The National Park Service has withdrawn its proposal to revise First Amendment and special event permits in Washington, DC. Citing more than 140,000 comments received from the public, the NPS has decided to keep the current regulations unchanged. After the proposal was announced in 2018, NCAC joined with more than 80 organizations to oppose the introduction of protest fees for the National Mall, warning of the serious threat posed to Americans’ right to free speech and assembly.
The original joint letter is below and you can read NPS’s full statement on withdrawing the proposal here.
Original Post 10/15/2018:
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) joins more than 80 organizations in opposing proposed protest fees on the National Mall.
In August, the National Park Service issued a proposed rule to introduce fees for holding protests on the National Mall. The letter warns that the proposed rule poses a serious threat to Americans’ right to free speech and assembly:
“Forcing Americans to pay to lawfully assemble at our most iconic and politically significant sites places a financial barrier that precludes equal opportunity and access, dissuading and prohibiting Americans from demonstrating. The ability to afford fees for permits must not be a factor in who gets the opportunity to protest on these public lands. Introducing fees for First Amendment demonstrations would represent an overwhelming departure from American values.”
Individuals can submit comments on the proposal until midnight on October 15th.
The letter can be read in full below. Click here for a full screen view: