UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MARY HUDDLE, et al.
v. Civil Action No. 88-3130 (JHG)
RONALD WILSON REAGAN, et al.
FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION TO RENEW THEIR MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY
RESTRAINING ORDER AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
Once again plaintiffs have moved for immediate injunctive
relief arising out of their prohibited use of Lafayette Park as
a camping facility, and once again the Court should deny that
motion. The focus of plaintiffs' latest filing is a series of
incidents that have occurred in Lafayette Park since January 1991.
Specifically, plaintiffs complain that they were in "reasonable
compliance", with the regulations governing Lafayette Park
when, in January 1991, "defendants destroyed the status quo
through violence and threats of violence."
Plaintiffs, latest missive should be accorded no weight.
As the attached declaration of Major Carl R. Holmberg 1/ reflects,
on January 16 1991--coinciding with the start of hostilities with
Iraq--approximately 500 demonstrators attempted to block that
portion of Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., between the White House
and Lafayette Park. Although demonstrators threw rocks and bottles
at police, injuring some, there were no arrests. Thereafter there
was a "substantial [ increase" in demonstration
1 The Holmberg declaration is attached hereto as Exhibit 2.
activities in the Park. Holmberg Dec., 4. As a result of
the increased demonstration activity, coupled with terrorist threats
to government buildings and facilities, an increased Park Police
presence in Lafayette Park was ordered and continued until April
1, 1991. Id. at 5. One effect of the increased police presence
was strict enforcement of the regulations governing Lafayette
As the police reports attached to the Holmberg declaration
reflect, none of plaintiffs, rights were violated during the period
in question. Indeed, this is borne out by the video tape plaintiffs
sent with their latest filing. Cleverly titled "The Ground
War At Home,'. the video purports to show Park Police officers
abusing plaintiffs. In fact, the video underscores that plaintiffs,
while continuing to hide behind the ruse that they are engaging
in a twenty-four hour vigil, are in fact using Lafayette Park
as their own living space. At several points in the video Park
Police officers are shown waking and attempting to wake various
demonstrators sound asleep in sleeping bags at midnight' 3:00
a.m., 6:00 a.m. and other early morning hours.2/
2/ Since plaintiffs' video is a "cut and paste"
of numerous tapes it is safe to assume that it offers plaintiffs'
best case version of events. Despite plaintiffs' claims to the
contrary, the tape reveals no use of excessive force by the Park
Police; indeed it reflects great patience and restraint on their
part given plaintiffs, obvious efforts, as reflected in the tape,
to goad and agitate the law enforcement officers.
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Plaintiffs, continuous use of Lafayette Park as a sleeping facility,
night after night, coupled with the presence of sleeping bags
and other personal items, makes it clear that plaintiffs at a
minimum were (and still are) violating the camping proscription
of the National Park Service regulation. See 36 C.F.R. §
7.96(i)(1); United States v. Thomas, 864 F.2d 188, 193 (D.C. Cir.
1988); United States v. Musser, 873 F.2d 518 (1989). In a recent
decision involving some of the demonstrators _ involved in this
case, Judge Hogan held, inter alia, that the activities engaged
in by these plaintiffs constitute a public nuisance which the
Park Police are privileged to abate. See Green v. Lujan, C.A.
No; 90-2293 (Feb. 11, 1991), mem. op. at 1014.3
In summary, therefore, plaintiffs' latest motion presents
nothing new. Rather, it constitutes only the latest version of
plaintiffs' continuous efforts to litigate over their presence
in Lafayette Park. Plaintiffs, latest motion, along with their
various other pending motions, should be denied.
/s/ Jay B. Stephens
JAY B. STEPHENS, DC BAR #177840
United States Attorney
JOHN D. BATES, D BAR #934927
Assistant United States Attorney
/s/ Michael L. Martinez
MICHAEL L. MARTINEZ, DC BAR #347310
Assistant United States Attorney
3/ Judge Hogan's memorandum opinion and order are attached
hereto as Exhibit 1.
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