Thank you for taking action and joining the Campaign to Save Free Speech! The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is organizing a multi-pronged response and we are grateful to stand together with you to fight this dangerous rollback. We will be updating you with next steps as we push forward with this challenge. Millions of us have marched and rallied in the nation's capital, and millions more have benefited from the changes that have been brought about through grassroots demonstrations that have stood up for fundamental rights.
We need you to take a second step right now:
Please click here to submit your comments directly to the NPS making it clear that you oppose these outrageous regulatory changes, including any fees on permitted demonstrations. The rule is also identified by the Regulation Identifier Number: 1024-AE45 at www.regulations.gov
The NPS has bundled together a massive overhaul in one proposal. We recognize that this will make it hard for people to wade through. The PCJF is preparing a summary for you and substantial legal response to this proposal, but we need each and every person who cares about this issue to submit an individual comment through the government’s website. Your comment will become part of the official record of challenges and objections.
Secretary Zinke’s earlier plan to impose large fees on access to public parks was retracted after a mountain of comments submitted through this website. We need you to submit a comment now opposing the new and potentially massive fees for political demonstrations in Washington, D.C.. This is the critical next step to stopping these changes. Don’t put this off, comment today.
In our first round of commenting we encourage people to focus on the proposal to assess charges on free speech activities, but feel free to include anything else as well.
Trump's NPS far reaching proposal includes:
- Charging protestors for demonstration activities, such as application fees, the costs of barricades set up at police discretion, trash removal and sanitation, including charges for purported harm to grass, turf, benches, poles and walkways.
- Eliminating the automatic 24-hour "deemed granted" rule, where protest permit applications are deemed granted 24 hours after submission unless expressly denied. The deemed granted rule was put in place because of historic obstruction and lengthy delays of permits by the NPS — which is exactly what protesters will experience again if this change is implemented.
- Revising the definitions and categorizations between demonstrations and special events (often commercial or corporate sponsored events / concerts), allowing the NPS to impose even greater charges/restrictions on demonstrations if they contain elements associated with special events, i.e., a music performance within a demonstration.
- The NPS deceptively mixes and matches First Amendment free speech protests with commercial special events permits. According to the NPS’s own statistics, it received 4,658 permit applications for special event and demonstration permits in 2017 — but it fails to clarify that more than 80% of those permits were for special events sponsored by corporations and TV/movie films, such as the mega-million blockbuster film Wonder Woman. If the NPS is short of funds, it can turn to its corporate clients — but it is absurd to shift the purported costs onto the back of grassroots activists, whose permits are a small fraction of those processed by the NPS, and whose First Amendment-protected speech is at the very heart of democracy.
- Shortening the maximum duration of demonstrations or vigils with a sustained ongoing presence.
- Adding restrictions on small soap-box speakers platforms for small demonstrations as well as expanding restrictions on sign supports and sign dimensions.
Tell the NPS that you oppose any new fees or restrictions on First Amendment assembly in the nation's capital.
Click here to be taken to the NPS Regulatory Comment Page.
We must stop the Trump Administration's outrageous plan to charge people for demonstrating. Trump wants to take away the right to petition our government to redress grievances, creating a new “Pay to Play” or “Pay to Protest” regime. This is flat out anti-democratic. Never in American history have the people had to pay up to assemble and speak out on our public federal land in the nation’s capital and we can't let it happen now.
Tell your friends to join the campaign to stop Trump's assault on free speech.
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