UPDATED: Proposed Rules Threaten the Public Vitality of the National Mall 

The National Mall Coalition has filed comments with the National Park Service (NPS) expressing great concern about proposed rules that would govern use of the Mall.

In short, NPS proposes to revise regulations related to demonstrations and special events at some park units in the National Capital Region, including NPS-managed parcels on the National Mall. The proposed changes would change how NPS processes permit applications for demonstrations and special events; identify locations where such activities are allowed, not allowed, or subject to restrictions; and seek to recover costs from event organizers.  These proposals come on top of discussions to move long-standing recreation leagues and other activities off the Mall.

The Coalition argues that these proposals, which would impose fees for free speech demonstrations, restrict special events and recreational sports, and ban demonstrations in certain places, including around the White House, will continue an unacceptable decline in the Mall’s public vitality.

Read our comments on the proposals.

We strongly recommend that these proposed rules be withdrawn and reconsidered in open, thoughtful consultation with all interested and affected parties, and in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Norton Vows Congressional Action to Stop Trump Administration from Unconstitutional Attempt to Limit Free Speech in Front of White House and on National Mall

A National Park Service move that’s completely un-American and unconstitutional (Washington Post)

Tell the Park Service: We shouldn’t have to pay to use free speech rights in our parks (Greater Greater Washington)

The Backlash to New Rules on Protests in D.C. (The Atlantic)

A New National Park Service Proposal Could Restrict Protest in Washington, D.C. (Pacific Standard)

Proposal on DC protests draws 60,000 comments (CNN)

Pressure builds as National Park Service considers proposals to change how protests are done in D.C. (Washington Post)

Trump administration proposes tough rules on protests (The Hill)

Officials broach idea of charging for National Mall protests (PBS)

Read the American Civil Liberties Union’s concerns about restricting public demonstrations.

Read the Washington Post editorial opposing fees

Write a letter to the editor at the Washington Post about this important issue!


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