Sledders defy police with 'sled-in' protest on Capitol Hill

Nothing screams Snow Day like throwing yourself on an un-steerable piece of plastic and flying head-first down an icy hill. But winter’s rite-of-passage is actually against the law on the snowy grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

Yet that didn't sway dozens of moms, dads and kids Thursday afternoon from defying Capitol cops and marking their icy territory. The snow-covered slopes of Capitol Hill became the scene of an unusual "sled-in" protest -- and with most of Congress closed for business on Thursday, they had the full attention of the Capitol Hill media.

“We have cabin fever,” Tim Krepp, who brought his kids sledding, told Fox News. “We get tired of getting pushed around and people told you can’t do… you have to draw the line and say no.”

Others held up protest signs: “Let my people sled!” and “The public and our kids love to sled. Let us.”

Krepp’s act of civil disobedience was met with a warning from officers telling him he was violating regulations that dictate there is “no sledding or skiing on Capitol grounds because of safety and property damage on Capitol grounds.”

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    Rules dating back to 1876 do prevent sledding on Capitol Hill, something that became the subject of a bizarre controversy in between D.C. snowstorms. Officers did not appear to be making any arrests, however, on Thursday.

    Krepp said he found it ironic that authorities cited safety concerns for its no-sledding policy but Congress could barely cobble together a compromise on funding the Department of Homeland Security.

    “On the DHS side, we’re seeing Congress embarrass itself in passing legislation,” he said. “So the fact they they’re lecturing us about safety … when dropping the ball resonates with me.”

    On Wednesday, with a winter storm bearing down on the city, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton sent a letter to Capitol Police requesting that the sledding ban be temporarily lifted from Thursday through Sunday.

    "Have a heart," Norton said. "This could be the last snowstorm the D.C. area gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years. Children and their parents should able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city."

    Norton was not alone in her crusade, as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced his support over Twitter.

    But Capitol Police turned Norton down, citing liability issues stemming from the risk of injury on public property.

    Frank Larkin, chairman of the Capitol Police Board, said he couldn't lift the no-sledding rule.

    "If the forecast holds true, there are many families who will want to enjoy the snow tomorrow," he said in a statement Wednesday night. "Although, for security reasons, the Capitol grounds are not your typical neighborhood hill or playground."

    Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.