News & Politics

A “Free Britney” Rally Is Planned for DC This Week

Spears' supporters plan to gather at the Lincoln Memorial this Wednesday

Photograph by Flickr user Jennifer.

Britney Spears has inspired a new era of bipartisanship in Washington, prompting Democrats and Republicans to question the merits of her legal guardianship. And on Wednesday, fans of the pop star plan to gather to protest Spears’ circumstances on the day she is scheduled to appear in court to again question the arrangement, also called a conservatorship, which she has testified is abusive.

The “Free Britney America” rally is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, at 2 PM at the Lincoln Memorial. It’s organized by a new local group, also named Free Britney America, that hopes to pressure Congress to look into conservatorship reform, says Cassandra Dumas, one of the group’s four executive directors. (The others are Erika Gutierrez, Patrick Thomas, and Dylan Spence.) Dumas says it hopes to extend its messages “all the way up to Joe Biden.”

What are those messages? They’d like to see Congressional hearings about conservatorship law, have the FBI investigate Spears’ conservatorship from a RICO perspective, and encourage federal oversight over the conservatorship process, which currently varies state by state. Spears’ situation is a starting point, Dumas says, but “It’s something where we as fans want to see her free first and foremost.” 

A spokesperson for the National Park Service told Washingtonian on Monday it hasn’t received an application to hold such a rally. Dumas says Free Britney America has filed an application but does not currently expect a turnout that would cross the Park Service’s 25-person threshold for a First Amendment permit. [UPDATE 7/13: NPS tells Washingtonian a permit application is in.]

Some supporters of Spears’ cause are high-profile Washingtonians including Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren. Dumas says she hasn’t heard from them but hopes Meghan McCain might be interested in checking out the doings on Wednesday. Embattled US Representative Matt Gaetz, who has been an outspoken supporter of Spears’ efforts to extricate herself from the guardianship, plans to be in Los Angeles Wednesday and won’t be attending, Dumas says. (The House is not in session this week; Gaetz’s office was not able to immediately confirm questions about his schedule.)

Free Britney America’s website asks supporters to gather at the foot of the memorial’s steps, by the Reflecting Pool, and bring signs, sunscreen, and water. “We have fliers, we have banners,” Dumas says. “We would really love to see the DC contingent show up and show their support.”

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.