Park Police Slam Dancers at Jefferson Memorial

Sunday, May 29, 2011  |  Updated 10:18 AM EDT
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Five people were arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial.

Derrick Ward

Five people were arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial.

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A handful of dancers got cuffed on Saturday for doing what they say the Founding Fathers would have wanted them to do - expressive dancing in National Parks.

A court recently ruled that expressive dancing was in a category with picketing, speech making, and marching - a banned activity at national memorials.

A small group came out on Saturday to protest the ruling, by dancing together inside the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial.

But after a few minutes, their moves got busted by Park Police.

Five were arrested, while listening to earphones and moving rhythmically in the shadow of Thomas Jefferson.

"The founders understood that the only thing that was going to make the American experiment succeed was the people standing up for these rights," Jared Denman, a demonstrator, told NBC Washington.

The memorial was shut down while demonstrators got arrested.

Some visiting from out of town were less than impressed with the protesters' interpretive moves.  "I think its ridiculous," said Edward Kelly of Richmond.  "We just traveled up the steps and we've been waiting for 15 minutes."

Video of the Park Police wrestling some of the dancers to the ground has appeared on YouTube.

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