UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MARY HUDDLE and PHILIP JOSEPH, et. al.,
Plaintiffs, Pro Se
RONALD WILSON REAGAN, et. al.,
Judge Joyce Hens Green
PLAINTIFFS' (REDACTED) CLARIFICATION OF COMPLAINT
Pursuant to their understanding of the Court's request
at the hearing of January 9, l989, plaintiffs have cross-referenced
the Appendix of Plaintiffs' Exhibits (hereinafter "Exhibit"),
filed herewith, with the Complaint (hereinafter "C."),
filed September 30, l988, and the Amended Complaint (hereinafter
"AmC."), filed November 23, l988. Errors discovered
during the cross-referencing process have also been corrected,
as noted in the accompanying Errata.
Defendants have complained that plaintiffs' claim is
less than a model of clarity. In an effort to correct that shortcoming,
plaintiffs file this clarification.
OBJECT OF THE ALLEGED CONSPIRACY
Lafayette Park is a traditional site for individuals to
speak on issues of broad public concern. Exhibit A.
A pilgrim (Exhibit B-2) -- an individual who sincerely
believed that the Creator of the Universe had instructed him to
seek perfection by channeling every thought and action to the
establishment of "Peace through Understanding" -- coming
from a life's perception of experience -- was dragged into the
legal jurisdiction of this land (Exhibit A-2), in opposition to
his strong objection. Trying to make the best of a bad situation,
the pilgrim decided that he could best serve his Creator by sitting
down on the north side of Mr. Reagan's official residence, to
wait for someone to offer him a more efficient method to achieve
Understanding. Exhibits B-6 and E-l.
Soon a second pilgrim, in search of Truth and Justice,
thought that the first pilgrim had discovered a useful tool for
uncovering truth and justice, and they proceeded to search side
by side, there on the sidewalk.
The two pilgrims made signs for attracting the public's
attention to issues crucial to humanity. They produced literature,
which they distributed to the public with the intent, if only
to a small degree, of furthering Understanding. Over the years
a few other pilgrims joined the quest.
Police officers aren't devils, but they aren't angels
From the beginning some perhaps less than angelic police
officers addressed the pilgrims in a rude and insulting manner;
threatening, kicking, poking, sometimes beating their persons,
confiscating, destroying, or sometimes only knocking their signs
to the ground.
These actions might have been written off to individual
capricious abuse of police power, and, for years, the pilgrims
endured such abuse in silence.
It is the President's responsibility to set policy.
As he is also a human, it seems not unreasonable to infer that,
in his personal capacity, Mr. Reagan might not like to have somebody
continuously squatting on his doorstep, and questioning his policies.
The President didn't like the idea of the pilgrims sitting
on the sidewalk in front of his house.
Except, in his capacity as leader of a democracy, Mr.
Reagan bore not only a responsibility to tolerate criticism, but
also to protect critics. For it is also the President's responsibility
to uphold the Constitution.
James Watt, during the time period in which the alleged
scheme had its inception, was Secretary of Interior and a friend
of defendant Reagan.
There is clear evidence that Mr. Watt, in contact with
the White House, intended to "ban demonstrations in front
of the White House and in Lafayette Park and require that they
take place on the Ellipse." Inter alia para. 45.
Over the years the abuse the pilgrims suffered at the
hands of police agents intensified.
On occasions a more angelic police officer would apologize
for having arrested them, or behaved rudely. Invariably the explanation
would be, "I was only following orders."
The pilgrims began to suspect that their problem wasn't
so much one of individual abuse of power, rather it began to seem
as if the real problem was someone deliberately directing an abuse
of power against them for the purpose of eliminating their signs.
But there was a dilemma. The pilgrims believed the system
to be corrupt, and, as a matter of conscience, were very reluctant
to solicit the aid of a corrupt system.
The situation degenerated to a point where the pilgrims
problem began to grind on the judicial system. At one point a
kindly judge suggested the pilgrims approach the court as if it
offered a "sort of civilized way" to resolve their problem.
Exhibit D, page 28.
Optimistically, praying they had somehow been mistaken,
the pilgrims decided to behave as if they were living in a civilized
Because "sleeping" and "storage of property"
were the pretexts for many of the numerous arrest they had suffered,
the pilgrims began by seeking administrative relief.
"We leave it to your discretion to tell us just
how many hours per day we are legally permitted to sleep.
"We'll also need to know exactly what is meant
by 'storage of property,'" the pilgrims asked. Exhibit lll-B,
page 5, letter from Thomas to G. Ray Arnett, July 21, 1984.
When the administration made no reply, the pilgrims
filed, with trepidation, a Complaint in the District Court, requesting
simple relief. Exhibit E-l, p. 2, Proposed Order, Amended Complaint,
Thomas, et. al. v. United States, et. al., C.A. 84-3552.
They respectfully followed the court's rules. Exhibit E-2, partial
Docket Sheet, Thomas, et. al. v. United States, et. al.,
The kindly judge said the pilgrims' Complaint had "affirmed
a conspiracy to ... deprive civil rights ... list(ing) each defendant
and each act allegedly taken," and denied the government's
motion to dismiss. E.g. Exhibits E-3 and E-4, Orders, J. Oberdorfer,
Thomas, et. al. v. United States, et. al., C.A. 84-3552,
June 5, 1986 and June 3, l985.
