WJLA (DC): New restrictions proposed for protests near the White House and National Mall “If you think about the 1963 March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, if these rules had been in place then, the government would have been able to assess massive costs on the organizers and stopped them from being able to have that important moment. All you have to do is think about what our society would be like if that speech had been stifled.” — Mara Verheyden-Hilliard Read more
Courthouse News Service: Trump Planning Tough New Rules for Protests Near White House. “Nearly all are registering outrage and opposition to this radical rollback of free speech rights. We view this as a full scale attack on constitutional rights, that’s why we’ve launched a campaign to defend them.” — Carl Messineo, PCJF Legal Director Read more
The Hill: Trump administration proposes tough rules on protests. “There’s never been such a large effort at rewriting these regulations. I don’t think there can be any question that these revisions will have the intent and certainly the effect of stifling the ability of the public to protest.” — Mara Verheyden-Hilliard Read more
Spreading the Word on the Save Free Speech Campaign — Mara Verheyden-Hilliard speaks to Pacifica's WPFW
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. Read more
“When you think about petitioning your government for redress of grievances, this is the nation’s capital -- this is where you come to do it. And now you have the Trump administration that is not only engaging in extreme rhetoric against demonstrators and suggesting that protests should be illegal,” but “taking concrete actions to suppress dissent and suppress free speech.” — Mara Verheyden-Hilliard in Bloomberg News. Click here to read the full article. Read more
In a follow-up to the OpEd by the PCJF, the editorial board of the Washington Post issues "a resounding no" to the Pay-to-Protest proposal by the Trump administration and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
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.” Read more
U.S. Attorney's Office drops charges against remaining J20 anti-Trump defendants; PCJF calls for an investigation into the US Attorney's Office and the DC Metropolitan Police Department for this crime against the First Amendment. Read more