MR. HURLEY: Your Honor, I just have a few, brief remarks. First, William Thomas, when he was talking, mentioned the possibility of a continuance. At this time, I would like to join the notion, the reason being, and I did not know this until today, but Miss Thomas has been working on a tape, a video tape, of her activities in Lafayette Park. She feels like this tape puts her vigil and Mr. Thomas's vigil in some kind of historical perspective, and felt that that tape would be the best allocution that she could give. Obviously, of course, we don't have a video recorder in here today so the court could see the tape; so we would ask the court to consider postponing sentencing so the court would have an opportunity to review the tape before Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are sentenced.


THE COURT: Anything else?

MR. HURLEY: I would just note for the record, I know the court is familiar with Miss Thomas, and I would just note she has been maintaining her activity now for four years, and I think, whether one agrees or disagrees with Miss Thomas' activities, one has to agree that she's been motivated by the noblest of intentions. Basically, I feel like it's her deeply held personal beliefs that have led her to feel that she must try to awaken society to the threat posed by nuclear weapons, and she has done this in the best way that she knows how.

I would also say to the court that I think she's made repeated efforts to try to comply with the regulations, and it has not been her intention to violate the park regulations or to deprive anyone of the use or the enjoyment of the park. I think to deny that would not really be fair to Mr. or Mrs. Thomas. As Mr. Thomas has shown, there are volumes of correspondence that have gone on between the Thomases and the Park Service in order to try to figure out just what they're entitled to do and what they aren't entitled to do.

THE COURT: Well, counsel, that was made clear to the court at the time of the trial and before the trial.

MR. HURLEY: Right, I understand that, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Why, do I have to read any documents to know of their efforts in that regard?


MR. HURLEY: No, Your Honor.

Finally, I would point out that Miss Thomas is a very kind, compassionate, and caring person. I think she's given a lot to the D. C. community and larger society in general. In addition to her antinuclear vigil that she's maintained, she works with the homeless. She's an advocate for the homeless in Washington, D. C. She works at a soup kitchen once a week, cooking food for the homeless, and she does other things to help people that she sees in the park that don't have anyone to care for them.

I don't think this is the kind of person that should be incarcerated by this court. I think that would be unfair, and I think it would probably send the wrong signal. I think we want to encourage people like Miss Thomas to voice their opinions, and I think maybe sometime in the future, if this court were to look back, and maybe if society were to look back, they would determine that the Thomases should be applauded for their efforts and not punished for them.

So I would ask the court to place Miss Thomas on probation. As Miss Robinson states in her presentence report, she indicates probation has not deterred her from being rearrested, but she also noted she didn't think incarceration would, either. So I think in this case, Your Honor, I would recommend probation, and if the court feels that an additional penalty is appropriate, I would advise


some kind of community service.

Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right, Miss Thomas.

MS. THOMAS: Do you have any specific questions, or should I just begin speaking?

THE COURT: Well yes, I do have some specific questions, Miss Thomas. Is there anything in the presentence investigation report which you advised me, through the clerk, this morning, that your counsel had access to, which you claim to be material to sentencing and which is inaccurate?

MS. THOMAS: Well, my understanding of what is material to sentencing is somewhat confused, but there, I think that Miss Robinson did a reasonable report on me. I think that there are some inaccuracies in the former report that she attaches, which I think are worth noting. One is that the previous probation officer or, yeah, probation officer had mentioned that I had been unemployed since 1984, and I do not think that employment is something that depends on making money, and I think that I probably work harder that anybody I know, except Thomas.

She, Miss Robinson, did not contact my family, saying that it was standard procedure not to do that when there had been a report filed within a reasonable period of time, and that she felt that it wasn't necessary. I had given her a telephone number that was not accurate, and when I realized


that it was not accurate, I went back to her and it was late in the game, and I had given her my mother's previous telephone number and forgotten what it was, and she said it wasn't necessary at that point. That was last week, and there are some statements in the old report from my mother and my father which I think, if she had spoken to them, she would realize that the three years that have passed since they were spoken to by a probation officer have very profoundly changed their opinion about my behavior and about my mental health.

And I went to visit my father, who's dying, in the fall, and I saw my mother, also. It was really, really very wonderful to realize that, you know, I think we're all born little crazy, and the purpose of our lives is to work toward sanity, and I've been and I've done stupid things in my life but I don't know anybody who hasn't. I don't think I'm doing anything stupid now. I may decide later on in my life that I did, but I really am convinced that my activities are of benefit to a lot of people. I would ask Your Honor with humility, because I'm not satisfied with the product, the work product, but --

THE COURT: What work product?

MS. THOMAS: -- it's the best that I could do.


MS. THOMAS: The video that I would like you to see,


because, during the four years that I have been engaged in this unique and fascinating experience, I've learned a great deal about history, about people, about Washington, D. C. I have collected a lot of information which has gone into this video tape and a lot of photographs that I or friends of mine have taken over the years that stretch all the way back to 1917, showing that what we are doing is something that has been done in front of the White House, in Lafayette Park, for 70 years. We are not newcomers; we're vigilers, and we're just the latest in a long line of people who are doing what we are doing, and always in the past people have been protected. Stacey Abney was protected. The Quaker vigil was protected. The suffragettes in 1917 were protected.

THE COURT: Do you realize what Miss Robinson has told the court about your activity there? She says your commitment to the vigil appears sincere and steadfast.

MS. THOMAS: Yes, she was very nice.

