USDC Cr. No. 84-3552

     Plaintiff Pro Se    
versus                          CA 84-3552
                                Judge Louis Oberdorfer
UNITED STATES, et al     



Plaintiffs incorporate by reference Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Consolidation of the Hearing with Trial on the Merits, and for Summary Judgment, filed this date, Plaintiffs' Opposition to Federal Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record, Plaintiffs' Trial Brief, with Exhibits, and Declarations of William Thomas, Ellen Thomas, Robert Dorrough, and Charles Hyder, filed this date, and state:

On August 7, 1986, the Court (Judge Oberdorfer) affirmed the Magistrate's Order of July 9, 1986 denying plaintiffs'

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Default Judgment. [1]

Defendants' opposition to the Motion For Temporary Restraining Order was founded solely on the theory that:

"(T)he Court should not reach the (merits of the regulation) but should instead deny the TRO on the grounds that plaintiff cannot show any threat of immediate or irreparable harm." (Defendants' Opposition to Motion for TRO, filed June 20, 1986 at 2).

[1 Plaintiffs had considered the Motion For Default Judgment to be MOOT (see Plaintiffs' Reply To Federal Defendants' Response To Plaintiffs' Notice Of Appeal To Judge Oberdorfer, filed July 30, 1986 at 4). It is somewhat disconcerting that this Court has apparently denied a MOOT issue. However, plaintiffs request no clarification on this point.
Plaintiffs also believe that the Court should not yet reach the question of the merits of the regulations in considering this temporary restraining order, but should grant plaintiffs temporary relief from an alleged pattern of conduct which, if proven, and unchecked, would threaten the very fabric of constitutional democracy.]


"If your government suppresses the kind of protest in which you are involved it threatens the liberty of us all." (USA v. Thomas, CR 83-186, Judge Oberdorfer December 21, 1983.)

Simply because "(p)laintiff(s have) apparently complied with the regulation" (Defendants' Opposition to TRO, at 2) cannot be seen as a reasonable indication (a) that plaintiffs have not been injured, or (b) that some "legitimate" (ibid), but unspecified, balance has been struck. (See Second Declaration of William Thomas filed this date.)

Plaintiffs believe that the proposed Order (e.g. submitted with Amended Complaint October 16, 1985) accentuates the simplicity of the Complaint, and highlights the validity of the cause of action. (For the Court's convenience, that Order is once again attached hereto as 1.)

"The Secretary...cannot by his regulations alter or amend a law. All he can do is to regulate the mode of carrying into effect what Congress has enacted." (Morrill v. Jones, 106 US 467 (1882).)

Prior to the promulgation of 36 CFR 50.19(e)(11)(12) on April 4, 1986, plaintiffs had large signs and a speaker's platform in Lafayette Park which conformed to and were protected by the law, and enabled plaintiffs to communicate with the public.

"Present regulations allow demonstration activity, including the use of signs and placards, in Lafayette Park....

"(W)e are presently under tight legal constraints in this area....

"(W)e have put the individuals now demonstrating in Lafayette Park on notice that they must comply with regulations and permit conditions, prohibiting such activities as storage of property, injury to trees and grass, and construction of signs, or face arrest. To date we have received compliance and the Park is noticeably more attractive." (Robert Stanton, NPS Deputy Regional Director, October 5, 1984, Administrative Record at Vol. I, p. 35-36; written by defendant Bangert; see also Tr. Ex. 162.)

Subsequent to the promulgation of 36 CFR 50.19(e)(11)(12) (Tr. Ex. 176), possession of those signs at that location became illegal. Plaintiffs claim defendants engaged in an impermissible scheme intended to wrongfully color those signs as a "substantial government interest" without probable cause, that this alleged scheme extended to promoting a false, defamatory representation of plaintiffs' activities through the media, which had the effect of misrepresenting the nature and validity of their constructive expressive activities in the public eye, and resulted in plaintiffs' alienation in the public mind.

The Court is asked to also bear in mind that, assuming defendants have, over the years, denuded plaintiffs' activities of rightful legal protection, the only reasonable correllary is that defendants have also caused, engineered, or allowed plaintiffs' arrest, assault, and other abuses at the hands of their agents, and not for any probable cause, but simply because plaintiffs failed to comply with defendants' desire to rid the Park of plaintiffs' signs.

