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Inauguration Protest Planning Slowed by National Park Service

As you may know, I am working to organize an Inauguration Day political demonstration for January 20, 2009 at the Pennsylvania Avenue Inaugural Parade route. The plan is for citizens to bear signs along the parade route calling for President-Elect Barack Obama to uphold the Oath of Office he will take that day to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That is a classic First Amendment expression of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Will that right be upheld in this instance?

The National Capital Region Headquarters of the National Park Service is the government organization controlling the Inaugural Parade route and requiring government permits (the polite word for unconstitutional “permission”) for anyone to deliver a message of political dissent at Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day Parade. I sent my completed permit application to the Park Service via FedEx on October 20; the Park Service confirmed reception of the application on October 21. Since then, I have not heard not a word from the Park Service.

Today, two weeks and one day after the National Park Service received my application, I gave them a call. The Park Service confirmed that my permit application has been received, but then told me that my permit is “not issued,” “not assigned to anyone for review.” It has simply been sitting in the office, I was told, because the Park Service prefers to wait a while so that permits aren’t approved too far in advance. The permit, I was told, “won’t have any action taken upon it until later on.” When could I check back on the permit, I asked, to see if the permit has been assigned to anyone for review? “Maybe another two weeks.” Is there anything else I can do, I asked, to expedite the process? “There is really nothing else that you can do.” Finally, I asked, should I begin organizing the Inaugural protest event since it will be happening in about two months’ time? No, the Park Service staff responded, since the permit hasn’t been reviewed. The review will begin later; I could check back in two weeks to see if it had been assigned to anyone. Until then, I should take no action.

Petitioning the government for approval of the exercise of First Amendment rights is like swimming through molasses.

[Crossposted at the Irregular Times Forum]

31 thoughts on “Inauguration Protest Planning Slowed by National Park Service”

  1. tom says:

    It shouldn’t even be necessary to ask for permission to exercise a Constitutional right!
    This is one more example of how far from REAL democracy we’ve come. It used to be “our” country. Now it “belongs” to Homeland Security and the goon squad – oh, and “for your protection,” none the less. (What drivel.)
    Why don’t you just show up and raise your sign? If you’re arrested, you can make it a court case!

  2. C.U. Soon says:

    All you have to do is manifest the permit with as many people as possible. Tell people how to manifest and what to manifest and remember, only positive thoughts. It’s easy, kind of fun and, you’ll be amazed at how powerful and subtle this energetic technique is. Filling out the paperwork is of course key and since you have done it so early you can get a lot of participants. The more people manifesting on the permit coming through the better. It’s even tons more fun than legal bills and court cases.

  3. Fruktata says:

    I’m manifesting on you wearing a rubber duckie costume to work, C.U. Has it worked yet?

  4. Jim says:

    Curse you, Fruktata! Will you direct your manifestations a little more carefully? And, um, does anyone know what tie goes best with yellow rubber?

  5. Hard G says:

    > Filling out the paperwork is of course key…

    I love that part.

  6. Kevin says:

    It is disturbing that you need a permit to hold up a sign, even an 8 1/2 x 11 sign.

    I guess the cops will beat you and take your sign away if you don’t have a permit.

    I wonder if your permit will ever be permitted…

    Here in NYC the cops can stop you getting on the ferry or on the subway plaform and ask to look inside your bags and purses. If you refuse you are either denied entrance, or ejected.

    Heard that was coming to washington soon…

    The worst part is the announcements. I don’t carry a bag so it does not affect me except for the endless playings of the recorded announcement…”bags subject to search by the NYPD…Have a nice day..”

  7. C.U. Soon says:

    You should be able to wear the attire of your choice to work. Be aware that many manufactured materials contain bisphenols and phthalates. I have chosen, on this morn, to wear a rubber duckie costume to work made of natural materials thus eliminating the chance of harming reproductive biology of myself and my colleagues. Water will role right of my back. To manifest something of importance we must remain positive and quite focused. I can understand the difficulties of such attitudinal maintenance under the circumstances of the post 911, rule by fear tactics, played out on the populace. I fully expect many are cynical and have become completely estranged from their natural, higher, human, potentialities under the present, modern day construct. It is possible many have been emotionally damaged by fear and misinformation. We have been through irregular times of late. An honest election begins to look a little more regular. There, my suit is on… time to go to work!. Did I mention that humour is also key?

  8. ed says:

    Congress shall make no law . . .

  9. SiVan Hunter says:

    The man has not even taken on the official job as PRESIDENT yet!. You must be awful bitter of the outcome of this 2008 Presidential election. I have one quick question “Did you protest 4 years ago at Bush’s inauguration”? That’s what I thought.

    Learn to love………… God Bless

  10. Jim says:

    No, wait, SiVan. What did you think? Don’t just tromp on here, make an assumption, then move on. Do you think I didn’t protest 4 years ago, or do you think I did protest 4 years ago? Be explicit.

  11. Donny says:

    I am planning on organizing a protest of Obama’s inauguration. Planning to get some charter buses and getting people from here in Wisconsin to come with. I will bw watching this thread to see how your aquisition of a permit goes. Perhaps I’ll file one as well today.

