedly asked the officer what rule or law she was breaking and why she was being asked to leave. The officer responded that she was being “noisy” and “disrespectful” before shoving her against a column and placing her in handcuffs, all under the watchful stare of the 19-foot statue of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Oberwetter did not resist and went quietly with the officers.

    Although initially charged with disorderly conduct, the charge was later reduced to “interfering with an agency function” under Title 36, Sec. 2.32 of the code of federal regulations. Oberwetter was released from custody over 5 hours later, and a court date has been set for April 29, 2008.

    Pete Eyre of Bureaucrash, who was present at the event, noted, “This incident speaks volumes about the status of our rights in 2008 America.” Jason Talley, who organized the Thomas Jefferson Dance Party and shot the video available at FreeTheJefferson1.com, concluded, “Thomas Jefferson would be very dissatisfied.”

    FreeTheJefferson1 was formed to advocate that the unjust charges against Brooke Oberwetter be dropped and that she receive an apology from the U.S. Park Police.

    Bureaucrash is an international network of individuals dedicated to fighting government control through creative activism.

     
  • jdtalley 1:54 am on April 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Profiles in Politeness: Transcripts of the Jefferson 1 talking to the Police 

    In the American Spectator, our very own Ray does a great job breaking down the events of April 15th or as it’s now known, the dance party which shall live in infamy. He made transcripts of the incident in question and here it is for your reading pleasure:

    A VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT posted by Talley to YouTube tells a different story. In it, a calm, demure-looking Oberwetter has this exchange with the security guard who requested her arrest:

    GUARD: Exit, exit, exit. Lady, I’m not going to tell you again.
    OBERWETTER: I’m just…what did we do?”
    GUARD: Exit. Exit, now…
    OBERWETTER: What rule are we breaking? It’s against the rules to dance?
    GUARD: Yes it is. Read the sign inside the memorial. It says quiet.”
    OBERWETTER: I’m standing here being very quiet.
    GUARD: You’re dancing in here. That’s disorderly.

    The camera then tracks away from as Talley has an exchange of his own with a guard, only to return, not quite a minute a later, to the site of Oberwetter being handcuffed against the columns, the statue of Jefferson looking down on the scene.

    As we learn more and more, the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the Jefferson 1 will find their job tougher and tougher.

    A suggestion: Drop all charges now and have the police involved apologize.

     
    • Keb Mo 11:43 am on April 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      This is how we now celebrate Jefferson’s ideals of freedom and liberty, sad , sad, sad. Doesn’t sound like rightful unobstructed liberty does it?Appears to me, just another abuse of discretion.

  • jdtalley 10:11 pm on April 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    REVEALED! – The Song The Jefferson 1 Was Listening To Before the Arrest 

    Warning: Playing this in the vicinity of law enforcement may result in your immediate incarceration. And for the love of all that is holy, no bopping!

     
    • st4rbux 4:20 pm on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I just changed my mind — I’d throw her out too if she was listening to Rob Base…

      Who knows, she might get crazy — I mean, outrageous. Stay away from her, she might be contagious.

  • jdtalley 9:51 pm on April 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Link Roundup 

    Perhaps in the order they were posted:

    Julian Sanchez: Hijinks Ensue

    Megan Mcardle: Dancing Fools

    Freedom and Shit dot org: Midnight Dance Party Arrest and Midnight Dance Party: Bopping is NOT a Crime

    The Agitator: So About That Tree of Liberty… and Jefferson Arrest Update

    J.D. Talley: Free the Jefferson 1

    Outside the Beltway: DC Police Arrest Dancing Libertarians

    Below The Beltway: Jack-Booted Thugs At The Jefferson Memorial

    Fark: Apparently getting a couple of friends together and dancing quietly to your iPod at midnight at the Jefferson Memorial gets you a face plant in the concrete then a trip to detention courtesy of the US Park Police

    The American Scene: D.C. Monument Menaced by Libertarian Dancers!

    Get Fixxed!: Quiet Booty Shakin is a Threat to the Citizens of D.C.

    Flying Hedgehogs: illegal peaceful assembly

     
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