Declaration in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


     William Thomas, et. al.       |          C.A. No. 94-2747
           Plaintiffs pro se,      |          Judge Charles R. Richey
                                   |
               v.                  |
                                   |
     The United States, et. al.    |
           Defendants.             |

WILLIAM THOMAS' DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO RECONSIDER THE COURT'S AUGUST 23, 1995 ORDER

Pursuant to local Rule 106(h), I, William Thomas, hereby declare that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and recollection.

1. I have witnessed many demonstrations in Lafayette Park in which structures, which would otherwise have been in violation of structure and/or sign regulations were allowed in pursuant to a Park Service permit.

2. For just one of many possible examples to which I should be permitted to testify in a fact finding hearing, during April, 1993 a health care demonstration took place which included large structure, sheltering 16 television sets arranged in such a manner as to produce one large picture, and was topped by a sign approximately twelve feet above the ground. See, Exhibit 1, hereto.

3. When I filed this Complaint on December 20, 1995, it was with the reasonable assumption that "2 signs" and "2 flags" was nonspeech conduct protected by the Constitution.

4. This assumption is based on the facts that (1) the flags and signs have been displayed in exactly the same manner every day for many years, and (2) for many years,

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since at least 1988, the Park Service has regularly issued permits allowing "2 signs" and "2 flags," which where religiously displayed each day in the same manner.

5. The first official "notice" I received that the configuration of "2 signs" and "2 flags" violated permit conditions did not arrive until Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, January 23, 1995, Exhibit 1, Randolph Myers' letter, cf. Declaration of William Thomas (December 12, 1994), 17.

6. The December 17, 1995 incident described in the complaint ( 14) was just one of several threatening, intimidating confrontations engineered by Officers O'Neill and Keness, while they knew the permit existed. Although only brief reference was made to the previous incidents (Declaration, December 22, 1995, 12), the other incidents are material to the pattern and practice. Under the rules of notice pleading, I think, a reference to the previous occasions was sufficient to leave the substance of the incidents to the discretion of a jury.

7. I worship the Source of Life, Creator of elemental reality. I.e., "Actual reality" United States v. Thomas, 864 F.2d 188, 192.

8. But, I do not mean to insinuate that I "know the Truth." I only profess to speak an accurate representation of reality as I perceive it, and to profess it as consistently as possible, so long as consistency remains appropriate.

9. Although unable to claim detailed knowledge of "the Unknowable," I do have first hand knowledge of my own motives. From my perspective it seems clear,

"there are many different concepts of reality, but a concept of reality doesn't change the actual reality.... There is a real plane and an imaginary plane, and when we live on the imaginary plane, it causes chaos. And that is why, it seems to me, the world is in the mess it is in, festering with war, crime, cruelty,

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starvation, poverty, oppression and assorted petty personal problems." [1] Third Motion for Sanctions (February 9, 1995), Exhibit 1, Boston Globe, article ("Globe article"), August, 1981.

10. Being only human my physical perceptions of actual reality are limited to the impressions of my senses, subject to the interpretations of my mind, within the framework of my personal experience. [2]

11. I have no formal training in theoretical physics. To the best of my understanding conventional wisdom agrees theorizes that elements (it is widely thought there are about 100 of these "elements") are actually composed of sub-atomic particles ("mesons," "neutrinos," "photons," "quarks," "wavicles," "anti-photons," "anti-neutrinos," and many others), which, most theorists postulate, are really not "matter" so much as different manifestations of energy ("actual reality"). But I've never seen any of these things, and am only writing what I recall having read, maybe not even accurately.

12. I have spent lengthy periods in other countries, and interacted with humans from many cultures, religious, political and ideological persuasions, I can honestly say that I have seen many manifestations of life, but that would be much different than saying I had seen the Source of Life.

13. Consequently, while I am free to say, "I worship the Source of Life, and


[1 My perception of reality relies to a considerable degree on current news media reports. Accordingly, it has recently been reported that since the beginning of my vigil, the number of people in prison has increased (from 500,000 to 1,500,000), and, of course, many of us are still so terrified that we perceive a necessity to fortify our homes. See, Thomas v. Clinton, USDC CA. No. 95-1018]

[2 Moreover, in my experience, sensory data have sometimes proven deceptive, which has led to the conclusion that I sometimes can't believe my eyes, or ears.]

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Creator of the elements," a strong prima facie argument can be made that I don't really know "What" I am talking about. E.g. News World, at 60), or that I am "yelling fire" in a crowded theater. See, Third Motion for Sanctions (R-49), Exhibit 6, pg. 67.

14. My personal perception of reality also draws heavily upon widely recognized, long established Judeo-Christian religious tradition, e.g.,

15. The peacemakers shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9.

16. As you do unto others, it shall be done unto you. Eg., Luke 6:31.

17. Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come, let us reason together though our sins are as scarlet through honest dialogue, they may be made white as snow. Isaiah 1: 17, 18.

18. Based on those and other [3] established theological principles I have founded certain fundamental beliefs, on the bottom line:


[3 E.g., "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for itself." Matthew 6:24-34.]

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"Given the option of living my life in decadent luxury at the expense of my fellow creatures, or voluntarily laying it down in the service of truth, Justice and Freedom, I would choose the later. I entreat those who understand my words to confront the evils of the nation-state by gathering at the White House to pray for Reason and Sanity and an End to War in illustration of the ideals of non-violence." Exhibit 2.

