For the first time ever, the Federal Government will charge protesters for demonstrating in the Nation’s Capital under a new proposal issued by the National Park Service. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is undertaking a nationwide campaign and legal struggle to resist and fight this proposed devastation of free speech rights.
PCJF Op-Ed in the Washington Post: The Trump administration wants to tax protests. What happened to free speech?
For the first time, the U.S. government wants demonstrators to pay to use our parks, sidewalks and streets to engage in free speech in the nation’s capital. This should be called for what it is: a protest tax. This is a bold effort by the Trump administration to burden and restrict access to public spaces for First Amendment activities in Washington. If enacted, it would fundamentally alter participatory democracy in America.
The proposal to turn Metro into a private livery service for Nazis is outrageous and unconstitutional. Neither Metro nor the police should act as private security or escorts for white supremacists who choose to come to Washington, D.C.. ATU Local 689 members and Metro workers should not be required to act as their chauffeurs. Click the link to read the full statement.
The Intercept: With Last Charges Against J20 Protesters Dropped, Defendants Seek Accountability For Prosecutors
“The prosecution, as we now know, utterly failed. But it failed at the point at which the very ugly, unethical conduct of the prosecutors and police was being cracked open,” according to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. Referring to PCJF's current lawsuit demanding disclosure from the DCMPD of their relationships and communications with Project Veritas and others, she said: “I think there’s a real question here as to whether or not the police were attempting to skirt constitutional and statutory restrictions by using right-wing organizations as a proxy.”
With a new focus on "civility" amidst continuing attempts to criminalize protest, FAIR talks with PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, constitutional rights attorney with the PCJF, is representing Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party Presidential candidate, before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This matter raises critical public interest concerns involving First Amendment, associational and political rights and privileges, including of independent third parties, that are fundamental to American democracy. These freedoms are under threat. Dr. Stein has today released Ms. Verheyden-Hilliard's letter responding to the SSCI's inquiry which can be read here.
PCJF Files Lawsuit Over D.C. Police Department’s Relationship with Right-Wing Organizations to Infiltrate and Surveil Protest Groups
PCJF today filed a FOIA lawsuit demanding government disclosure of documents regarding the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and its officers’ relationships with Project Veritas, Oath Keepers and other groups who helped the MPD infiltrate and surveil protest groups.