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Gulp--Obamaworld NO SENSE OF HUMOR for Flash-Mob Dancing Young or Manning Sympathizers

(525 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Jefferson Memorial -- police state response to dancing protesters.

On May 28, 2011 Television host Adam Kokesh and several other activists participating in a flash-mob were arrested at the publicly-funded Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Their crime? Silently dancing, in celebration of the first amendment's champion; a clear violation of their right to free-expression.


After reading about this and watching the video, I googled an article I'd read a while back written by Kevin Zeese in consortiumnews about a flower-laying demonstration at a publicly-accessible Iwo Jima statue replica at the entrance of Quantico by some Bradley Manning protestors. Here are some excerpts of the paramilitary over-reaction to the protestors:

On March 20, Americans, in a vet-led assembly, gathered to support PFC Bradley Manning who is accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks and who has been held in solitary confinement at the Quantico Marine Base for seven months.

We worked successfully with the Prince William County Police in Virginia for a safe and peaceful event, but one aspect of the event was in dispute – a veteran-led flower laying ceremony.

It seemed like something that should not have been controversial – a ceremony to remember the war dead at a replica of the Iwo Jima Monument. [The original monument is in Arlington, Virginia, across from Washington, D.C.]

The replica of the iconic monument of Marines raising the American flag at Iwo Jima is located at the entrance of the Quantico base and is open to the public every day of the year. But the Marines insisted on closing it to prevent a flower-laying ceremony by veterans on that Sunday.

We wanted to remember the war dead and emphasize that transparency saves lives as deception has been the basis of so many wars.


I wrote two memoranda to Colonel Daniel J. Choike, the Quantico Base Commander prior to March 20. In them I explained our intent, the constitutional rights we were exercising and offered to find a way to exercise our rights safely.

I concluded both memos saying “We ask you to please work with us in good faith and dignity to make this event work as it should under the Constitution, statutes and laws we all honor and respect. I stand ready and willing to work with you or your representatives, to make this work appropriately, and may be contacted for this purpose at any time, day or night, in furtherance of that goal.”

We received no response from the Marine Command. The one time I called the Marines, I was told the monument is open every day of the year but would be closed because of our presence.

On the morning of the assembly, the Prince William police offered a compromise: we could send five people to the monument to lay flowers on the memorial.

While some among the Bradley Manning supporters were unhappy with this compromise, we decided to accept it in order to have a peaceful event that allowed us to show our respect for those who have died in war. In the end, the police allowed six people to approach the monument with flowers.

Among the six were two who had been awarded the Purple Heart, one from World War II and the other from Iraq.


As the flower-laying delegation approached the monument, they were told to stop at a police barrier 20 feet from the memorial. The memorial was too far away to even throw the flowers on to it. The delegation was disappointed.

Jay Wenk told me that “when we came up to the barriers and were told to put our flowers on the ground, that we could go no further because ‘that's Federal land’ I felt shocked, angry and despairing of what our government is.” Zach Choate said he “was furious and hurt.”

Ann Wright decided to sit down on the road in protest, Daniel Ellsberg joined her. Then people came out from behind the police barricade and into the streets.

Police showed how much force they were willing to use to prevent vets from laying flowers on a war memorial. Riot police started to march down the hill.

Dressed like Imperial Guards in Star Wars, 30 of them stood shoulder-to-shoulder covering the width of a four-lane road carrying large shields, wearing black helmets with plastic over their face in most cases only the eyes could be seen and many of them were covered by sun glasses, body armor covering their chest and arms, knee pads, shin guards and heavy boots.

Behind them were an equal number of riot police without shields but similarly dressed. There were about a dozen SWAT team troops with large assault rifles, wearing green military-like clothing and also helmets with masks that hid their faces.

There were eight police on horseback, the horses also wearing riot gear covering their face with plastic and the police troops riding them were wearing helmets and riot gear as well. They were accompanied by police with police dogs, two buses and an armored vehicle. There were numerous other police from Prince William County, Manassas and Quantico.

Five different police forces were involved in responding to the flower-laying threat. Quite a show of paramilitary force to stop a flower-laying ceremony by five vets and a military mom!

There was no violence from the peace protesters who had all pledged to be non-violent at the event. Some of the protesters were treated roughly by the paramilitary police.

What was the root cause of this expensive and unnecessary show of force? The Marine Command insisting that vets could not lay flowers at a public war memorial.

Did they forget their oath? “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

Perhaps the most important part of the U.S. Constitution is the First Amendment which protects Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Petitioning the government. The language is clear: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . .; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


As a result of the events on March 20, 32 people have been arrested.

Daniel Ellsberg said when the magistrate told him the charge was “unlawful assembly” he thought: “Unlawful assembly? I thought of that as a pre-Revolutionary charge: ‘Disperse, ye rabble! Go to your homes!’ I was under the belief that the First Amendment — protecting the right ‘peaceably to assemble to petition for redress of grievances’ was supposed to ‘change all that.’

Here is a video taken at the protest.

[cross-posted at correntewire]