I figure it's about time I throw in my worthless two cents about what happened at the Jefferson Memorial last night.
I was there. I am friends with the arrested person and the organizers of the event. I did not dance, but I enjoyed the show...briefly.
I know more than I am going to share because a lot of it would be speaking in place of her, which I am neither authorized nor willing to do.
What I can say, with full confidence, is that 1) she was not in any way intoxicated and 2) she gave not the slightest bit of implication that she was looking to get arrested or even cause trouble. So, for all the blog commenters on the several sites that have covered this story who have speculated otherwise, let it go. If need be (although I think highly unlikely), I can and will testify to that effect.
As for the hubbub that has followed in the hours since: I think it is unfortunate that my friend has to go through all this. She has to tell to people that she was arrested, explain why, and somehow convince them that it wasn't her fault...which it wasn't. And, whether she wants to be or not, she is now a poster-child in our most recent "F- the state" efforts. While there can be perks to this last bit (e.g., becoming a minor-celebrity), that status neither pays bills nor protects privacy.
A lot of us are acting as though we are under some sort of moral obligation to do something. (I am no exception to this. Both as a libertarian, and more importantly (to me) as a friend, I am happy to do whatever needs to be done.) But in the grand scheme of abusive police actions and power -- of which this incident is minor, comparatively speaking -- is the end result going to amount to much? I find it unlikely.
I should probably mention here that my father was a police officer. I grew up respecting police and admire what many of them do on a daily basis. I think it is unfortunate that they enforce a lot of unjust laws (e.g., drug laws, etc.), but that isn't even at issue in this case. She broke NO LAW -- yet still spent several hours in police custody and her life will very plausibly be negatively affected as a result.
I am all for this fight, really. But I can see this getting out of hand and I don't want to see my friend hurt.