According to Capitol Police, it’s illegal to sell Lemonade on “Capitol Grounds” without a permit. Permit being a fancy for, “you can’t unless you pay us first, allow us to regulate you and cut us in on a portion of your profit (they’ll call that tax). This past weekend local D.C area activist, including several from Virginia CopBlock, went out to “liberate lemons” for Lemonade Freedom, by setting up their own lemonade stand (see video above or this UStream by Meg) in protest of police shutting down lemonade stands before.
It didn’t take long for the Capitol Police to take notice and ramp up their intimidation towards those selling lemonade. First asking if they had a permit, when told no, the police then asked those selling lemonade to stop. When that didn’t work officers started surrounding the group, when the activists improvised and started delivering lemonade to those near by, the police started intimidating people trying to buy a drink. Staying things like, “they’ll give it to you for free but don’t give them money.”
What’s most disturbing is that Meg McLain, Will Duffield and Kassie Dill were handcuffed, taken to the police station and charged with several ‘crimes’ (Vending without a permit, Failure to obey a lawful order and Unlawful conduct). Now, instead of making a few bucks and providing dozens of people with a beverage they desired, taxpayers will fit the bill (mostly) for court cost, police resources that were used and the possible jailing to come if found guilty. Single handedly the Capitol Police turned what could have (and should have) been a win, win situation for all involved, into a loss for everyone. Congratulations.
If you’re upset about the war on lemons, please call the Capitol Police (202.224.0908), let them know your thoughts. It’s obvious the officers weren’t in agreement, per the ending of the above video, but are willing to arrest anyone – as told to do so – to keep their cushy jobs. How much longer will you pay for this service?