Trump doesn’t like protests outside the White House, so he’s trying to impede our right to peaceably assemble. There are 4 days left to comment. Do it here. While you still can.
There are new regulations being proposed through the National Park Service to seriously curtail the ability of Americans to peaceably assemble and protest their own government, directly adjacent to the White House and throughout the Washington, DC area.
Does this surprise anybody? Of course not. Should we stand for it just because it’s not surprising? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
This is an affront to our right to freely assemble, enshrined in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As the ACLU notes, these new regulations “would violate court orders that have stood for decades.” The new restrictions would close off 80 percent of the sidewalks surrounding the White House, and limit the ability of the American public to mount spontaneous protests (which may come in handy as the walls close in around Trump regarding new revelations from the Russia investigation). Also in the works: increased fees for protesting that, the ACLU says, “could make mass protests like Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic 1963 March on Washington and its ‘I have a dream’ speech too expensive to happen.”
Unacceptable. This is very dangerous territory, folks.
We have until Monday, October 15th at 11:59PM EDT to leave comments about these new regulations at the regulations.gov website. As of the publishing of this article, there are 7,623 comments on the site. Can we triple that before the deadline?
These comments matter. When regulations are challenged in court, judges often look to public sentiment as an important source of information for a final ruling. So, this is a critical way to engage in your democracy.
Your task: >>CLICK HERE<< to leave a comment before the deadline. Then ensure that three friends do as well.
Here are some sample points you could adapt/modify in your own comment:
I strongly oppose these new regulations proposed by the National Park Service for the following reasons:
- As an American, I am appalled that the Federal government would attempt to infringe on the rights of Americans to peaceably assemble (as enshrined in the 1st Amendment) adjacent to the symbols of our very democracy.
- These are public lands, and I am a citizen. I have the right to protest on the sidewalk outside the home of my Commander-in-Chief, just as I have the right to protest on the sidewalk outside of my own home, or my neighbor’s.
- This is clearly an attempt by the Trump Administration to curtail the prolonged efforts of the so-called “Kremlin Annex” protesters who justifiably oppose the President’s policies, his alliance with the autocratic Putin regime, and his inflammatory, un-American rhetoric that is dividing this country. We the people will not be silenced.
- President Trump has strong autocratic tendencies that we must fight as a nation. He is attempting to use Executive Power in a manner reminiscent of autocrats across the globe, and in a way that sets a dangerous precedent for an American society that has always embraced free speech and the right to protest our own government.
These newly proposed regulations must not be allowed to go into effect. If they do, we the people will challenge them immediately and fiercely in court and I will support these efforts.
Reference: Text from the proposed regulations, pertaining to protests adjacent to the White House.
(i) White House area. No permit may be issued authorizing demonstrations in the White House area, except for locations at the White House sidewalk, Lafayette Park and the Ellipse that are not closed to public access under paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)-(D) of this section. No permit may be issued authorizing special events, except for locations at the Ellipse and except for annual commemorative wreath-laying ceremonies relating to the statues in Lafayette Park that are not closed to public access under paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)-(D) of this section.
(A) Public access is not allowed on the north and east exterior portions of First Division Memorial Park, including West Executive Avenue and State Place NW with adjacent roadways and sidewalks: from northwest corner of State Place and 17th Street NW; to include all areas of West Executive Avenue along the South fence Line of the White House Complex and across E Street, NW; to include the south sidewalk adjacent to the First Division Memorial Park; and all of E Street NW, from 17th Street NW east to the pedestrian walkway through First Division Memorial Park, except that the pedestrian walkway through First Division Memorial Park and the north sidewalk of E Street NW to the west pedestrian crosswalk on E Street NW will be accessible to pedestrians, unless protective measures or special events dictate otherwise.
(B) Public access is not allowed on the north, south, and west exterior portions of the William T. Sherman Monument and Park, including East Executive Avenue and Alexander Hamilton Place NW, with adjacent roadways and sidewalks: From northeast corner of the park at Alexander Hamilton Place and 15th Street NW, running west on Alexander Hamilton Place NW to East Executive Avenue NW; to include all of Alexander Hamilton Place NW with adjacent north and south sidewalks; from southwest corner of E Street NW and East Executive Avenue NW running to the corner of E and 15th Streets NW; to include all of E Street NW, with the adjacent north sidewalk; from northwest comer of the park at Alexander Hamilton Place and East Executive Avenue NW running to the southwest comer of East Executive Avenue NW and across E Street NW; this includes all areas of East Executive Avenue along the south fence line and across E Street to the east pedestrian crosswalk. Notwithstanding the preceding closures, the center monument area and the sole pedestrian walkway between the northeast and southwest corners of the park and the north sidewalk of E Street NW to the east pedestrian crosswalk on E Street NW will be accessible to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., unless protective measures or special events dictate otherwise.
(C) Public access is not allowed on E Street NW from the west crosswalk just east of West Executive Avenue NW to the east crosswalk just west East Executive Avenue NW, including the sidewalk and all areas adjacent to the South Fence Line of the White House Complex.
(D) Public access is not allowed on the south sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, adjacent to the North Fence Line of the White House Complex, from the security post located just north of West Executive Avenue NW to the security post located just north of East Executive Avenue NW. The area of sidewalk to be closed shall consist of a twenty (20′) foot portion of the sidewalk, extending out from the North Fence Line, leaving a five (5′) foot portion of the sidewalk for pedestrian access.
(E) The closures described in paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)-(D) of this section are identified in the following map and as further delineated with fencing in the park areas themselves. Exceptions for the pedestrian walkway at First Division Memorial Park and the center monument area and pedestrian walkway at William T. Sherman Monument and Park are not displayed in the map because they are subject to closure at any time for protective measures or special events.