PEACE PARK ANTINUCLEAR VIGIL
POB 27217, Washington, DC 20038
April 28, 1986
Donald P. Hodel
Secretary of the Interior
18th and C Street NW
Dear Mr. Hodel:
On "May 3 to 5," we have been repeatedly warned, the US Park Police plan on "issuing citations" and beginning confiscations and/or arrests of vigilers under the new DOI regulation, 36 CFR 50.l9(e)(1)).
We have attempted, under extremely difficult weather conditions, to comply with the new and existing regulations in the context of a 24-hour peace vigil in Lafayette Park. However, as you can see from the attached "Plea ... for Administrative Integrity," there is considerable confusion on the part of the US Park Police as to what precisely is to be interpreted as a violation.
The Peace Park vigilers, who have maintained continuous vigils from two months to five years, have tried since publication of the new regulation on March 5 to arrange a meeting with National Park Service, DOI and US Park Police officials to clarify various points of contention regarding interpretation of the regulations, to no avail. Today we received a flat "No" from the NPS Department of Public Affairs, instructed by Richard Robbins and Patricia Bangert, DOI Solicitors responsible for writing the three regulations which the Park Police are having difficulty interpreting Several of us have attempted to meet with these Solicitor since July 1984 to obtain definitions, also to no avail.
Since we are in imminent danger of losing our signs and literature, and may in fact be jailed because of the police officers' confusion, we seek a meeting with you as soon as possible -- preferably this week, prior to the threatened "May 3 to 5" -- believing that this is the only avenue remaining open to us to reach an understanding with the NPS, DOI, and US Park Police which will allow us to continue our harmless peace vigil without further unwarranted and unnecessary harassment. We are sure you will agree that this is our right as dedicated members of the public exercising our First Amendment rights, protected by the Constitution these officials have sworn to protect.
We will call your office Wednesday to arrange a meeting. We will appreciate any relief you choose to order in the meantime to free us from oppressive interpretations by police officers eager to enforce the reeulations, or under orders to do so by their superiors.
/s/W. Thomas /s/Ellen Thomas