From the sublime to the ridiculous
John Nichols of The Nation and The Capital Times showed he’s lost all sense of proportion with this ridiculous tweet today:
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) August 28, 2013
Want to have a protest in DC? You might want to get a permit. We know it probably feels like an infringement of your rights in some ways, and some groups have had success with non-permitted protests in the city, but dealing with the police bureaucracy and getting a permit will help make your event a lot less stressful on the day of. 9/12/12: Apologies that some of the MPD sites are not functioning – they are currently changing their website and we will update as soon as they do.
When do you need a permit? Protests of 25 people or more on the National Mall require a permit, as does any event that requires streets to be closed. The Metropolitan Police, because they lost an important court case, are required to allow permit-less marches in the street as long as they stay within a single lane. Demonstrations on public sidewalks are legally permissable without a permit so long as they don’t block the walkway and fewer than 100 people are expected. If expecting more than 100 people, you can find the permit application at theMetropolitan Police Department’s Get a Permit for a Special Event page. Sidewalks are supposedly public property, but some activists have experienced severe police harassment for protesting outside of private businesses.
What’s the process? Police officials require very specific details about stages, speakers, tents, food, and potential for violence or counter-protests. They will help you to work out the details over a series of meetings, and permits rarely get denied in DC. However, it is best to start early since permits are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis and DC is a popular place to protest.
Who do you talk to? Our city has a lot of different law enforcement groups with different jurisdictions, and the permit process is different depending on where your protest is going to be held.
- For protests on or around the Capitol Buildings, you need to apply for a permit with the Capitol Police. They say to apply at least five days in advance of your activity to guarantee processing, but to allow up to 2 weeks if applying by snail mail. This page on the Capitol Police web site has a map of the Capitol grounds, plus guidelines for permitted activities and steps to get a permit and contact information for the Capitol Police Special Events Unit. For more information, you can also call (202) 224-8891.
- For protests in one of the many parks around the city, including the National Mall, you’ll need to get in touch with the National Park Service. Events with a lot of equipment, sound amplification, food, or participants can require a month or more for the entire permitting process with the NPS, so start early! This page has contact information for the National Park Service Division of Park Programs, as well as instructions for applying. Please note that all applications, unless determined to be a First Amendment activity, must be accompanied by a $50.00 payment for initial processing. This office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M., holidays excepted. Call 202-245-4715 to obtain additional information.
And this from the National Park Service:
The National Mall and Memorial Parks Division of Permits Management, located at 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington DC 20024, issues approximately 3,000 permits per year, including those for public gatherings (special events and demonstrations), and filming and photography. The permit system is intended to help assure, to the extent possible, that the multitude of activities that may be taking place on any given day will not conflict with each other or with general visitor activities.
Park areas administered by this office include National Mall and Memorial Parks, President’s Park, Rock Creek Park, National Capital Parks-East, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Prince William Forest Park, and the portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park from Georgetown to the Monocacy River Aqueduct. Note that some of these listed parks may directly issue certain permits. Please refer to the attached document link titled “How and where to apply for specific types of permits” to determine what office you should contact for your particular permit needs.
Please note that all applications, unless determined to be a First Amendment activity, must be accompanied by a $50.00 payment for initial processing. The application processing cost represents the average costs incurred by the park in mailing, distribution and initial review of applications to make sure the information supplied is sufficient to inform a decision. Payment of application costs may be in the form of check, money order, or credit card. As of July 15, 2013 the cost for application will increase. Please read the Increase in Application Cost Recovery document. (pdf).
Who knew the Obama Administration was run by a bunch of fascists? Perhaps they should take away his Nobel Peace Prize.
By the way, if you want to watch Marty Beil getting arrested, the MacIver Institute has the video. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see Marty Beil arrested? I know I’m looking forward to Beil’s “Letters from a Madison Buffet.”
So, will Beil submit the receipt for the fine to his union to pay, or will he be a man and pay it himself? Silly me, of course he’ll have the union members pay his bill for him.