THE COURT: Well, the court doesn't quarrel with that.

MS. THOMAS: Now I didn't get on the stand during our trial for a number of reasons, but there are some things that I would like to make very clear to your Honor. As you recall, during the trial, the police officer made it clear that I was not asleep. It was 32 degrees outside the night that he issued the citation, and I also would like to


mention that when my husband spoke of not being arrested, that's true. We have received citations during two periods, during the last year and a half, once in December of 1986 and once in March of 1987, where there were a series of events where the Park Police would, and we were told in some instances under order, or suggestion from other people, would start rummaging through what we had on signs and would come by, and if we were lying down instead of standing up and wrapped up against the cold, they would tell us we were camping.

Now, I tried, honest to God, after you convicted us last December 15th, I tried to go out there to the park in my regular nightly vigil. That's what I've committed myself to. I'm very, very busy with a lot of activities, but I have committed myself to being there every night that I possibly can, and as many days as I possibly can, and I tried to get through the night with simply the clothes that I had on and one blanket, and I froze. The first week that I was participating in this vigil back in 1984, which was a cold week in April, and it was raining, I got wet and I got hypothermia, and it was a very frightening experience, and told myself at that time that I will not freeze for anybody.

Now, I don't have anything with me in the park that I'm not using. I do not store anything that I'm not using. In the morning, I take whatever I needed the night before to


keep warm out of the park. Just recently, I had what I used to wrap myself up in stolen from me because I stashed it in an alley. It's sort of a Catch-22: If I keep it in the park, the police take it away from me, and if I stash it in an alley, the security guards or another person who needs blankets will take it away. But I've attempted to comply. It's a very uncomfortable thing when somebody has taken what you need to survive away from you.

I think that it is lacking in understanding and compassion on the part of the people who are trying to paint us as criminals. We do no harm to the park. We do no harm to any living soul. There are a great many people who come through Lafayette Park. You can see a -- I can provide you with, I'd be happy to provide you with a copy of an article that was put into the Administrative Record for the new rules in Lafayette Park, which restricted the size of the signs. The article was in 1978; talking about homeless people sleeping on the park benches. In my experience, homeless people sleeping on park benches do not get arrested. It's simply the demonstrators who get arrested, now, and most of the time we don't, most of the time we're left alone. Most of the time, most of the police officers are very nice to us. It's just when there seems to be a push on for some reason.

I've also observed a pattern of behavior on the part of police officers toward newcomers, a pattern of harassment,


a practice of threats, threatening arrests, sometimes even becoming very unkind and cruel to people. I've seen police officers kick homeless people who are asleep under a tree. I've seen homeless people carted off to mental institutions. I think that not only are we standing on the front lines in regards to communicating the very, very dire need to eliminate nuclear weapons, but we're also standing on the front lines to communicate that our society is lacking in compassion.

We are articulate people. We're capable of defending ourselves, of speaking for ourselves, but there are very, very many people who come through Lafayette Park or to Lafayette Park who are not only incapable of articulating their problems and their needs, but they are incapable of figuring out how to survive, and they're frightened of institutions, probably because they've seen too many of them. We try, as my husband says, through counseling and through very practical solutions, helping find somebody a shelter, helping them find clothes, helping them get blankets, helping them eat, helping them get medical treatment. I feel like what we're doing is, we serve as a clinic. We serve as a mission. I think if you put us in jail, you're going to do a lot of harm to a lot more people than just us, and I think if you put us in jail, it's going to prove our point that this system really must be changed.


THE COURT: In what respect?

MS. THOMAS: In the respect of what our priorities are as human beings. We all are human beings, no matter what robes we wear.

THE COURT: All right, anything else?

MS. THOMAS: May I consult with my best friend and my lawyer?

THE COURT: Surely.
(Off-the-record discussion)

MS. THOMAS: Okay, two messages. One is, I need to complete my sentence about the tape. I really would appreciate it if you would see my video tape. I was up all night last night finishing it, and I think it will give you -- most judges who hear the cases, almost every case, can only sift through facts that are given in a very structured, restricted manner. Very seldom are you able to walk out the doors and go to the scene of the so-called crime and figure out what really happened. I have made this video tape with live footage, with photographs, with documents. I have made this so that Your Honor can have a truly educated opinion and make your determination on the basis of a little bit better understanding, at least as I see it.

The second thing is that we filed with Your Honor after the trial a copy of a permit that we received and a


copy of the application for permit that we filed with the National Park Service as a result of Richard Robins' testimony in this trial. Now, we've been trying to get Mr. Robbins to give us these kinds of answers for a long time, and, in fact, I wrote to him and sent him a copy of our application the same day that it was sent to the National Park Service, thanking him for being honest. And there has been some challenge to the authenticity of the permit, and we have here Mr. Rick Merryman, who is here. He was the person who signed the permit, and he can testify to its authenticity, and I would ask Your Honor if you could listen to what he has to say.

And I would ask if perhaps you can listen to all of what we have to say, but please delay your judgment on sentencing until after you have looked at the video tape and considered, seriously considered, what we all have to say.

THE COURT: All right.

MS. THOMAS: I also would like to say that if Your Honor chooses to sentence me to community service, I will be pleased to continue to do community service, and if I'm doing it for the court, I'm also doing it anyway, and if I have to tack on an extra day or two, I will do it. I'm pretty exhausted already, but I’ll do what I need to do.

THE COURT: Thank you.

MS. THOMAS: Thank you.


Transcript Continued

Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park