With the filing of their Complaint there simultaneously
occurred a noticeable reduction in arrests, although more petty
abuses did continue, much to their distress.
These abuses the pilgrims also attempted to address
in that civilized sort of way. E.g., Exhibit l33-C, Thomas,
et. al. v. United States, et. al., C.A. 84-3552, Motion for
Joinder of Claims against Lt. Hugh Irwin, November 21, 1986, see
also, Exhibit l33-D, Declaration of William Thomas re November
2l, 1986, id.
At one point the judge noted that the pilgrims "had
attempted to conduct (their) protest in accordance with the law
.... (as) demonstrated by (their) conscientious resort to a civil
action as the forum for resolution of (their) continuing dispute
with the government." Exhibit E-5, Memorandum and Order,
J. Oberdorfer, United States v. Thomas , CR 83-186, April
4, 1986. During the years of civil litigation, the pilgrims also
continued in efforts for administrative relief (e.g., Exhibit
lll-C, Letter from Thomas to Robbins, September 16, 1985; Exhibit
lll-F, Letter from Thomas to Robbins, June 3, 1986), clear on
up to the President. E.g., Exhibit lll-D, Thomas Petition to OMB,
September 16, 1985; see also inter alia para. l24.
At best the pilgrims received polite administrative
rebuff (E.g. Exhibit lll-E, Robert Bedell letter to Thomas, October,
1985), at worst the administration flatly refused to answer questions
about "sleeping" and "storage of property,"
which were causing pilgrims' suffering. Exhibit lll-G, Robbins
letter to Thomas, July 3, 1986.
Finally, without resolving the questions at issue, the
judge dismissed pilgrims' Complaint, "without prejudice,"
and with the suggestion that pilgrims apply to the administration
for a "permit" which would "prohibit" the
precise activity for which pilgrims had petitioned the law's protection
in the first place. Thomas, et. al. v. United States, ___
F.Supp__; USDC CA 84-3552.
The pilgrims asked the court to reconsider (Exhibit
E-6, Motion for Reconsideration, Thomas, et. al. v. United
States, et. al., C.A. 84-3552, filed October, 17, 1988), and
were denied. Exhibit E-7, Errata Order, J. Oberdorfer, Thomas,
et. al. v. United States, et. al., C.A. 84-3552, November
"The problem ... is (the Constitution of the United
States and 65) years of courts decisions...." Exhibit C,
Public statement, agent of the Solicitor's Office, Interior Department,
September 7, 1984. Inter alia para. 70. C. 20, 93; AmC. ll, 56.
PLAINTIFFS' THEORY ON THE CONFLUENCE OF EVENTS
On June 4, l982, the National Park Service passed the
camping regulation, ostensibly to prevent "sleeping in tents,"
inter alea para. 25; see also CCNV v. Watt, 703
F.2d 589; Clark v. CCNV, S.Ct. Syllabus, p. l, June 29,
The Park Service specifically purported that "camping"
regulation was "designed not to stifle First Amendment expression,"
and that "(s)hort term casual sleeping which does not occur
in the context of using the park for living accommodations will
not be affected by these regulations." Inter alia, para.
Beginning on June 4, l982, the Park Service issued a
letter "to whom it may concern" warning that "enforcement
action ... will be taken if you do not remove the temporary structures
you are now using for living accommodation purposes from ... park
areas." Plaintiffs were not using any structures at all.
On June l7, l982, by prearrangement and under direct
supervision of defendants Lindsey and Robbins, Thomas and Concepcion
were arrested. Inter alia, paras. 27-29.
Concepcion was arrested even though, after having been
given an order to leave, she was in the act of leaving. (Charges
against Concepcion were dismissed.)
But that didn't solve the "problem." So defendants
held more meetings with the Secret Service to further the object
of removing "large signs" from the White House/Lafayette
After early meetings, defendant Reagan's personal bodyguard,
Jerry Parr of the Secret Service, was "not in complete agreement
(with Mr. Robbins) concerning the presence of large display board
type signs on the White House sidewalk." Inter alia, para.
There was contact between the White House and James
On January l3, l983, Mr. Watt wrote a memo announcing
his intention was to "ban (protests and demonstrations) and
require that they take place on the Ellipse." Inter alia,
Subsequently, Mr. Watt met with defendant Robbins (or
one of Mr. Robbins' supervisors). At a second meeting, on or about
March 9, l983 plaintiffs believe, Mr. Robbins informed Mr. Watt
that the "problem" with Mr. Watt's "intention"
to move the signs to the Ellipse would be unconstitutional. (SEE
Schneider v. State, 308 US l47.) But Mr. Robbins informed
Mr. Watt that, with agents of the Secret Service, U.S. Park Police,
and D.C. Metropolitan Police, he had devised a subtle, indirect
approach to remove "all but hand-held signs" from at
least the White House sidewalk. Inter alia para. 49.
