Who are you guys?
We are friends and acquaintances of the Jefferson 1 who feel that she has been unjustly arrested. We would know—we were there.
Libertarians? What, are you like anarchists or something?
Libertarian is a broad term that covers a wide variety of belief sets, but basically, we agree that, in general, less government is better than more government. We prize tolerance and pluralism, and think that, in general, everyone is best served by a live and let live attitude.
It’s been said that libertarians are a mix of libertines and librarians. Much as we’d like to argue with that statement, we can’t. Many of us are, indeed, bookish pleasure-seekers.
Political and philosophical labels, however, are beside the point. You don’t need to be a libertarian to agree that our friend was wrongfully arrested.
Ok, libertarian folk, was the Thomas Jefferson Dance Party some sort of protest?
It was a brain-child of one guy who wanted to offer a forum for fans of Thomas Jefferson to demonstrate their appreciation for the themes of liberty he illustrated time and time again. We weren’t trying to provoke anyone (though, admittedly, our dancing skills are minimal). But we were trying to use the Jefferson Memorial for the purposes to which it is dedicated: to memorialize Thomas Jefferson, and to do so on the one day such public demonstrations are permitted in the chamber — his birthday.
Did you have a permit?
No, but it is our understanding we didn’t need one. The law requires demonstrations (which this wasn’t) of 25 people or more to apply for a permit. Anyway, who gets a permit to go dancing in a public park?
Why isn’t The Jefferson 1 talking?
On advice from her counsel, she will not be making any public statements.
What was the charge?
Contrary to many reports and the original statements at the Memorial, she was not charged with “Disorderly Conduct.” That would’ve been a stretch, because, as the video makes pretty clear, she was calm, quiet, and respectful the entire time. The charge is “interfering with an agency function.”
We have no idea what that means either, so don’t ask.
Is she still in custody?
No, thankfully. She was released five hours after her arrest.
But the “Free the Jefferson 1!” slogan was kinda catchy, so we kept it. We can’t very well keep changing the name of the site every time there is a new development.
Why should I give money to the Defense Fund?
This is a legal case and good lawyers cost money. The police and the government don’t often say “Oh, you’re right. Our bad. All charges dropped” just because you want them too. Please give today: every $100, $50, or $25 helps tremendously.
Was the monument closed?
No. The monument is open 24/7/365. Even, we like to think, for dancing.
Was she drunk/intoxicated?
Only on life and liberty! But really, no. She didn’t have so much as a beer before heading to the Monument.
Isn’t she only getting attention because she’s an attractive, white, college educated female with friends in the media?
In a word: yes. But not everyone arrested on such ridiculous grounds is similarly situated; since we have the means, motivation, and time to do something about this case, we are. Our hope is that the authorities will think twice in the future, when the person getting arrested might not happen to have a dozen friends around with video cameras, iPhones, and copies of the Cato pocket Constitution.
So why should I care?
Because if dancing silently is a reason to get slapped in handcuffs and hauled off to the clink, who knows what else is–it could be something you’re doing right now!
Why do parents record the t-ball games of their 8 year olds? Why do drunk chicks take pictures of themselves and their friends in bars? Why do non-dancing tourists take pictures in the Jefferson Memorial?
The Thomas Jefferson Dance Party seemed like the sort of thing that would produce some nice, funny memories, and we wanted to have those memories on video to share amongst ourselves and our friends.