MARY HUDDLE and PHILIP JOSEPH, et. al., ) ) versus ) CA 88-3130-JHG ) Judge Joyce Hens Green RONALD WILSON REAGAN, et. al., ) defendants ) ________________________________________)
I, Joseph Vigorito, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and recollection:
1) I am Joseph Vigorito, from Tucson, Arizona. I have maintained a state of vigilance in Peace (Lafayette) Parc since May, 1989. I came here to demonstrate the importance of "peace in our time." I focus on primarily political aspects and counsel pragmatic approaches to solve the problem of nuclear weapons. I chose Peace Park because of the level of commitment flourishing there.
2) On October 30, 1989, at approximately 10:15 P.M., in Lafayette (Peace Park) Square, on the North side of the park along Penn. Ave., I witnessed the following encounter.
3) An officer on a motorcycle approached the sign owned by Nakita, (AKA Jeffrey Brown) and was saying something to him.
Nakita was covered with a sheet of plastic along with his literature, due to the fact that it had been raining periodically throughout the afternoon and evening.
4) I approached as Nakita was talking with the officer. Micheal Cromin, who maintains a sign next to Nakita's, had walked over and asked what was happening. Nakita said he was told to remove his plastic. Micheal said to the officer that plastic was permissable under 36 CFR.
5) The officer shut off his bike and quickly "approached"the three of us and stated "When I'm in this park, you'll do what I tell you to do.
6) The officer, while making this statement, had stopped approxiamately three feet in front of us with his arm outstreched pointing his finger, emphasizing each word with his finger stopping short of Micheal's face by about one foot.
7) I began to take written notes of the conversation as the officer was acting out of line.
8) I wrote down the name and badge number displayed on his coat. Officer G.R. Marsh, badge #127.
9) The officer was very belligerant, hostile, and seemed to be attempting to intimidate all those present.
10) In my experience, most people scurry away like scared rats and allow themselves to be intimidated, mostly due to fear of arrest, or of physical attacks with the ever-present US Park Police club called a "night stick." We demonstrators in Peace Park, in defence of the people over what's happening in our country are in unanimous agreement that we should stand-up for the people and our rights, even if we must take the beating.
11) I said "You better call the SGT., they know the regula-tions." I then asked "Who was on duty tonight, SGT. Manzo or SGT. Paccione?"
12) He said "I don't have to answer any questions, I'm the law."
13) I reinterated "I think you better call the SGT. before you go and confiscate the plastic." At that time he called someone.
14) I ran down to Thomas's sign to get the tape recorder and camera, which I couldn't find quickly.
15) I couldn't hear every word being said fromthere (approximately 100 feet) but a lot of yelling was going on, so I ran back over there.
16) Just as I was arriving back at the site, the officer yelling and pointing again, this time at Micheal and Rick Hartshorn and said "I'll take off this badge right now and kick off in yo' ass."
17) The officer agrily started his bike and drove off to the back of Peace Park.
18) About (15) minutes later the officer came back. I was taking pictures of the sign and piece of plastic in question. I also had the tape recorder turned on and in plain veiw. This seemed to help the problem of intimidation tacktics, as the officer acted very quiet spoken. He said his SGT. would be right over.
19) Approxiamately ten (10) minutes passed and the SGT. didn't come and officer Marsh left to the back of Peace Park again.
20) Approxiamately ten (10) minutes later a Park Police cruiser drove by, stopping at each sign to flash the floodlight at the plastic. Each person was covered in the same manner as Nakita because of the rain.
21) I could not see the officer's name tag or number of the car from my vantage point. From the distance he appeared to have SGT. bars on his sleeve. He was a white male, approxiamately thirty-five years old, with light brown hair.
22) Approxiamately ten (10) minutes later, Officer Marsh returned. He stated that the plastic was legal but if he came by and wanted to look under the plastic, he could.
23) As this comported with what I and the others understand as the law, we all agreed.
24) I told him all this "problem" could have been averted if he new the law or inquired from his SGT. of the law. He said "there wasn't any problem."
25) I said the problem of not understanding the law might be a mistake and understandable. It was the intimidation tacktics he came here with that's got everyone riled up.
26) He said "that's your opinion". I said "It's not my opinion. We all heard what you said. "If I got up in your face and stuck my finger in your face and said, "When I'm in this park you'll do what I tell you to do." (imitating the same mannerisms)
you'd be riled up to." He said, "You must be mistaken."
27) I said, "Well how about 'I'll take off this badge and kick off in your ass.' Is that intimidation?" The officer again said "You must be mistaken." Everybody objected in disbelief, with some laughing, one said "that's a lie", another said "I was standing right here and I heard it." The officer just repeated "You must be mistaken."
P.O. Box 27217,
Washington, D.C. 20038