Rainbow/Legaliaison Update 2/25/93
A campfire classic, by Woody Guthrie. "Freedom, freedom." Richie Havens,
Woodstock in 1969. Beijing, Chinese students, 1989, "They've denied us the
right to assemble." Without the freedom to assemble, freedom of thought and
expression are merely academic. If the National Forest Service has its' wish
Woody's dream could turn into the Chinese students' nightmare.
During the past seven years the National Forest Service has repeatedly
attempted to implement a regulation which would eliminate the RIGHT TO
FREELY ASSEMBLE ON "PUBLIC LANDS." United States v. Israel, No.
Cr-86-027- TUC-RMB. May 10, 1986; United States v. The Rainbow Family,
694 F. Supp. 294, June 1, 1989, J. Justice, USED Tex. CA No. L-88-68.
As the Reagan/Bush decade drew to a close it left behind a regulatory scheme
intended to transform the "right" of peaceable assembly on public lands, into
a "privilege" subject to the government's whim. Marian Connolly
(703-235-1488), who wrote this regulation, summed it up by stating the rule,
"is designed to allow the government a control over who uses the lands."
The proposed regulation has been kept secret by USFS. Freedom of
Information Act requests for a copy have been denied on the grounds that it is
"a predecisional document the disclosure of which would chill the free and
frank exchange of views within the Executive branch." It is clear, however,
that the proposal would amend "36 CFR 251 and 261." 36 CFR 261.1b states:
"Any violations of Part 261 shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500
or imprisonment for not more than six months or both."
This appeal suggests that writing letters AND making phone calls are important.
Lobbyists say a letter is worth ten phone calls. The Clinton administration should
consider whether government restriction of PEACEABLE ASSEMBLIES ON
PUBLIC LANDS truly serves the interests of a free society. It is suggested that
the letter writing campaign begin IMMEDIATELY.
FEBRUARY 25, 1993
Forest Service Proposed Curb on Freedom of
Public Assembly on Public Lands.
FOR INFORMATION: William Thomas
Telephone (202) 265-5389
PO Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038
'THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, THIS LAND IS MY LAND...
This regulation would set a precedent that could affect all forms of First
Amendment activity, from Boy Scout Jamborees to class reunions and sporting
events to electronic media.
COPY AND CIRCULATE. CONTACT:
Domestic Policy Advisor
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Secretary of Agriculture
ATT: Ron Blackley
14th & Independence SW 200-A
Washington, D.C. 20250
Thomas, D.C. Legaliaison
P.O. Box 27217, Washington, D.C. 20038
or call (202) 265-5389
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