Mr. Watt told Mr. Robbins to "keep up the good
Following those instructions, on March ll, l983, Mr.
Robbins, supported by a phalanx of agents operating under color
of a "structure," proceeded with a concerted "operation"
to remove all but "hand held signs from the White House sidewalk,"
even though they were entirely aware that there was no provision
of law to justify their concerted action. Inter alia, para. 57.
There were more meetings of minds among defendants Robbins,
Lindsey, Parr, and Fish for the purpose of drawing lines which
would create the illusion of a substantial government interest
where none existed. Inter alia paras. 65, 67.
To further their illusion, Mssrs. Robbins, Lindsey,
Parr and Fish gave false testimony and "evidence" which
they had concocted to the District Court, and suggested that there
were ample avenues for "large signs" just across the
street from the White House sidewalk in Lafayette Park. Inter
alia para. 68.
Mr. Robbins also relied on "strident newspaper
editorials" -- (read: "propaganda") -- in lieu
of "official documents," for adding body to defendants'
empty case. Inter alia para. 8l.
Much to its credit the District Court found some of
defendants' lies to be "incredible." Exhibit 69, pp.
But moving the "large signs" to Lafayette
Park did not satisfy defendants' object, as stated in Mr. Watt's
memo of January l3, l983, to prohibit (at least) certain demonstrations
in Lafayette Park, and require that they take place "on the
Mounted on their factually insupportable legal triumphs
on the White House sidewalk, defendants next turned to trample
the Constitution in Lafayette Park.
Defendants' weapon for this assault on Constitutional
provisions intended by the framers to prevent despotic government,
took the form of a grotesque caricature which they entitled the
Administrative Record. SEE Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
p. 28, ftn. l2. ALSO Exhibits ll3-A and ll3-B.
Plaintiffs theorize that -- once defendants' indirect
lines connecting innuendos to the misrepresentations and half-truths
and fabrications which comprise the Administrative Record are
removed -- the direct approach of the Lafayette Park regulations
becomes apparent. Inter alia para. l3l.
The named plaintiffs share an identifiable ideological
com mitment to the principles that 1) the first among laws is
"to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul,
and strength," and that "if one does not love one's
neighber, whom one has seen, then one cannot love God, whom one
has not seen;" 2) force, violence, threats, and intimidation
are tools of the anti-christ which cannot be employed to righteously
resolve differences of opinion but which are only used to impose
the will of one upon another, or to suppress freedom; 3) peace
on earth can be achieved only by resolving differences of opinion
through compassion, reasoning, communication. SEE, complaint,
This shared ideological commitment found embodiment
in plaintiffs' continuous presence.
Plaintiffs allege that, following the lead of Mr. Ronald
Reagan, each of the named defendants shared similar ideological
principles which were in diametric opposition to those shared
by plaintiffs, including, but not limited to: a) the "right"
to establish world, or social, order through force, violence,
threats, and the infliction of pain and suffering upon human beings,
and b) the obvious immorality and innate evil of the concept that
world, or social, order through the imposition of force, violence,
threats, and the infliction of physical or emotional pain and
suffering upon human beings can be mitigated by the euphemism
"Peace Through Strength." C. 72.
IN THE WHITE HOUSE / LAFAYETTE PARK AREA BETWEEN 1981 - 1988
l. At least as early as June 5, 1981, the Secret Service
knew Thomas represented himself as a "writer and philosopher"
who was promoting a viewpoint in diametric opposition to the viewpoint
promoted by the administration. "(Thomas) stated that he
was a non-violent person who objected to being in this country
at what he feels is against his will. (Thomas) stated that he
went to the Soviet embassy to present them with a book he had
written, and to prove that there is nothing to fear from the Soviet
Union. (Thomas) expressed concern about nuclear destruction of
the world, and believes that nuclear weapons are made because
of the fear that this country has of the Soviet Union....
"Copies of the following entitled literature were
obtained from (Thomas), and are being forwarded to ID under separate
cover: Manifesto of Independence, Truth and Assorted Red Herrings,
Parable of a Prophet, Parable of a Beast....
"(Thomas) feels these writings best express his
philosophies and actions.... (Thomas) was calm, congenial, and
understanding of our interest in him during the interview."
Exhibits l-A, -B, -C, -D, -E, Secret Service (S.S.) report, June
l6, l98l. C. 22, 24, 26, 69, 72, 76; AmC. 43.
2. At least as early as July, 1981 at least one U.S.
Park Police (USPP) officer knew that Thomas "was 'demonstrating'
and that sleeping is part of his demonstration.... (Thomas) was
transported to D-1 and issued a CFR #778381 in violation of 36
CFR 50.27(a)." Exhibit 2, USPP report, July 6, l98l. C. 27,
82, 83, 89, 9l. AmC. 43-45.
3. The charge was not prosecuted, and no probable cause
was shown. Exhibit 3, p. l9, Recommendation, Opinion and Report
of then U.S. Magistrate Arthur L. Burnett (hereinafter "Magistrate's
Recommendation"), in Thomas, et al, v. USA, et al,
USDC CA 84-3552, January 13, 1987. COMPARE Motion to Strike,
Exhibit A. C. 82-9l; AmC. l3, 43-56.
