Park Protesters Object to Planned Sign Limits

WASHINGTON(AP) - The government's proposal to regulate the size and number of signs in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House didn't sit well Wednesday with the people who spend their days protesting.

"I think President Reagan doesn't like what he sees," said peace activist Ellen Thomas, standing in the shadow of her 12-foot-by- 8 foot sign urging elimination of all "nuclear, chemical and conventional weapons."

The sign and others painted by Thomas are likely to be torn down if the National Park Service's proposed regulations take effect in late November.

Park officials said the rules are needed to limit the proliferation of sometimes-dangerous structures in the park, which has long been a popular demonstration site and a relaxing spot for locals.

"Visual blight, damage to the Park and safety" are the reasonspark service spokeswoman Sandra Alley gave for the proposed new rules.

Protesters weren't the only ones perturbed by the proposed regulations.

Arthur Spitzer of the American Civil Liberties Union said the regulations may be an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights.

His group will submit its objections during a 60-day public comment period, closing Oct. 21. If final rules do not answer the ACLU's objections, the group might oppose them in court.

"We've had some signs blow over because of high winds", said Alley, adding that flimsy construction also adds to the danger.

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