  12. Jim says:

    Donny, what is the political basis for your protest?

    If you want to acquire a permit, I’d advise you to either file now or find friends who know how to accelerate bureaucratic processes. The permit process is proceeding at a glacial pace, and unless you send via FedEx your application will be delayed for weeks in anthrax detection facilities.

  13. Donny says:

    jim, My basis for protesting is the simple fact that he’s lied and deceived the majortiy of people that voted for him. His inexperience, his willingness to walk away from our troops in Iraq, his arrogance and distortion on his (limited) record. His race has nothing to do with it, although I believe without it, he wouldn’t have made it nearly as far along as he did. But this is not an issue to protest as I am well aware of the perceived notion of bringing this up in a liberal media. I am looking into finding out prices for renting charter buses, but I suppose there’s no need if there’s no “right” to have a protest. I would like to start spreading the info out and getting people commited ASAP. Perhaps we could find someone that does already have such a permit and find out what the details are. Take ‘er easy.

  14. Hard G says:

    Re: Donny’s #13.

    Oh, what a lovely, objective, well-informed post that is. The “I’m not a racist, but…” ploy. The “I have no specifics or citations, but it is a ‘simple fact’ that…” maneuver. Followed, of course, with the awkward and fuzzy sentence structure capped with “liberal media,” masquerading as a meaningful argument.

    A classic! Well done.

  15. tom says:

    Yeah, notice how race is all of a sudden a PLUS! So if you win it’s because of your race, not your ideas and objectives, and if you lose – it’s because of your race (we’ve never elected a person of color before . . ).

    Wisconsin and all those red, middle of the country states are just teeming with idiots who vote for the Republican party which has dragged the country down to where we are now – on the verge of bankruptcy – believing all the lies and hate the neocons spew out via the “liberal” media. They’re all about “right to life” but demonstrate their “Christian values” by killing innocent people in Bush’s illegal war, supporting our now secret government which lies to us and spies on us, and now takes our money and gives it to financial institutions which do the same. Some brain trust you have there, Donny.

  16. Donny says:

    My, how easily and predictable the remarks are from children like you two. Fact is Obama sucks. It depresses me greatly that the wool has been pulled over so many people’s eyes. If Obama won in a fair fight, I’d say sure, the best man won. But no, it was a popularity contest that denied the substance and instead floated on empty words whose meaning changed with the current. If you think that the notion of a “liberal” media is a radical notion….it’s time for you to question those that tell you to question everything as well.

    Also, please differentiate for me a situation in which a European American (white) male with a notably one-sided albeit very short voting record could have ever made it to the presidential nominee? Please indulge me, as I feel the answer is pain stakingly obvious.

    Why is it the European American liberals feel as though no conversation on race can be initiated or added to by seemingly anyone other than black people?

  17. Fruktata says:

    substance? what substance was there from McCain? What has drill baby drill done for you?

    A situation in which an inexperienced European-American male could get to be President? Hmmm…. Oh, I have to go soooo far back in history. Oh, this is so hard to remember waaaay back when to… George W. Bush.

  18. Donny says:

    For you, it would seem as though words speak louder then actions.

    How about McCain’s senate record for one, or his military sacrifices and records for two, or how about his proven bipartisan record for three? Now put those three pillars up against the one straw that obama had for substance: comunity organizing. But I guess it goes to show charisma and a way with words are more substantial a qualification than any real deed. Thanks Obama. I guess jon Stewart really can run for president this next cycle.

    G.W. wasn’t nearly as bad a president as the Lord media has made him out tho be. It’s just that he made himself an easy target with his piss poor public speaking abilities. which perhaps explains why half od the American people elected someone based JUST on his ability to speak publicly. Even if he is an elitist arrogant asshole.

  19. Jim says:

    Yes, that poor G.W. Bush. Why, if you don’t count his “piss poor public speaking abilities”…

    … and his starting of a war on false pretenses
    … and his use of signing statements to countervene law
    … and his approval of torture
    … and his unconstitutional program of warrantless domestic spying
    … and his rule change to permit more untreated sewage into our waterways
    … and his decision this week to let uranium tailings into the water supply for millions of residents of California and Arizona

    … why, if you just shut your eyes and ignore these and about 600 other actions, George W. Bush is the BEST PRESIDENT EVAH!

  20. Hard G says:

    I am happy that Donny knows the truth and that he knows the real reason why each of the 67,595,000+ voters were duped into voting for Obama. I mean, it is “pain stakingly” obvious.

  21. Donny says:

    I’m sorry children, all I hear is baaa baaa.
    … and his starting of a war on false pretenses
    … and his use of signing statements to countervene law
    … and his approval of torture
    … and his unconstitutional program of warrantless domestic spying

    Oh boy, these accusations again. How pathetic. Read up on the speeches the prominent dem were giving before we went into Iraq, read the reports from the british, American, German intelligence agencies that indicated suspicious and indicative activity before we went in to Iraq. I’m not defending Iraq in the sense that it was the right decision, but you are trying to sell me on a lie that indeed the president lied about the reasons for going to war. Partisan lies, that’s all they are, and it’s sickening that you sheep blindly follow what Lord media tells you.