4. The Secret Service was also aware of the nature of
this arrest, and that "Thomas was ... continuing his demonstration
against the White House." Exhibit 4, Secret Service Report,
July 6, l98l. C. 73, 8l; AmC. ll, 43, 45.
5. Also in July of 1981 legal advisers of the Park Police
knew that Thomas was exercising a "clearly established right,"
because Art Spitzer, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties
Union, National Capital Area, "asked (the Solicitor's Office)
to look into the matter (of Thomas' July 6, 1981 arrest) bearing
in mind the D.C. Circuit's decision in United States v. Abney,
534 F2d 984 (1976)." Exhibit 5, Art Spitzer letter to Thomas,
May l0, l983. C. 24, 27; AmC. 43-45.
6. Defendants should have known that Thomas was articulating
an issue of broad public concern, and that onlookers were likely
to understand the message intended to be conveyed by Thomas' activities;
"Thomas ... is entirely coherent. He just lives
in a world of the abstract, as a street corner philosopher, engaging
curious passersby in Socratic dialogue on Freedom, Truth, and
the meaning of Life.
"'The main point I'm trying to make' he says, 'is
that the Earth is a unit. It's a whole thing. It's not compartmentalized.
And what people do is to divide this unit up with imaginary lines,
and then they start wars over those imaginary lines. This is not
"Thomas recalled a conversation with Victor Doreshenko,
an employee of the Soviet embassy where Thomas had been arrested
for unlawful entry: 'I told him that I thought the mutual build-up
of nuclear weapons had to do with mutual fear between the two
nations, and he said: yes, he thought that was true. And then
I told him that in order to prove to Americans that they have
nothing to fear of the Russians, I wanted to surrender myself
to the Soviet Union.'" Exhibit 6, Boston Globe, August
27, l98l. COMPARE Exhibit l. C. 22 thru 25; AmC. 36.
7. As early as November 2, 1981 members of the National
Park Service illustrated a "meeting of minds" by admitting
they "would use the occasion (of CCNV's) proposed demonstration
(on November 27, l98l) to deal with the protesters in front of
the White House." Exhibit 7, Mitch Snyder declaration, June
30, l983. COMPARE Exhibit 5. C. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30; AmC.
l3, l6, l7, l8, l9, 20, 23, etc.
8. The Park Service affirmed that "symbolic camping"
was allowed under regulations, and that CCNV's "proposal
as presented would utilize tents and other equipment primarily
for living accommodations and is therefore not permissible under
the regulations." Exhibit 8, Manus Fish letter, November
l3, l98l. COMPARE Exhibit 5. C. 23; AmC. 34.
9. The Park Service recognized an administrative responsibility
to pursue a reasonable approach to preservation of Park resources
with respect to demonstrations, that "The regulatory language
makes it clear that the National Park Service allows all groups
to erect, and to use such structures to the same extent as those
constructed in connection with Government sponsored, or co-sponsored
events." Exhibit 9, Federal Register (Fed Reg), Vol.46, No.
219, November l3, l98l, p. 55960, 5596l. C. 24; AmC. 33-43. COMPARE,
Amended Complaint, para. 43.
l0. There was another meeting of minds, and during November
of 1981 "demonstrator" "William Thomas" was
the target of a "criminal investigation" by the agents
of defendant Lindsey. "Photographs for this report were requested
by the Solicitor's Office of the Interior." Exhibits l0-A,
-B, -C, -D, -E, various Park Police Case Incident Reports, November
l2 to l4, l98l, Nature of Incident: "demonstration/vigil."
C. l0, 69; AmC. 24, 3l, 54.
ll. Defendant Robbins' office was acting to direct that
"investigation" toward a definite object: "support
of a forthcoming arrest." Exhibit ll, ERA v. Watt,
USDC CA-83-1243, Richard Robbins testimony, December 6, 1983,
Transcript pg. 37-38. Inter alia paras. l3-24. C. 60, 83; AmC.
l2. Defendant Robbins listened from counsel table while
AUSA Lawrence, talking about Abney (supra., para. 5), said,
"The position of the Department of Interior is that the demonstration
is proper, a symbolic campsite is proper, a continuing presence
is proper." Exhibit l2, CCNV v. WATT CA- 81-2844,
TRO hearing, Judge Parker, November 24, l98l. C. 24; AmC. 54-56.
l3. Although defendant Robbins certainly should have
known Thomas' activity on the White House sidewalk was clearly
established as protected (Supra, paras. 3, 6, 7, 8-l2), the Park
Service proceeded to execute its previously stated pretext to
arrest him (Supra, para. 7).
"On 11-26-81, the undersigned met with (Deputy
Chief) Lindsey, and Assistant Chief Herring, in Lafayette Park
at 0600 hours. We surveyed the area, and then met with the NPS
Solicitors, Rick Robbins, and Diane Kelly. (COMPARE Exhibit
5.) Mr. Rick Davige, Deputy Assistant Fish and Wildlife Service
was also present....
