Help the larger cause · No April 30 as Jane Fonda Day · (2024)

I am an immigrant, and my family and I came to America because of the rights protected by the constitution. One of these rights is the freedom of expression, which includes social dancing in public spaces. Yet, we are facing restrictions from Miami Beach Park Rangers and elected leaders who are denying us this right.

The dances in question were spontaneous and informal social dances at South Pointe Park attended by long time Miami Beach residents. Dancers kept their music levels low, well within existing codes, were respectful of other park goers, and followed all park rules and regulations, yet the Park Rangers repeatedly stopped the dancing, a constitutionally protected form of free expression.Social dance is not just a form of entertainment; it's a way for individuals to express themselves, build community bonds, and celebrate our diverse cultures. It's part of what makes Miami Beach vibrant and unique.According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), "the First Amendment protects expressive conduct including dancing." This protection extends to public spaces like parks where people should be free to engage in social dances without fear or restriction.

While we agree that disruptive assemblies which prevent other park goers from enjoying the park should not be permitted, Park Rangers and local government have been infringing on our protected rights by selectively or inappropriately enforcing city ordinances to prevent civil, non disruptive, and legal social dancing at South Pointe Park.

Dancers have repeatedly tried to cooperate with law enforcement, asking "what is an acceptable noise level?" and have been told by Park Rangers that "it is the amplification" that is the issue, while refusing to provide an acceptable noise level. Earbuds are amplified, are they not acceptable either?

We urge our elected leaders and Park Rangers in Miami Beach to uphold this constitutionally protected right. We ask them not only for ourselves but also for future generations who should be able to enjoy their freedoms fully as intended by our founding fathers.Please sign this petition if you believe that everyone deserves their constitutional right to express themselves in a healthy, civil manner through social dance in public spaces.

Make your voice heard. Sign the petition now and protect your rights.

Details of the Park Rangers' complaints follow, with our responses.

Noise complaints from neighbors.


The volume of the battery powered bluetooth speakers used by the dancers is about the same as the background noise at the park. Appx 65Db as measured from the pedestrian path at the edge of the park.

This is about as loud as a casual conversation between the Park Rangers from four feet away.

The speakers are pointed at the water and away from the pedestrian path and buildings.

Due to the ambient noise levels at the park, and because the speakers are placed more than 20 feet into the park, the music is no louder than ambient baseline for passersby on a typically weekend. In fact, many dancers have mentioned that the music was inaudible when approaching the park.

Given these facts, how could residents of the nearest building, the Apogee, hear the dancers from over 100 feet away and in the opposite direction from which the speakers were pointed?

They can’t.

While it is indeed possible that there have been valid noise complaints from the residents at the Apogee, if there were, it wasn’t because of the dancers.

There is no “Amplified Sound” allowed in the park


Ear buds are amplified sounds, are you going to ban that? How about using speakerphone on a telephone call? Is that illegal now?This rule makes no sense without a noise threshold at which point it becomes enforceable.

Dancers repeatedly tried to cooperate with law enforcement, asking "what is an acceptable noise level?" and have been told by Park Rangers that "it is the amplification" that is the issue, while refusing to provide an acceptable level. Why? Because the real goal is to shut down the dances.

A reasonable noise threshold would be set at a level above which it would prevent other people from enjoying the park. That level would have to be significantly higher than the typical ambient noise at the park.

But as we established above, the dancers’ speaker is set to ambient level and pointed towards the water.So a noise threshold low enough to ban the dancers would also ban park goers and the Park Rangers from talking at the park.

It should be noted that Park Rangers also suppress non-amplified music in the park. They shut down an acoustic guitar player singing with some friends, who was also exercising a protected form of expression.

The Park Closes 90 Minutes After Sunset


City of Miami Beach Dept of Parks has confirmed in writing that the park closes at 10pm, long after the dance events have usually end.

Are the Park Rangers misinformed? Or lying? Does it matter?

The Dances are Performances, and require a permit


City spokesperson Melissa Berthier framed the dances as “Performances” to local media because performances require permits.

Social dancing does not meet the definition of a “Performance” any more than Tai Chi or Acro Yoga in the park does.

Dancing is free. There are no classes, no choreographed routines, no tickets sold, no solicitation for donations or other commercial transactions.

It’s literally a bunch of people just being active and having a good time.

(If it's so loud, why's the dog just chillin?)

The Parks department has stated in no uncertain terms that we do not require a permit for that.

The Park Rangers and politicians can ask the dancers to move to 10th street, but not infringe on their right to dance at South Pointe.

Violation of Noise Order Code 46-152


The full ordinance is linked for reference, but let’s look at the relevant language.

Noises; unnecessary and excessive prohibited.

As we established above, the dance speakers set at the ambient level of the park and pointed away from people is not excessive, otherwise nobody would be able to have a conversation in the park.

Music is necessary for social dancing, which is protected expression under the first amendment of the constitution of the United States. So in the case of dancing, it is not unnecessary.

(b) The using … of any machine …. in such manner as to disturb the peace

As stated above, the speakers are set at the ambient level of the park background noise and pointed toward the dancers and away from other people. So how are dancers disturbing the peace?

If it is the physical activity, why are acrobats and stripper poles allowed in the park? The Park Rangers are not citing them for code violations. Just the social dancers.

(b) cont’ The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

The dancers disperse before or at 10PM, when the park closes.

(b) cont’ The operation of any such set, instrument, in such manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 100 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located

The speakers as stated above, are set at ambient level of 65db, pointed away from people, and inaudible above the ambient park levels from people walking by from more than 20 feet away.

They would be below ambient park levels or completely inaudible from 100 feet away in the direction of the nearest building.

(i) Noises to attract attention. The use of any… loudspeaker or other instrument... for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show, sale, display or advertisem*nt of merchandise.

Social dancing is not a “Performance” any more than doing Tai Chi or Yoga in the park is. Dancing is free. There are no sales or commercial transactions happening at the dances. It’s literally a bunch of people being active and having a good time.

The music speaker is not an advertisem*nt, just a necessary component to social dancing, yet city spokesperson Melissa Berthie framed the dances as “Performances” to local media because performances require permits.

(j) Loudspeakers, etc. The use or operation of … loud speaker .. which emits therefrom loud and raucous noises

As stated above, the noise created by the speaker cannot be considered loud and raucous unless one considers the conversations of Park Rangers, and the typical park ambient noise level loud and raucous.

If you read this far, what are you waiting for?Make a difference. Make your voice heard.

Sign the petition now and protect your rights. ✌️

Help the larger cause · No April 30 as Jane Fonda Day · (2024)
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