As you may know, I have been working to organize a political demonstration on the Pennsylvania Avenue inaugural parade route to occur on January 20, 2009, Inauguration Day for our new president, Barack Obama. The plan for the demonstration is simple: people will independently assemble at the designated location on Pennsylvania Avenue before the Inaugural Parade. We will hold signs as President Barack Obama passes, calling on the new President to uphold his Oath of Office in practice by acting to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Although federal regulations allow independent groups of up to 25 people to demonstrate in Washington DC without a permit, even on Inauguration Day, I am nevertheless proceeding with a permit application I filed with the National Park Service in October, in the hope of securing a place on the parade route and in anticipation that more than 25 people may choose to participate in such an event. The demonstration is designed to be difficult for the National Park Service to reject, with no anticipated expense to the NPS and no physical equipment beyond hand-held signs.
I have a positive development to report: the National Park Service Capitol District called me on the afternoon of Thursday, November 20 to schedule a conference call for negotiations regarding my permit application for an Inauguration Day demonstration on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. Negotiations on permit applications are par for the course and a sign of progress. That call is scheduled for December 4.
Since I have nearly two weeks to prepare for this negotiation I’d like to ask you for your advice. Please read the permit application and tell me how you think the National Park Service may respond. Especially if you have experience in the Park Service permit process, I’d appreciate any tips on how to respond in turn to help make this demonstration possible.