June 24, 1984
White House Officials Destroy Protest Signs
WASHINGTON Federal officials Saturday dismantled gaudy billboards d protest signs -that were visible from inside the White House, citing the technicality that demonstrators manning them had fallen asleep and were camping illegally in Lafayette Square.
U.S. Park Police watch commander Lt. Paul Bolton said five people were arrested Saturday for snoozing in the park across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, and after they were taken away, the signs were under one's control.
"There was nobody there to leave the signs with. who claimed to be with the demonstration, so we are responsible for everything," Lt. Bolton said.
Through the morning, work crews under supervision of the Park Police broke down and carted away the approximately 12 signs at least one of them painted on a wooden platform the size of a small billboard.
"God is Absolute, the sign read in Dayglo orange.
The signs, "one of them depicted nuclear holocaust, had been . there for months along with a rotating group of protesters. demonstrating on Issues from disarmament So treatment of the homeless . . "
The people who were occupying the space set aside for demonstrations where violation of camping regulations," Lt. Bolton said. "They were asleep, they had personal gear and foodstocks, and that s a violation . the misdemeanor charge carries a $50 fine
The signs were clearly visible from the north portico of the White House and from through the windows of the State Floor, used for official parties and state dinners.
A case is pending before the Supreme Court on the issue of whether "street people" have the right to sleep in a "Reaganville" camp in the park as a form of free speech protesting conditions for the homeless.
Exhibit 23 D