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65-year-old US woman banned from doing cartwheels publicly

She would do the splits, among other gymnastics, at council meetings

Phoenix: A 65-year-old woman has been ordered to stop performing cartwheels and doing the splits at council meetings.

Officials at Maricopa County in Phoenix, Arizona, have acted after community activist Diane ‘DD’ Barker showed off her gymnastic skills at a Maricopa Association of Governments meeting before she addressed a public hearing.

“I was in shorts, appropriately dressed,” said Barker. “I was not near anybody that they could get hurt. I did a cartwheel and I did a split, too. They don’t talk about the splits.”

Barker says her personal expression was a way to show the benefits of riding her bicycle, exercise and using public transportation.

But county officials weren’t happy with the cartwheel and sent the former teacher a letter demanding she stop the stunt.

The letter stated: “Public bodies may impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on speakers and the request that you not perform cartwheels is a reasonable and permitted restriction. Not following the rules may result in the Chair revoking your request to speak at the meeting.”

Barker retorted: “Well, it’s disappointing. But I feel there’s no reason for me to go try and prove I have an ego and I’m right or wrong to do it again.”

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