By Aaron Kesel
The National Park Service is asking for the public’s opinion on proposed revisions to Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 7.96 for the National Mall, President’s Park and other national parks in the Washington, D.C. area, proposing a First Amendment permit for those locations.
Yes, you read that right a “First Amendment permit” with regulations is being proposed in Washington D.C., which could potentially set a precedent for anyone who wants to stand up for a cause elsewhere in the United States.
The Park Service states that the modifications would maintain opportunities for people to hold special events and exercise their right to demonstrate while proposing ridiculous regulations that are meant to “protect the iconic landmarks, views and grounds for use and enjoyment of citizens and visitors from around the globe.”
“From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the Ellipse —D.C.’s national parks have always served as a stage for groups wanting their voices heard. The role the National Park Service plays in facilitating these groups’ First Amendment rights—regardless of their views—is not something we take lightly,” said acting National Capital Regional Director Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini. “These proposed changes would provide much needed clarity to regulations while ensuring those unalienable rights remain. They will also ensure that iconic viewsheds are left unobstructed for the millions of people who visit every year to experience them. We have a great opportunity to improve the ways we make these special places accessible while preserving them for future generations. We encourage everyone to review the proposal and share their thoughts.”
(Source: National Parks Traveler)
The National Mall and President’s Park are regarded as premier civic and symbolic spaces in the United States and the volume and complexity of permit requests has increased dramatically over the years.
Each year, the National Park Service issues an average of 750 permits for First Amendment demonstrations, and an additional 1,500 permits for special events in and around D.C. More individuals and groups seek to use these iconic locations for demonstrations or events such as concerts and festivals.
The proposed 94-page rule is intended to provide permit applicants with more certainty about where they can hold events while protecting iconic statues, and memorials around D.C.
As written earlier in this article, if this passes and is enacted into law, there could be a coming precedent and new regulations passed on the First Amendment. Specifically regarding the “right” to assemble or protest for a cause.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.