Washington residents defied the long-standing "sledding ban" on Capitol Hill Thursday after a petition to have it lifted gained momentum online. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

In D.C., our protesters start young. Dozens of kids showed up with their sleds — and parents — in hand to slide down the forbidden Capitol Hill, all in the name of D.C. rights.

The U.S. Capitol Police, who have jurisdiction over the Capitol, have long banned sledding on Capitol grounds. This rule, which D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton called “arcane,” is inconsistently enforced, and D.C. residents wanted to make sure they could sled in the aftermath of today’s big snowstorm.

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Norton wrote a letter to U.S. Capitol Board Chairman Frank Larkin on Wednesday requesting a four-day waiver from the sledding ban, but the police department said it would be enforcing the rules despite the sledding potential. So a number of D.C. residents organized a sled-in, presumably assuming that their kids would have fun and, well, wouldn’t get arrested along the way. 


Colton Fleming, 6, of D.C., sleds in front of the Capitol on Thursday. Parents brought kids to sled as part of a sled-in to oppose a law that prohibits sledding on the hill. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

There were hashtags — #sledfreeordie — signs, and of course, lots of sledding.

Norton reported that Capitol police did not stop anyone from sledding. Capitol police have not yet responded to a request for comment.