Dozens of fans and activist gathered at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday afternoon for a #FreeBritney rally, many dressed in Britney attire. The event was organized by DC-based group Free Britney America to protest pop star Britney Spears’ conservatorship, which she testified was abusive in court last month. If there wasn’t a speaker addressing the crowd or a chant being led, Britney’s music was playing over a speaker.
It worked! Just kidding, but the timing was spot on. The same day, a judge ruled in court that Britney is allowed to hire a lawyer of her choice in her attempts to get out of the conservatorship, according to the Washington Post.
So who are these diehard Britney supporters? An interesting mix of super-fans and activists against guardianship abuse. Here’s what they had to say:
Name: Brooke Christensen, 32
What brought you here? “Everyone should have a voice,” she says. “If [Britney is] being abused and punished for having a mental illness, I don’t think that it’s right that she’s having her voice taken away.”
Name: Chris Aguilar, 24
What brought you here? Aguilar finds Britney’s conservatorship “corrupt.” The “main reason” for his attendance? Britney is“not … able to do things at her free will,” he says.
Name: Toby Davidow, 47
What brought you here? Davidow says she witnessed a situation similar to Britney’s with an allegedly corrupt guardian who oversaw her mother. When her mother died, Davidow says she did not find out for a week because of this guardian. “I sympathize with Britney’s plight,” she says. “She has so much life ahead of her.”
Name: Terri Black, 60
What brought you here? Black also says she witnessed guardianship abuse in the case of her father. She is now the director of the Center for Estate Administration Reform (CEAR), a nonprofit looking to educate Americans about guardianship abuse and seek justice for those who suffer from it. “It is a no-win situation to protect a loved one,” she says.
Name: Harriet Young, 29
What brought you here? “Britney Spears is a highly functioning and capable individual, and she should have the power to make her own decisions,” Young says. “The #FreeBritney movement is about her gaining back her agency.”
Name: Estefania Arias, 27
What brought you here? Arias says she noticed many flaws in the way conservatorships are allowed to operate in this country.“This is a free country,” she says. “People should be free to live their lives how they want it.”
Name: Corey Bailey, 33
What brought you here? “Because it’s Britney!,” Bailey says, dressed in a #FreeBritney shirt on and matching flag in hand. “Because I believe in her, I’m a fan of her, and I’m gonna show up. People have doubted her a lot, and the fans have always shown up.”
Name: Caroline Scambos, 28
What brought you here? “Britney has supported her fans for years,” Scambos says. “She’s given her life to her music which has helped millions and millions of people, and now it’s our turn to support her.”
Name: Alex Dias, 31
What brought you here? “Somebody who has brought so many smiles to people is just being forced to not be able to smile and live life the way it’s supposed to,” he says. “It’s time to breathe, be a human being for a change.”
Name: Stanley ‘Jel’low’ Turner, 35
What brought you here? Turner came to the #FreeBritney rally with his two dogs— Britney and Spears. He’s been a fan since 1999, hooked on the song “… Baby One More Time.” A musician himself, Turner says Britney is one of his main influences.“Her music is legendary,” he says. “I don’t protest but I felt like I had to protest today.”