"Sgt. Swerda and Officer P. Johnson read (a) statement
to persons on the White House sidewalk. Three arrests were made
by Officer Johnson (on the White House sidewalk)." Exhibit
l3, Lt. J. Schamp, U.S.P.P Case Incident Report, November 29,
1981. C. 28, 89, 9l, 92; AmC. 56.
l4. Charges against Thomas were not prosecuted. No probable
cause was shown. See Exhibit 3, Magistrate's Recommendation,
January 13, 1987, pg 19; COMPARE Motion to Strike Defendants'
Exhibit 4, Attachment A. Thomas suffered various Constitutional
injuries. C. 82, 83; AmC. 43-45.
15. Upon release from jail, Thomas wrote an explanation
which he distributed to various Park Police officers:
"My personal experience has led me to conclude
that the United States, in pursuit of its own pleasure and comfort,
is actively engaged in the destruction of the planet on which
I live, and which I hold to be the property of my Creator. To
work within the system that comprises the United States, is for
me, to contribute to this destruction. On the basis of my religious
principles I refuse to make this contribution, in effect, I refuse
the beastly mark without which one may not buy, sell, or trade
within this society (Revelations 13:15-19). Because I cannot buy,
sell, or trade I am forced to live on the streets, and subsist
on what society throws away. So my very existence is a demonstration
of the manner in which a truly moral person is compelled to live
within an amoral society." Exhibit l4, Thomas notice, November
27, l98l. C. 29, 78, 82, 9l, 92; AmC. ll.
l6. It is undisputed that:
"after being taken to the U.S. Park Police District One
Substation ... (Thomas) was taken by ... two officers... to the
intersection of 30th and Southern Streets, S.E., and ordered out
of the police vehicle. Mr. Thomas also alleges that when he demanded
that the officers return him to Lafayette Park, Officer Anderson
told him that he could not return to that location because "the
President and Mrs. Reagan live there.'" Exhibit 3, Magistrate's
Recommendation, January 13, 1987, pg. 9. See also Exhibit l5,
Affidavit of Larry Tucker, November 2, l982. C. 29, 82, 9l, 93;
l7. "On Saturday, December l2, l98l at approximately
l900 hours while on patrol (in Lafayette Park) I observed a subject
in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk in front of the White House....
(H)e was in violation of (l) CFR 50.27 camping, (2) CFR 30.l9,
demonstrating without a permit, (3) unlawful entry, and to gather
up all his property and leave the area." The charges against
Thomas were not prosecuted. Exhibit l6-A, USPP Case Incident Report,
J.W. Moore, December l2, l98l. C. 30, 82, 83, 92; AmC. 43-45.
l8. "(T)here for awhile (agents) were instructed
to arrest people in front of the White House for unlawful entry
and I think trespassing and a couple of other charges.... I know
Mr. Thomas was at least arrested on one occasion for those charges."
Exhibit l6-B, Testimony Officer Samuel Wolz USA v. Thomas,
USDC, 82-0329(M), September 16, 1982, transcript at 88. C. l9;
l9. "On 12-25-81 (Thomas) was observed hanging
by his wrists from a street light in front of 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue N.W. and was arrested by U.S. Park Police. This incident
was photographed by UPI and was the subject of an article by the
Washington Post. At the time of the arrest (Thomas) was in
possession of a one page statement protesting police harassment
(copies of the article and the statement will be forwarded to
ID under a separate cover). On 12-25-81 at one-forty-five PM the
subject was interviewed by special (Secret Service) agents (censored)
and (censored) at the Park Police sub-station on Ohio Drive. The
interview revealed that the subject's purpose was to solicit the
attention of the president regarding his displeasure with certain
governmental operations." Exhibit l7, Secret Service Report,
January ll, l982; emphasis added. C. 76; AmC. 54.
20. To insure that his symbolic action was not misunderstood,
or intentionally distorted, Thomas' "one page statement"
read, "the on-going police harassment has reached a stage
where it effectively, though illegally, prohibits me from expressing
myself as I had chosen, and as my principles dictate. Therefore
it seemed appropriate that I attempt a new form of demonstration."
Exhibit l8, Thomas' Statement, December 25, 198l. C. 20.
2l. Despite the fact that Thomas' complaint was clearly
articulated and the police were in possession of his written statement,
Secret Service agents released several reports to the press saying
that the specific nature of Thomas' grievances were not known.
One report to the press falsely stated that Thomas had been taken
to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for observation. Exhibit l9-A, AP
December 25, l98l; Exhibit l9-B, Washington Post/UPI December
26, l98l. C. 6l, 86; AmC. 38, 39.
22. "Defendant Thomas was found guilty of the charge
of disorderly conduct, but sentencing, and fine of twenty-five
dollars, was suspended by Judge King because of conflict with
violation of Mr. Thomas' First Amendment rights." l/
Exhibit 20, Case Incident Report USPP Officer R.F. Perkins, January
5, l982. C. 90, 92, 93. AmC. 39.
23. "From the very beginning when those signs began
to be ... attended ... (the Secret Service) started to have a
concern. We met (at least as early as spring of 1982) with individuals
and legal people from Interior to work out some kind of an arrangement...
