A victory for the people in the War on Fun:
After Congress left town and snow showers arrived Thursday, children and adults descended, toting their sleds to make use of the literal hill at the Capitol. The Capitol police tried to turn them away.
It was the latest episode in the District of Columbia’s ongoing snow saga, where sledders have repeatedly faced off against Capitol police over the sledding ban.
Lyndsey Medsker, a public affairs specialist, brought her two young sons to the slopes Thursday. Her family had tried two weeks ago to sled down Capitol Hill during Washington’s last snowstorm. But Medsker’s children, Finley and Atley, were only able to get a couple of runs in before Capitol Police ordered them to disperse.
She organized the “Sled-In” after hearing that her online petition had failed to sway Capitol Police.
And we wonder why the kids are fat.
My good friend talk radio host Aaron Flint has some pictures (including the one above) of Montanans gleefully sledding in defiance of the local police. Good for them.
And here’s some historical context from The Atlantic:
Thursday was not the first time American children have confronted self-important security forces encroaching on their fun. Back in 1775, on the eve of the American Revolution, the schoolboys of Boston had to contend with the red-coated British soldiers quartered in their city.
Their favorite sled-run, carefully constructed each winter, ran from Sherburn’s Hill down to School Street. It went directly past the residence of General Frederick Haldimand, whose servant deemed the slick, packed snow a threat to his safety. He scattered hot ashes, melting the sled run, ignoring the protests and pleas of the boys, and spoiling the route.
Then, as now, the children decided to protest. The boys elected a committee, and dispatched it to wait upon the general. Met at the door by his servant, they insisted on speaking with the general himself. The chairman of the committee laid out their case, as the astonished general listened. They, and their fathers before them, had used the land as a sled run, the boys explained. Reason carried the day. The general ordered his servant to fix the damage.
Defiance in the face of overweening authority is a proud American tradition. One badly in need of revival.