We do not begrudge the right of people to exercise
their rights of expression at all. That is inherent in this
country, but not, but there are areas where these rights of expression
can be regulated and limited, so long as the fundamental rights
are not impinged upon, and that involves the right of everybody
to enjoy, the right to enjoy Lafayette Park. And Mr. Thomas has
proven time and time again, continually, that he does not respect
this right of other people, and continually he impinges on these
rights of other people because of his world view, and time and
time again he gets involved in the law because of it. This is
just another example.
Probation has thrown up their hands and said they don't
want him, and we feel, in light of this continual conduct, that
there is really only one action left for you, and that would be
to sentence Mr. Thomas to a period of incarceration.
THE COURT: All right, Mr. Thomas, do you wish to
respond to what the prosecutor has just said to the court?
MR. THOMAS: I think that, first, the probation report
clearly reflects that every time I've been on probation, I have
been a model probationer. If the Probation Office doesn't want
to supervise me, I'm not sure why, but there is nothing in that
report except that I finished all my probation correctly and I
I thought that we were just talking about the history up
until this arrest. It's true, there was another arrest that happened
after this one, but between 1984, November, and this arrest and
the other arrest, there was nothing that I was doing except my
signs were smaller and there were less things around, that I hadn't
been doing since 1984.
I think that the government has the wrong idea. I want
to communicate, and I want to communicate as effectively as I
can. The prerequisite for communicating is to attract attention.
I think that's obvious. There hasn't been -- Mr. DuBester mentioned
sign-size regulations. There hasn't been any question about sign-size
regulations or any outside signs or illegal signs since, I think,
The rights of the people, I'm not sure what he's talking
about. The rights of the people, when he says that I have a right
to be there, I think that basically the only thing that -- I don't
know what I'm doing wrong. I mean, maybe I'm ugly, but that's
the only thing that I can see is wrong, and if the people of the
United States have the right to be protected from people who are
ugly, then I guess it's your responsibility to put me in jail,
I would suggest that Your Honor give me community service
and allow me to continue to perform the service that I really
believe that I'm performing for this country.
THE COURT: What would you like to continue to do
the way of community service?
MR. THOMAS: I would like to do what I'm doing. In
addition to compiling all this paper, I work with people who don't
have any houses and who need counseling, don't have anywhere to
go. I try to (pause) -- the main thing I do, of course, and I
think the biggest service that I provide for the community, is
to make people question or attempt to make people question or
search for alternatives to what we presently have. I want to make
very clear, I think that social change is inevitable, and I'm
opposed to the idea of -- there's only two ways that I think it
comes about, either through violence or through reason and logic,
communication. I think there's something wrong in the world, and
I'm trying to bring about a change through reason and logic. I
think that's the biggest community service that I'm doing, and
I think that that's community service that I would like to continue
THE COURT: All right. Anything else?
MR. THOMAS: No.
THE COURT: You may be seated.
Call the case of Miss Thomas.
THE CLERK: Criminal Action 87-0064, United States
of America vs. Ellen Thomas.
THE COURT: Wait just a moment, Mr. Thomas. Be seated
and remain seated at your table, please, sir.
Excuse me just a minute.
Ms. Thomas, do you have a lawyer here today?
MS. THOMAS: Yes, sir, I do.
THE COURT: All right. Perhaps your counsel should
come forward, too. I apologize to you, ma'am. Do you want to swear
the witness please?
MS. THOMAS: I affirm, yes.
THE COURT: All right. Counsel, do you wish to say
anything before the court proceeds with sentencing?
Case Listing --- Proposition
One ---- Peace Park