I don't remember exactly when I first saw them out there, physically,
but it became apparent that this was going to be the wave of the
future." Exhibit 2l, Testimony of Jerry Parr, May 3, 1983,
CA-83-1243, ERA v. Watt, transcript p. 35-36. C. 25, 26,
35, 56, 62, 92; AmC. 45.
24. The discussions had actually begun during November,
1981 (Supra, para. 10, ll, and 14), continued with added participants,
and certain defendant paipants admit that those discussions focused
on "a group of people who were ... on the White House sidewalk."
Exhibit 22, Deposition of Patricia Bangert, ERA v. Watt,
November 2l, 1983 at 72-73. C. 56, 62, 90, 92, 93; AmC. ll, l4.
25. The Park Service more clearly affirmed (Supra, para.
8) that a demonstration might include "sleeping," and
more, yet still not be considered to "constitute camping":
"While some participants will be asleep in the area at all
times during the night.... In light of all of the circumstances
of your proposed demonstration activity, we have concluded that
the park area will not be used for camping/living accommodations."
Exhibit 23, Letter from Manus Fish, April 2l, 1982. COMPARE
para. 8, 27, e.g. Thomas Declaration in support of the Complaint,
paras. l-7; C. 25, 26, 45-5l, 62, 70-80; AmC. l3, l8-2l, 40.
26. During the winter through spring of 1982 defendants
Robbins, Bangert, and Fish drafted, promulgated and implemented
After that trial Thomas requested his Court-appointed
attorney to appeal the conviction. The attorney assured Thomas
that he would note an appeal, but never did. the definition at
36 CFR 50.27(a) ("camping"). Defendant Fish suspended
the thirty-day delay of effectiveness provided for by 5 USC 553,
and defendant Robbins purported:
"(B)anning the use of parks for living accommodations
(was) designed not to stifle First Amendment expression, but to
protect undesignated parks from activities for which they are
not suited, and the impacts of which they can not sustain. Short
term casual sleeping which does not occur in the context of using
the park for living accommodations will not be affected by these
regulations." Exhibit 24, Fed. Reg Vol 47, No 108, p. 24304,
June 4, 1982; see also Exhibit 24, 36 CFR 7.96(2), written
by defendant Robbins. Thomas Declaration in support of Complaint,
para. 6; C. 24-26; AmC. l, l3, 4l, 42.
27. On June 4, 1982 defendant Fish signed a letter,
hand-delivered to Thomas and Concepcion, that read in part:
"I have determined that you are using the park
as a living accommodation and that you are in violation of regulations
contained in 36 CFR 50.19(e)(8), and 50.27(a)....
"This is to advise you that you are in violation
of said regulations and to warn you that appropriate law enforcement
action ... will be taken if you do not remove the temporary
structures you are now using for living accommodation purposes
from, and cease camping in, park areas not designated as public
campgrounds by 9:00 on Monday, June 7, 1982." Exhibit 25,
Fish letter, June 4, 1982. EMPHASIS added. COMPARE, supra.,
paras. 8, 25. C. 27-37, 76, 82, 83, 85, 90; AmC. l3-38, 42, 56.
28. On each occasion that a Fish letter was delivered
to him Thomas responded by advising the delivering agent that
he was not using any structure or shelter for living accommodation,
or any other purpose. He also gave defendants' agents a copy of
his own letter dated June 5, 1982:
"By sitting in front of the White House, sleeping,
like Lazarus, by the gates of the world's wealthiest public servant,
I hope to clearly demonstrate the lengths to which a moral person
must go in order to remain true to the ideals of Truth, Justice,
and Freedom within an amoral society. In other words: I am demonstrating
not only how to be in a world of law, and bureaucratic regulations
which value property above human life, while not being part of
such a world, but also I am demonstrating how difficult the law
enforcement, judicial, and bureaucratic agencies of such a world
make the life of an individual who presumes to question their
morality." Exhibit 26, Thomas letter, June 5, 1982. See
also Exhibits 8, 9, 23, 25. C. 2l, 27, 29, 30, 45, 47, 54,
76, 90; AmC. l3, 40, 4l.
29. On June 17, 1982, Thomas was arrested by prearrangement,
and under instructions from defendant Lindsey. Defendants Robbins
and Bangert were "advising" on the scene. Exhibit 27,
testimony, Officer Wolz, USA v. Thomas, USDC, Cr 82-0329(M),
September 16, 1982, transcript at 122. C. 8, 25, 3l, 32, 34, 36,
37, 93; AmC. l3, l4, 4l.
30. On June l7, l982, Officer Wolz read Thomas a statement
prepared by defendant Robbins' office, threatening Thomas with
arrest. Exhibit 28, USPP Walter Sherba report, June 17, 1982.
C. ll; AmC. 4l-43. 3l. On June l7, l982, Thomas handed defendants'
agent a copy of his June 5, 1982 letter (Exhibit 26). Thomas'
attempts to communicate were ignored. Exhibit 29, testimony, Officer
Wolz, USA v. Thomas, USDC, Cr 82-0329(M), September 16,
1982, transcript at 103-104. C. 4, 6, 23, 24, 33, 38, 80, 90;
AmC. ll, 23.
