Freedom of Information Act Requests Demand Government Release National Mall Documents
Two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed today by the Partnership for Civil Justice (PCJ) on behalf of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition seeking critical information about the effort of the Bush Administration to privatize the National Mall.
One FOIA demands the government release information about the make-up of the Trust for the National Mall, the private business-led entity that the National Park Service (NPS) has authorized to partner in its planned remake of the National Mall. The government has so far refused to disclose critical information about the Trust, including its Board of Directors. The FOIA also demands records of communications between the Bush Administration, the NPS and the private Trust.
Since thousands of people around the country have written the NPS demanding that the National Mall remain fully open for free speech activities, the government has back-tracked and claimed that their plans to create a "protest pit" are only an option under consideration -- but two official reports put out last year by the NPS say otherwise.
The second FOIA request demands the Bush Administration's NPS release information regarding those plans, as evidenced in the reports, to restrict or ban First Amendment activities on the National Mall including their written plans to "pave civic space and speaker's corners for First Amendment Demonstrations" so as to "reduce the impact" on the "experience of other visitors."
Please make a contribution to support these efforts. The Bush Administration and the businesses have unlimited funds to pursue their goals and are raising more and more every day. Please join with tens of thousands of others who are standing up for our free speech rights by supporting this campaign. You can help make a difference in this important fight by making a generous donation today.
These FOIAs are part of the larger campaign in Defense of Free Speech Rights on the National Mall. The campaign seeks to defeat the efforts of the Bush Administration and Corporate America to inhibit, obstruct and banish Free Speech protests on the National Mall in Washington, DC and in other park lands and public spaces around the country. You can read a copy of the two FOIA requests by clicking here (to download the first) and here (to download the second).
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The outcome of this struggle to preserve Free Speech in Washington D.C. will have an enormous impact for many years to come. When the people come to Washington to stand up for what they believe in, the National Mall has been the central gathering place. This struggle to preserve “America’s Front Yard” for Free Speech can’t be done without your help. You can make a tax-deductible donation on-line or see how to send a check by clicking this link. If you want to make a donation that is not-tax-deductible you can also do so by clicking here.
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