Now plaintiffs and their class (individuals and groups under 25) have, in an absolute sense, been deprived of the use of large signs and of speaker's platforms -- a conventional form of expression -- in Lafayette Park -- a traditional public forum. It is true that defendants have attempted to justify the April 4, 1986 regulations with a twelve volume "administrative record"; however, as plaintiffs have pointed out, that "record" chronicles, for the most part, the activities of an individual named William Hale. Plaintiffs assert no rights with respect to the majority of Mr. Hale's specific activities, allege the Park Service had fully adequate regulatory power to address those situations, and wonder why they didn't. (See Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike the Administrative Record, filed March 2l, l986; see also Tr. Ex. 70, e.g.)


It should be noted that plaintiffs' ongoing struggle is not represented as the beginning of the controversy articulated in WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE v. MORTON (Restatement of Claim para. 8). Unless the Court intervenes, it seems to plaintiffs that the controversy will have been finally decided through the abdignation of judicial responsibility to defend harmless, socially-beneficial individual expression against administrative censorship under the guise of "content neutral" regulation.

Allegedly the beginning would have been the selective enforcement of the "camping regs" to interfere with plaintiffs' activities. The middle, allegedly accomplished through concerted deceit, was the deprivation of plaintiffs' right to place signs and, to all practical extents, to maintain a constant reproachful "presence" on the White House sidewalk.

"(S)ince the Park Service enacted certain restrictions concerning signs and personal property on the White House sidewalk, many (sic) persons who regularly protested there moved across the street and undertook semi-permanent protesting in the park." (Memorandum of Law in Support of Federal Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record, filed March 20, 1986, at 3.)

Now, under color of regulation, defendants have terminated the effective exercise of plaintiffs' vocation at a site which they themselves suggested (see X Document page 29, Judge Bryant; see also Fed.Reg. June 17, 1983, 36 CFR 50.19(e)(9)(10)), and where similar behavior has long enjoyed the protection of the law. Today defendants have banished the effective communication of plaintiffs' message from a site long recognized as privileged. It appears to be self-evident that if the court continues to allow the allegedly wrongful regulatory scheme to take swipes at plaintiffs' effective nonviolent communication and expression today, then the precedent will have been set to banish all dissenting opinions from the eyes and ears of society tomorrow.

"Unless this Court draws the line here there will be no line, and no lawyer will think twice when the next regulation bans all signs from the Memorial Core Parks ... and then from all Federal lands everywhere." (Amended Complaint, filed October 16, 1985, para. 224.)

Hopefully, for the sake of justice, freedom of belief and expression,the Court will recognize that the issue here is not whether the Interior Department may regulate camping (36 CFR 50.27(a)), or whether the Secret Service or White House have a substantial interest in presidential security and aesthetics (36 CFR 50.19)e)(9)(10)), or even whether NPS has a substantial interest in aesthetics alone (36 CFR 50.19(e)(11)(12)).

Plaintiffs' claim is that defendants have utilized the guise of "substantial interests," deceiving the public, the Courts of this District and the Supreme Court in the process, as a pretext under which to color plaintiffs' protected, effective, and harmless communication activity as "criminal," and "placing administrative policy above the law" by engineering the selective application of regulations against plaintiffs, thereby subjecting them to social ostracization, emotional distress, and treatment reserved for criminal behavior as punishment for plaintiffs' insistence on conveying their message -- which is in opposition to this administration's policies -- then we are not talking about the same issue. Unless the Court recognizes this fact, plaintiffs cannot imagine how this process might bring about a "civilized" resolution to this controversy.


Perhaps plaintiffs and society have not been irreparably injured through loss of the equal protection of the law, and the Constitutional protection long accorded to expressive conduct in a traditional, time honored public forum (e.g. QUAKER ACTION GROUP series of cases, USA v. ABNEY, et al., USDC, cites omitted), but plaintiffs fail to understand how.

Assuming the validity of plaintiffs' allegation, as the Court should, (Reuber v. USA, 750 F2d 1060, 1061), at this juncture the only question plaintiffs can perceive is whether the alleged combination of "mindless bureaucracy and totalitarian police state tactics" (see Complaint p. 111) constitutes irreparable injury to "individual freedom and personal excellence." (Ibid.)

In the interests of understanding and a civilized resolution to controversy, plaintiffs pray the Court will clarify in what way, explicitly, they have failed to show irreparable injury.

To plaintiffs the question is not whether this regulation causes proximate harm to an individual; rather, they ask how a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal can conceivably endure under a mindless scheme of administrative regulatory abuse cloaked under "content neutrality." This is all the clarification plaintiffs ask.


In light of the foregoing plaintiffs ask the Court to reconsider Motion for Temporary Restraining Order filed June 19, 1986.

Respectfully submitted this 22nd day of September, 1986.

William Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
1440 N Street NW, #410, DC 20005
(202) 462-3542

Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park