Declaration by Wm. Thomas

March 31, 1999

On March 31, 1999 at approximately 3:30pm, Tripper Wilson, from Mt. St. Helen's, Washington, and Mark Parker entered Lafayette Park while a demonstration by Kosovars in support of NATO bombing was in progress. Our purpose was to protest against the NATO bombings with a sign that said: "Stop the Bombs. Drop Food Instead."

Tripper propped the sign against his backpack, momentarily turned away from it, and a Kosovar grabbed it and tore the sign up.

At the same time Tripper noticed that Concepcion Picciotto was being confronted by a group of Kosovars. At least half a dozen Kosovars, men, women and children, were verbally attacking Concepcion, because Concepcion had allegedly referred to Madelyn Albright "a bitch." About a half hour earlier one of the men in the group had attempted to tear up one of Concepcion's signs. Although Tripper and Parker had complained to Park Police officers who were monitoring the demonstration. The police did nothing.