Minneapolis police arrested seven music fans staging an impromptu zombie dance party on a city street last weekend and charged them with possessing simulated weapons of mass destruction because of wires attached to their portable stereos.
The heavily made up revellers were locked up alongside gang members and hardcore criminals in the Hennepin County Jail after bail was set at $30,000, and detained for two nights until prosecutors grudgingly conceded they had insufficient evidence.
In a subsequent statement cops claimed theyd been on high alert for a gang of robbers dressed as clowns and said the group had been intimidating passers-by with their ghoulish makeup, admitting theyd arrested them when they failed to turn down their stereos.
"The officers cited their concern for the safety of both pedestrians and officers on the scene," the statement said. "The group's lack of cooperation with police and their failure to provide identification raised suspicion among officers who were on alert following a bulletin about men in other states who use face paint to disguise themselves while committing robberies." (Star Tribune)
Meanwhile in New York, 200 dance fans gathered on 79th street last Saturday for the launch of a new anti-Cabaret Law grassroots organisation called Dancing Is Not a Crime. Revellers danced to a percussion band and heard speakers including New York civil liberties champion and lawyer Norman Siegel condemn the 1926 law.
If you allow a government to tell people they cannot dance, that is the beginning of a repressive government, Mr Siegel told the crowd, With all thats going on in the world, we need to encourage dancing we might find ourselves recognizing weve got more in common than wed like to believe, he added.
http://www.hennepin.us/vgn/portal/internet/hcchannelmaster/0,2324,1273_82676,00.html (Hennepin County Jail)
Jonty Skrufff (JontySkrufff.com)