19. Based upon these sincerely held beliefs it appears to me that there are two possibilities. First, I have something of value to communicate to my fellow human creatures, [5] or, second, I'm totally out of touch with actual reality. [6]

20. I deny being a "lunatic." Thomas v News World Communications, 681 F. Supp. 55, 65.

21. Even assuming I'm crazy, I'm neither a danger to myself or others. In either event, I believe reason can help show who is actually mistaken, and to what extent, thus helping everyone draw a step closer to "Peace through Understanding" (Thomas v News World Communications, 681 F. Supp. 55, 69). I've consistently stated:

22. Being of sound mind, I know it is absolutely beyond question that my own


[4 A major consideration in the site of Lafayette Park is the Park's centrality as a point for public assembly. Integral to the establishment of a religion is the right to gather together. "Where three or more are gathered together..." Matthew 18:20.]

[5 I sincerely believe that, in significant respects, my vigil in the Park is somewhat analogous to the biblical story of Jonah. God wished Jonah to tell the Ninevites to repent. Jonah decided he wold not do as God wished, but would go in another direction. Despite Jonah's best efforts to be elsewhere, circumstances beyond his control spit him up on the shores of Ninevah. Like Jonah I went to extremes to avoid the nation where destiny placed me. But, like Jonah, now that I'm here I think I must urge the denizens of this great nation to repent. Not to say I mistake myself for Jonah, but he's the type of person I admire.]

[6 My vigil, in the "streets .. in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates" (supra, ftn. 4), a task to which I believe, the Creative Force of the Universe has directed me.]

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purpose for maintaining a "continuous presence" was to actively symbolize commitment and dedication consistent with my words about "living my life in decadent luxury at the expense of my fellow creatures." It is my purpose to symbolize this commitment by living without accommodations.

23. Because of my poverty, signs are the only method available to me for communicating directly with the general public on issues of broad public concern.

"There is only one reason I bother to talk to other people: to provoke them into thinking about the existence of God, because if they believe there is no justice beyond what we can see in one lifetime, then the rule of the earth will continue to be Might makes Right - and it isn't. To me God is (Logos)." Globe article.

24. Aside from the symbolic value of my vigil, there are three pragmatic communicative values to the (religious) exercise of a "continuous presence."

25. First, in a world of competing notions of reality, the successful communicant of a particular notion must be credible. The steadfast consistency publicly demonstrated by my continuous presence has helped to build worldwide credibility for the concepts which I espouse. See, Third Motion for Sanctions (February 9, 1995), Exhibit 2, generally.

26. Second, assuming the message I seek to communicate has some intrinsic value, wildly popular, apparently mistaken perceptions of reality preclude widely shared public acceptance of the message, however my continuous availability "for clarification of actual reality" (United States v. Thomas and Thomas, 864 F.2d 188, 192) increases the likelihood that the message will be understood. [7]


[7 For example, around two a.m. one morning during the summer of 1981 a group of George Washington University students walked past my vigil. They were coming from the Ebbitt Grill, where they'd been imbibing some alcoholic beverages, and began mocking me, calling names and making hostile comments. I drew them into a conversation, they sat on the sidewalk, and we engaged in conversation for nearly three hours when I asked one of them about his goals in life. A young man, named Joe Tanzi, told me that he wanted more than anything to ease human suffering and leave the world a more compassionate place than he'd found it. When he told me that he was majoring in economics, I asked if he seriously believed that a job based on an education in economic theory would help to realize his stated goals. He began explaining why he believed that economic theory would help build a more compassionate world, and I asked questions. At last I asked a question which seemed to strike a personal note, because Mr. Tanzi jumped up and started cursing at me. His friends all got up and they continued walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, toward their dormitory, shouting insults as they went.

One afternoon, about six months later, Mr. Tanzi returned to the same place on the sidewalk, where I was still sitting. "You might not remember me," He said, "but last summer I came by here and talked to you for a long time. When I left I was very angry at you. But I keep thinking about some of the things you said. I can't say that I agree with all that you said, but I'm not sure that I understood everything you were saying. I was wondering whether you would mind if I asked you some questions."

This began a relationship which continued for several years until Mr. Tanzi completed his post graduate studies, and moved out of town.]

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27. Third, I perceive myself as an individual, trapped in a very negative reality, who has come to terms with that reality. As I see it, my vigil stands in contrast to an Orwellian philosophy which pursues peace through war; truth, justice, freedom and equality through money; and a "voodoo economic" (ex-President George Bush, 1980 Presidential election) system which places a higher premium on dollars than on life. Of course, I may be mistaken, but I have only been expressing these opinions in a public place, a far cry from falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

28. We are not merely misfits, sitting on a sidewalk, ranting, "Repent, the End is Near," on the contrary, we are simultaneously engaged in pursuing change within the established political system. Second Declaration of Ellen Thomas, March 20, 1995.

29. To whatever extent Proposition One is a "political" activity, my personal

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involvement in the activity is animated by the spiritual motive of promoting the interests of life and love in the name of Peace through Reason. The incorporation of Proposition One to the forum of my vigil, I sincerely believe, is nothing more than a material exercise toward the realization of those spiritual goals.

Respectfully submitted this 5th day of September, 1995.

______________________
William Thomas
2817 11th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
202-462-0757