32. During July and August, l982, others, sleeping in
tentsin Lafayette Park with air mattresses, blankets, TV's,
etc., were not arrested. Exhibit 30-A, Declaration of Carol Fennelly,
CCNV v. Watt, CA 82-250l, October 3, l982; See also
Exhibit 30-B, Declaration of Barbara Gamarekian, (ibid.), October
l, l982. See Thomas Declaration in support of Complaint, para.
40; C. 3l, 32, 77; AmC. 4l.
33. After a trial before Magistrate Arthur Burnett Thomas
was convicted. In the wake of his conviction Thomas altered his
behavior to accommodate himself, in his understanding, to the
Magistrate's Order. Notwithstanding Thomas' sincere attempts to
come into unmistakable compliance with the regulations, during
the months of October, November, and December of 1982, he and
Ms. Picciotto were subjected to intensive surveillance, and endured
routine police harassment.
"William Thomas and Isabela Concepcion (sic) were
found sleeping by this officer. Both subjects were awakened, and
warned on one occasion. They complied and I cleared at 0510 hours."
Exhibit 3l, Occasion report, November 12, 1982 Officer Ferebee.
C. 4, 6, 33; AmC. 38.
34. Characteristically Thomas tried to reason with defendants
and when reason failed, was driven up a tree where he was arrested.
Exhibit 32-A, November l3, l982, Officer Ferebee.
"Although I am in this country against my will,
while I am here I have a responsibility to scream out against
the unresponsible activities of this government. For the most
part my screaming has been ignored, but lack of attention has
not been a factor in driving me away from the White House sidewalk.
For more than seventeen months I have fought to retain the rights
guarenteed by the First Amendment against the police, bureaucracy,
and the suicidal system of this country. Perhaps one point that
will be made by this demonstration will be to illustrate to Federal
Magistrate Arthur Burnett that sleeping can be expressive communication.
It may also serve to show that, while it may be necessary to go
to ridiculous extremes in order to stand up for one's beliefs,
one's belief in freedom need not, can not be protected by destroying
the earth." Exhibit 32-B, Thomas letter November 10, 1982,
Statement of Reason. C. 33, 80, 8l; AmC. 42.
35. Defendants had continued "meetings of the minds,"
involving "an event where some people might have been camping
on the White House sidewalk." Exhibit 33, Robbins testimony,
ERA v. Watt, USDC CA 83-1243, December 13, 1983, transcript
at 48. C. 33, 34, 70; AmC. ll, 38, 4l, 42, 45.
36. "The enforcement of these regulations in which
the activity may be a part of a First Amendment expression
should be delayed until consultation with a supervisor, and a
representative of the Solicitor's Office who can be reached through
the Force Communications Center." Exhibit 34, Memo to the
Force from J.C. Lindsey, December 6, 1982, emphasis in original.
Thomas Declaration in support of Complaint para. 30. C. 24, 33;
37. Once again plaintiffs were injured by a "meeting
of minds." When "(Sgt. Bradley) went (to the White House
sidewalk) and he said, you know? if he was going to make an arrest
he would call us." Exhibit 35, testimony Officer Shea, USA
v. Thomas CR 82-358, May l7, l983, transcript p. 9l. C. 70;
38. The "probable cause" for the December
7, 1982 arrest was "sleeping."
(JUDGE WILLIAM BRYANT): (Exhibit 36, p. 4) "I listened
to the tape, and they locked the man up for going to sleep. And
he says that is part of his -- he is out there forever, 24 hours.
"In the face of it, it's a piddling case; but,
really, it is a bedeviling case.... (p. 9) "What bothers
me is ... the definition (of camping) when (Thomas) was arrested....
And the police officer, it was clear to him that he was acting
because he felt they were asleep; and this was the activity that
put them in violation, and I'm sure they still feel that way....
I have a hard time sleeping putting him in jail, actually, for
what he did. He is such a -- I kind of tend to agree with him.
He is such a minimal harm to anybody in the world. . ." Id.
(MR. MARCY) (p. 9): "Your Honor, he is not a minimal
harm.... He has been there since I believe June of the previous
year.... (p. ll) "It is not an easy case, your Honor, but
we would suggest to the Court that there is only one road to go
down at this point. The defendant has been given every opportunity
to conform his conduct, and he has failed to do so, and we would
ask the Court to incarcerate him.... (p. l2) "Six months.
If your Honor would like to send him to Sacramento to demonstrate
in front of the state capitol out there, we wouldn't have any
strong objection." Exhibit 36, USA v. Thomas CR 83-358,
transcript July 5, l983, p. 4-l2. C. 93; AmC. 38, 4l, 43.
39. In September, l982, defendant Lindsey had sworn
that "sleeping" was not "prohibited." Exhibit
38-A, testimony J.C. Lindsey, U.S. v. Thomas, CR 83-329-M,
September 3, l982; see also Exhibit 38-B, DOI letter to
USPP Chief Herring, February 5, l985. C. 20, 24-32, 93; AmC. ll,
l3-39, 43-56. See also Exhibit C.
40. "Meeting of the minds" continued.