    Children sold on lies, that’s what I see in your opinions. Still doesn’t change the fact we have an elitist asshole with more arrogance then he deserves, about to become president.

    So according to your thought pattern, I guess I can thank Bush directly for my gas prices being $2 a gallon right? Chuds…

  22. Hard G says:

    Tell me, Donny, as we get our information from “Lord media” (as yet undefined), where do you get your information? Please be specific.

    You seem to know a lot about people you’ve never met. First, it was why we voted the way we did, and then it was where we get out information. Tell me, Donny, how do you know all this?

    Oh, and I think the word you were looking for was “Choads,” not “Chuds,” unless you meant “C.H.U.D.s” (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers).

  23. Donny says:

    Let me tell you, Hard guy, I don’t say what I say because I follow conservative headlines or blogs. Google or Youtube for videos related on speeches from Hillary + Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer on Iraq BEFORE we went in. Learn something. Domestic spying? Try looking past the headline to find out the details of the actual criteria for the phone calls being tracked. Approving toture? As if it were Bush that told them personally to do what was caught in photos at Gitmo? No. And you people want to cry about harsh interrogation techniques, did you ever actually watch Al queada beheading those contractors? Are you aware those people are enemy combatants, meaning caught in battle or highly suspected of being linked to 9-11. And you want to cry that they might be getting roughed up a little bit?

    Lord media, your father and savior is already had under way to make it seem as though Obama is the one person that can fix a whole nation. Read yahoo, AOl and any other internet provider headline news. Always pulling left and always critical of anything on the right. It’s the way it worded. It’s what is omitted, it’s the quality of the pictures they post, it’s the emotion behind the articles. Things not easily identified if you believe all that you read.

    Funny how some have never come to question those that tell you to question everything.

  24. Donny says:

    One last thing, I’m sorry it even carried on to this point because it’s not like either one of us or anyone for that matter is likely to change any opinion based on the crap written in blogs or message boards (not me at least). Lord media has the upper hand. So I’ll leave it to them to press on the way they have and lead the sheep into good times and bad as defined by them. because after all, if you control the perception of reality, you control the votes.

    I will recruit protesters regardless and we will be heard. No free pass for Obama just because the free press gave him one and will continue to do so.

  25. Jim says:

    “Approving toture? As if it were Bush that told them personally to do what was caught in photos at Gitmo? No”

    link, link.

    Do you know how many of the people in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib have been convicted of acts of Al Qaeda terrorism? Do you know how many have eventually been released without any such charge? Why the lack of curiosity about actual Bush involvement and the lack of concern for the treatment of other people? Why the eagerness to believe everything the Bush administration tells you about these people, when the truth has been repeatedly demonstrated to be another matter?

  26. Hard G says:

    Donny, posts #23 and #24 are incoherent. Please slow down a little bit to think about what you are writing. Before you click the “submit comment” button, please proofread your sentences for coherency, logic, and grammar. If you don’t want to do that, please will you choose the grammar review at least?

    You still have not stated, specifically, where you get your insider information. You still have not demonstrated how you know where we get our information. You still have not defined “Lord media.”

  27. Donny says:

    Hard guy, if you are unable to follow multipe points wiithin one posting, please refrain from pointing this confusion out for everyone else to make note of.

    Hard guy, I conside Lord media to be the primary weekly news magazines (Time,Newsweek) the daily papers (New York Times, USA Today), The internet hubs (yahoo, AOL), and mostly hollywood and their leftist agenda movies.

    Hard Guy or Girl, if you think that the media is nothing more then a transparent conduit for “news” then I challenge you to really question what it is you read more often. If you think that there isn’t a guiding hand at work behind the scenes in the media, I think you’re sorely mistaken.

    So, once again, hard guy or girl, if Lord media has it’s firm grip on your perception I suppose I might as well be talking to a brick.

  28. Hard G says:

    OK, Donny, you have now defined “Lord media.” Thanks.

    You still have not stated, specifically, where you get your insider information. You still have not demonstrated how you know, supposedly, where we get our information. You still have not told us how you know why we voted the way we did. Tell me, Donny, how do you know all this?

    And now you have added even more projection:

    > “…if you think that the media is
    > nothing more then a transparent
    > conduit for ‘news’…”

    Tell me, Donny, who claimed this?

    >”If you think that there isn’t a
    > guiding hand at work behind the
    > scenes in the media…”

    Donny, who said this?

  29. HankTheCat says:

    There were tons of protests at Bush’s first inauguration. BO can deal with a few.

  30. Jamilla EL-Shafei says:

    I am the organizer of the SHOES FOR BUSH action in DC on Monday January 19th .
    People will converge at 11:00 at DuPont Circle for a rally with speakers David Swanson and Debra Sweet. Then we will march to the White House with shoes to hurl! and face book group: SHOES FOR BUSH

    If possible please publicize this action!

    1. Jim says:

      Great that you’re organizing, but…

      …Isn’t it a little late to focus on George W. Bush? I mean, heck, your action is GUARANTEED to succeed! One hour after your rally and march begins, Bush will be out of office!

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