Trump Administration Drops Unconstitutional Anti-Protest Proposal

Thousands of ACLU Action-Takers Submitted Comments Against Proposed Plan Suppressing Protests

October 28, 2019 12:15 pm

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WASHINGTON — The National Park Service today announced that it is withdrawing a proposed plan that would have drastically stifled protests near the White House and on the National Mall. The proposal would have closed off 80 percent of the White House sidewalk for protesters, imposed new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and opened the door to charging fees for protesting.

The American Civil Liberties Union led a months-long campaign against the unconstitutional proposal. The campaign united groups across the ideological spectrum and resulted in thousands of ACLU members and supporters submitting comments against the proposed plan. NPS received more than 100,000 comments by the time the comment period closed, demonstrating the importance of the notice and comment process and the impact it can have.

Below is comment from ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kate Ruane:

“The National Mall is the place where we, as a nation, go to speak directly to our government. President Trump might not like having protesters on his doorstep, but the First Amendment guarantees us the right to be there. The National Park Service’s retreat should serve as a reminder that if the administration tries to come after our right to protest, it will have to get through thousands of ACLU members and supporters first.”

An ACLU blog post on the proposal is here:

The ACLU’s public comment against the proposal is here:

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