(By Mr. Robbins) "On Friday (December 9, 1982)
I received a call from John Meenan, the acting legal counsel to
the Secret Service indicating that the Secret Service wanted to
have a meeting to discuss the situation on the White House sidewalk
with a view to solving some of the problems that were occurring
"We held our first meeting on the precursor of
(the White House sidewalk) regulations on December 13, 1982."
Exhibit 39, ERA v. Watt, USDC CA-83-1243, Richard Robbins
testimony, December 6, 1983, Transcript p. 6-7. C. 20, 3l, 32,
34, 35, 86; AmC. l4, l5.
4l. Others, similarly situated, but promoting an issue
which the Administration supported, were not arrested for camping.
"... Terrance McConnell, Vice President (of the
Vietnam Veterans' Vigil Society ... and veteran representatives
from a number of other states from across the nation have been
maintaining a twenty-four-hour-a-day color guard at the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial since December 24, 1982. Those dedicated men
and women intend to continue their vigil until all Prisoners of
War and Missings in Action are fully accounted for... "On
an equally encouraging note, the U.S. Government has recently
exhibited a deep commitment to obtaining resolution of the POW/MIA
accounting question making it a matter of the highest national
priority and putting it on the front burner where it belongs."
Exhibit 40, letter from Douglas Applegate, United States House
of Representatives, October 3, 1983. C. 20; AmC. 42.
42. Beginning on or about December 9, 1982 Thomas had
certain "objects" (signs) on the White House sidewalk,
but only during certain hours. SEE Declaration of William
Thomas in support of the Amended Complaint, pp. 3-l8. C. ll; AmC.
43. Although the "camping" regulation and
various pre-existing "storage of property" regulations
completely addressed all "problems" of packages, parcels,
etc. (inter alia para. 54), the Secret Service was still not completely
satisfied, and sought another "meeting of minds" toward
eliminating the same object: "large, display board type signs
on the White House sidewalk." Exhibit 4l, Jerry Parr letter
to Richard Robbins, January 10, 1983. Inter alia para. 77. Thomas
Declaration in support of Complaint para. 5l. C. 25, 26; AmC.
l4, 38, 39, 42.
44. Then DOI Secretary James Watt intended to unconstitutionally
prohibit demonstrations "that allow demonstrations and protesters
in Lafayette Park and in front of the White House on Pennsylvania
Avenue. My intention is to prohibit such activity and require
that they take place on the Ellipse." Exhibit 42, Memo from
James G. Watt, January 13, 1983. C. 35; AmC. l4, 2l, 43-45.
45. Around this same period defendants Bangert and Robbins,
in consort with defendants Fish, Watt, Parr, Lindsey, et al were
involving their "minds in meetings" for the object of
trying to ban all but "hand held signs" from the White
House sidewalk. Exhibit 43, Robbins letter to "the Reviewers"
dated February 25, l983; COMPARE inter alia paras 68 and
69. C. 25, 26; AmC. ll, 33, 42.
46. Prior to March 11, 1983 Thomas' signs were referred
to as "signs" by members of the Park Police, and the
Secret Service. e.g. Exhibit 44, report by Officer Shea 3-8-83,
and Exhibit 45, report by Officer Ferebee 3-10-83. C. 25, 26;
AmC. l4, 42, 45.
47. On or about March 9, l983, defendant Robbins' office,
without the formality of a regulation, issued a definition that
redesignated two of the "objects" previously recognized
as "signs" to be "structures," and initiated
a prearranged, concerted operation carried out by agents of defendant
Lindsey, the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police, by attempting
to remove all but "hand held signs" from the White House
sidewalk, radically altering the status quo. Lt. Merillat also
stated that he had received information approximately two days
before the arrest that the structures were to be removed from
the sidewalk." Exhibit 46-A, testimony of Lt. Merillat, USA
v. Thomas, USDC, CR 83-056, May 19, 1983 at 59; Exhibit 46-B,
Ibid., p. 64. C. 26, 93; AmC. 42.
48. On or about March 8, 1983 Thomas was threatened
with arrest by Captain Canfield of the D.C. Metropolitian Police
on a charge of "vagrancy." Exhibit 47, Declaration of
Arthur Spitzer, July 15, 1986; see also Exhibit l09, para.
2. AmC. 38.
49. On or about March 9, 1983 defendant Robbins met
with Secretary Watt in regard to the situation on the White House
sidewalk. Secretary Watt told him to "Keep up the good work."
Exhibit 48, Robbins testimony ERA v. Watt, December 6,
l983, at pages 50 and ll2. C. 35, 36, 39; AmC. l4, 56.
50. The "good" work proceeded according to
"I was summoned down there by the officials of the Uniformed
Secret Service and by members of the United States Park Police
to address a problem they were encountering with a protester...
and the Park Police apparently with the permission of the Solicitor
General of the United States had determined that this ... was
not a placard or a sign.
"Their intentions were to inform him to abate the
nuisance and move it off federal property. That's how I became
involved in it." Exhibit 49, defendant Canfield Grand Jury
testimony. C. 35, 36, 39; AmC. l4, 56.
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