U.S. Leftist With Russia TV Show Throws Protest/Publicity Stunt to Shut Down Jefferson Memorial

A forceful Park Police arrest of protesters at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington on Saturday is popping up on left-leaning social media over the weekend. The most famous protester/media personality was Adam Kokesh, a radical activist with Iraq Veterans Against the War who is now hosting a show on Russia TV called "Adam vs. The Man." Guess who The Man was this weekend -- some monument cops in shorts.

Hundreds of Americans stroll through the Jefferson Memorial peacefully each day, taking in the inspirational quotes about American resistance to tyranny. Kokesh and his protester cohorts wanted to turn that whole concept upside-down. It was the perfect venue to scream and complain that there was no freedom of speech in America, ruining the experience for the tourists so they could make a propaganda video for Russia TV. The cops shut down the monument temporarily to clear the spot of the bratty disobedience display. The DCist blog explained:

In 2008 a small flash mob had gathered at the memorial to dance in silence, but was dispersed when one woman was arrested on misdemeanor charges. A year later, stemming from that case,a judge affirmed a ban on dancing at the memorial, "in order to maintain an atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence."

It is unclear as to how many people gathered inside the memorial to actually dance in silence or to merely watch/cover the protest. The event was widely publicized on several websites including Facebook, streamed live and live-tweeted. Local media outlets were also informed of the event, and a public call for photographers, videographers and witnesses made sure a crowd beyond the usual tourist masses was set in place to watch. At one point, organizers decided to hold off until more dancers arrived for news cameras, making note that Park Police was well aware of the event and were also gathering in response.

Those arrested were taken to the District 5 police station in Anacostia, charged with demonstrating without a permit, then released a short time after.

A second protest has been set already for next Saturday, June 4 at noon, once again at the Jefferson Memorial. (Facebook invite) Neither Edward Dickey nor the U.S. Park Police could be reached for a comment on the incident.

The blog We Love DC claims it supports protest against unjust laws -- like the anti-dancing rule -- but felt Kokesh and his cohort destroyed their own moral authority:

They had the opportunity to get arrested for that they believe in and show the world the status quo – the arrest of the couple gently swaying, for example, is a perfect demonstration of how silly this restriction is. Forcing the encounter to be violent by resisting arrest cheapens the whole thing and distracts from what should have been the core issue.

Kokesh and the others could have chosen to go limp and non-violently resist the arrest. Instead they made this mess. Too bad.

Tim Graham's picture

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