MARY HUDDLE and PHILIP JOSEPH, et. al., ) ) Plaintiffs, Pro Se ) ) CA 88-3130-JHG versus ) ) Judge Joyce Hens Green RONALD WILSON REAGAN, et. al., ) ________________________________________)
I, Concepcion Picciotto, plaintiff, pro se, in the above entitled action, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and recollection:
1. Since on or about August 12, 1981 I have been attempting to maintain a continuous presence on the White House Sidewalk and in Lafayette Park with the intent of communicating to the public on issues of broad public concern, most notably, but not limited to, the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
2. At all times I have acted in a peaceful manner, always I have tried to insure that my activities were lawful, and I have never intentionally violated any statute or regulation.
3. At no time have I ever engaged in any activity which threatened or injured any person, property or legitimate govern-ment interest.
4. Since at least as early as the summer of 1982 I have tried to remain awake twenty-four hours a day. During that period it has been my habit to remain sitting up when not standing to insure that, when I am overcome by fatigue and invo-luntarily fall asleep, I could not be accused of having violating the "camping" regulation merely by virtue of the fact that I had involuntarily fallen asleep. For seven years I have subsisted on an average of three hours intermittent sleep during any twenty-four hour period. ROUTINELY, that is to say on nearly a daily basis, the Park Police pound on my signs or occasionally poke me with their nightsticks, shine their lights in my face, and threaten me with arrest for "camping" while I am seated by my signs.
5. When it rains I cover myself with a small sheet of plastic. When it is cold I put on an extra coat.
6. If anyone doubts that this existence is torture I can only suggest that they attempt it.
7. Due to my indigency, the range of communications media available to me is severely limited. However, frequent comments from people I speak with in Lafayette Park convince me that my constant presence before the White House -- always exposed to the elements, drunks, mysoginists, political extremists, and hostile police -- serves as a strong testament of my commitment to the opinions that I promote.
8. Prior to the promulgation and enforcement of 36 CFR 50.19 (e)(11)(12) ("the sign regulation"), and aside from my symbolic continuous presence, my principle avenue of communica-tion was large signs. Since the promulgation of the sign regula-tion has had the effect of denying that avenue of communication to me, my principle vehicle of communication has been literature. I have dozens of different flyers and packages of printed material which I distribute, free of charge, to the people who pass through Lafayette Park.
9. I receive no financial assistance from any group or organization. The cost of my literature is totally defrayed by small unsolicited donations that I receive, most often from individuals who take my "Peace Rocks" -- small stones which I hand-paint with symbols and slogans. Without those donations I would be unable to produce the literature that I distribute.
10. According to National Park Service estimates nearly 10,000 people visit Lafayette Park and the White House each day. Given that I distribute at least two dozen different flyers (the number is often higher), it seems "reasonable" to assume that, if I were financially able to produce the quantities, I might conceivably pass out 50,000 or more pieces of literature in a day, and certainly could be expected to distribute at least 2,500 fliers daily.
11. I am frequently threatened with arrest by Park Police for having "excessive amounts of literature."
12. On June 4, 1982 defendant Fish, and Robbins, with the review and approval of superiors, published 36 CFR 50.27 in the Federal Register. That regulation was purportedly "not to stifle First Amendment activity, but to protect undesignated areas from activities for which they are unsuited and impacts which the area cannot sustain." Ibid. pg. 24304. Although no "good cause" existed, defendant Fish suspended the thirty day delay of effec-tiveness provided for in 5 USC 553. On or about June 17, 1982 the regulation was expedi-tiously, selectively, and arbitrarily enforced against me without "good cause."
13. Subsequently, and despite my notice to them, certain officials who had been personally involved in the drafting of 36 CFR 50.27, and who should know of the Constitutionally-protected nature of my conduct, supervised my arrest and incarceration on June 17, 1982. Those defendants have never been called to ac-count for their supervisory decisions with respect to that arrest.
14. On or about September 25, 1983 I was arrested and incarcerated, charged with "camping." I was acquitted at trial.
15. On or about January 31, 1984 I was arrested and incarcerated, charged with "camping." Charges were dismissed.
16. On or about June 6, 1984 I was arrested and incarcerated, charged with "camping." I was acquitted at trial.
17. On or about June 18, 1984 I was arrested and incarce-rated, charged with "camping." Charges were dismissed.
18. On or about September 30, 1986 Private Covington issued me a citation for an "illegal structure," and confiscated a small stool.
19. Although to the best of my knowledge there is no requirement that I do so, in January, l988 I applied for a demon-stration permit which was subsequently granted (See, Exhibit 1, attached hereto), and periodically renewed.
20. On or about March 25, l988, at approximately 4:00 a.m., Private Berkowitz issued me a citation for "camping" even though I was sitting fully erect, and was not doing anything that was not expressedly permitted under my demonstration permit.
21. On or about August 3, 1988 Lieutenant Hugh Irwin threatened me with arrest because there was a one-dollar bill lying on the ground near some rocks (which were painted with peace slogans and symbols) and literature which I distribute in the course of my demonstration activities.
22. There have been innumerable other incidents in which I have been threatened with arrest or citation by Park Police officers without probable cause and this pattern of harassment has resulted in extreme mental anguish to me as well as having had the effect of disrupting my communicative activities.
Signed this ____ day of November, l988,
Concepcion Picciotto, plaintiff, pro se
P.O. Box 4951
Washington, DC 20008