Moral Low Ground

War & Peace

Iraq War Veteran Violently Arrested for Peaceful Dance at Jefferson Memorial

Adam Kokesh, an Iraq War veteran-turned anti-war activist and journalist, was violently arrested by US Park Police at the Jefferson Memorial on Saturday. His crime? Dancing quietly in protest of a court ruling that upheld a ban on peaceful dancing inside the Jefferson Memorial. A woman was arrested there in 2008 for silently engaging in “expressive dance” at the national monument.

(Photo: Steve Terrell)

According to dc ist, US district judge John Bates, in a 26-page ruling, found that expressive dancing, even if silent, is an act that undermines “an atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence” at the memorial.

Let me get this straight– the US Supreme Court, in its infamous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruled that corporations are people and money is free speech, and therefore corporations are allowed to spend as much money as they like to influence the outcome of American elections. But Judge Bates has ruled that expressive dancing– by a human being– is not free speech but rather a public nuisance? Boy, have we got our priorities seriously fucked up in this country!

Anyway, back to Mr. Kokesh. He and a small group of activists went to the Jefferson Memorial Saturday to protest Bates’ ruling by dancing silently. One couple was not so much dancing as they were embracing and gently swaying back and forth. Before long, they were all arrested by US Park Police. According to Raw Story, Kokesh repeatedly ignored one of the officers when he was ordered to stop. He began to slowly walk away when he was grabbed and slammed to the ground by the officer, who then choked him around his throat.

Luckily, cameras were present and rolling to capture it all.

The Washington Post reports that the  US Park Police are  investigating the dancers’ arrests.

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