How to Write Strong Comments to the National Park Services Defending Our Right to Protest

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You have until October 15, 2018 to make comments on the National Park Service’s proposed rule changes.

Because these are comments that have to be submitted through the Federal Registry, we aren’t able to provide an automatic tool for you use. You will have to click here to submit comments on the government website. It’s important for you to use your own words and highlight your experience. You should also know that the comments (including your name) are public.

Wondering what to say?

Here’s what makes for strong comments:

  • If you’ve attended a protest in Washington, DC before, talk about your experience. Explain how the right to protest is important to you. Please keep in mind that these comments are matter of public record and anyone can read them.
  • If you’ve organized protests before, mention how these regulations could have a direct impact on you.
  • In addition to written testimony, you can also submit pictures or even videos. Sharing photos or videos of protests you’ve been to, is an option.
  • If you’ve never been to a protest in DC, you are encouraged to talk about the significance of protests you haven’t been able to attend, or even historical protests that hold meaning for you. feel free to bring up historical protests. You can even share pictures or videos of them.
  • Bring up objections to specific parts of the proposal. Tell them you object to imposing fees on protest organizers, the rescinding of the 24 hour deemed granted rule, the creation of a provisionally reserved status which leaves protests in limbo, and the closing off sections in front of the White House. 

Click Here to Submit Comments through the Federal Registry

Background

If a new set regulations passes, activists will face serious hurdles in organizing protests on the National Mall or at the White House, potentially making such demonstrations a thing of the past.

We need your help in defending the right to protest.

The National Park Service is asking for comments on their proposed regulations and they need to hear from. You have until October 15 to submit them.

The NPS proposed regulations that would adversely impact the right to protest include:

  • Pay to Protest – Making people pay to protest by forcing protest organizers to pay for the costs of protests, including the cost of putting up barricades or the cost of “monitoring” the protest.
  • Fewer Venues for Protests -Closing off huge swaths of the area around the White House to protests including the iconic White House sidewalk
  • Unnecessary Uncertainty for Protest Organizers –  Changing the permitting process to eliminate the rule that a protest is deemed granted if not denied in 24 hours will make it nearly impossible to organize large-scale protests. The regulations would create a new status “provisionally reserved,” allowing the NPS to leave the status of a protest in limbo until 40 days before the protest or less, which is not enough time to organize a large protest
  • Almost Any Pretense to Shut a Protest Down – Lowering the standard needed to revoke a permit from clear and present danger to any technical violation of terms and conditions of permits.   

Protests against lynching and for women’s rights in front of the White House, the March on Washington and anti-war protests on the National Mall are some of the most iconic images of our democracy.

Let’s make sure we never lose our right to struggle for justice!



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