MARY HUDDLE and PHILIP JOSEPH, et. al., ) ) Plaintiffs, Pro Se ) ) CA 88-3130-JHG versus ) ) Judge Joyce Hens Green RONALD WILSON REAGAN, et. al., ) ________________________________________)
I, William Thomas, hereby declare under penalty of perjury, that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and recollection:
1. During March, 1983, defendant James Watt (ex-DOI) acted in consort with defendant Richard Robbins (DOI) to deprive me of civil rights under color of then nonexistent federal regulations. At trial before Federal District Court Judge William B. Bryant, Robbins testified that at a meeting to discuss the development of 36 CFR 50.19(e)(9)(10), Watt told Robbins to "keep up the good work." (ERA v. Watt, USDC CA 83-1243, Dec. 14, 1983, Transcript p. 112; Judge Bryant's Memorandum Opinion dated April 26, 1984.)
2. Subsequently, on or about March 8, 1983, defendant Richard Robbins (DOI) acted in consort with unknown "White House Counsel" to deprive me of civil rights under color of then non-existent federal regulations. There were also meetings with Robbins to inform the "White House Counsel" of the status of 36 CFR 50.19(e)(9)(10).
3. On or about March 9, 1983, defendant Michael Canfield (DCPD), after consulting with unknown Secret Service officials and/or U.S. Park Police officials and/or D.C. Police Department officials, under color of a nonexistent DCC regulation ("vagrancy"), threatened Concepcion and me with arrest and imprisonment.
4. On March 11, 1983, U.S. Park Police Lt. Christopher Merillat and Captain Crockett, DOI Solicitors Richard Robbins and Patricia Bangert, acting in consort with unknown US Park Police (USPP), Secret Service (USSS), Department of Interior (DOI) and National Park Service (NPS) officials, under color of 36 CFR 50.19 "unlawful structures," force of arms, and traditions, customs, and ritual, deprived me of civil rights and caused the removal of my papers, signs, and person from the sidewalk and the park, without probable cause.
5. Early on March 11, 1983, the signs were in front of the Old Executive Office Building, where Concepcion and I had spent every night of the winter -- rain, snow, and cold -- outside with the signs to insure that they would be on the sidewalk during the day.
6. As Lt. Merillat testified, "(O)n March 11 I observed the structures which were in front of the Executive Office Building, which is not Park Service jurisdiction. (USA v. Thomas, USDC CR 83-0056, May 19, 1983 transcript (hereinafter May 1983 TR), p. 58.)
"The Revelation sign had been there for quite some time." (Ibid.)
"They were stationed right in front of the Executive Office Building on the area of Metropolitan Police jurisdiction." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 42.)
"At about 9:00 the structures were pushed down the sidewalk..."
"...across West Executive Avenue by Ms. Concepcion, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Dorrough..."
"...Midway down the sidewalk...the parties who were pushing the structures ... started to remove signs and placards to represent a dissatisfaction of some sort." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 45.)
"Mr. Thomas immediately left the area. At that particular time myself, Sgt. Flockhart, a Solicitor's Office representative and two officers approached Ms. Concepcion and Mr. Dorrough. I asked her whether the structures belonged to her. She replied that they were co-owned with Mr. Thomas." (Ibid. Merillat, 47-48.)
"I advised her that ... she would have to move the structures from the sidewalk or she would be placed under arrest and the structures would be removed." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 47.)
-- They are not "structures." They are my signs. And I have protection of the First Amendment. -- Concepcion recalls saying.
"... reluctantly ... very slowly..." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 73.)
"...methodically, she finally got the structure back across onto the Metropolitan jurisdiction, off of the National Park Service jurisdiction." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 47.)
-- Long live King Ronnie! -- Concepcion recalls saying.
"Mr. Thomas returned to the scene and immediately asked why the structures were removed from the area where he left them. I advised Mr. Thomas that if he brought -- the structures were in violation of 36 CFR and that if he brought them back to the sidewalk he would be arrested." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 48.)
-- These aren't "structures." They are obviously signs. However, if you insist on referring to them as something other than signs I would be willing to compromise on "hand powered vehicles," but there is no regulation against hand powered vehicles. -- I responded.
-- We have determined that they are structures and if you bring them back onto the sidewalk you will be arrested. -- said Lt. Merillat (my recollection).
-- What about the other smaller signs? Will you let me bring those back on the sidewalk? -- I asked.
-- Only hand held signs are allowed on the White House sidewalk -- replied defendant Bangert.
-- There is no regulation limiting signs on the sidewalk to being hand held; by whose authority are you doing this? -- I demanded.
-- We don't have to tell you anything. -- responded DOI Asst. Sol. Robbins, hiding behind Lt. Merillat. (My recollection.) (See Merillat's recollection, Tr. pp. 57 and 70.)
-- I have a constitutionally protected right to express my ideas in front of the White House. -- (My recollection.)
"Miss Concepcion and Mr. Dorrough were directed to remove the signs, which they did. Don't bring them back," said Lt. Merillat. (Ibid., Merillat, p. 75.)
-- You know there is no regulation which limits signs on the White House sidewalk to being hand held. -- (My recollection.)
"You are probably correct, sir." (Ibid., Merillat, p. 71.)
-- And you claim to uphold the Constitution? -- (My recollection.)
7. "The structures remained in front of the Executive Office Building. Myself and several officers remained in the area. I was in consert (sic) with Captain Canfield of the Second District of the Metropolitan Police Department." (Inter alia, para. 3) "At which time Captain Canfield was trying to get the General Counsel from the District of Columbia to authorize him to remove the structures. It was approximately one hour, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes before Mr. Canfield received approval from General Counsel to have the structures removed and to abate the nuisance." (Ibid. Merillat, p. 50.)
8. Lt. Merillat explained to me that unless he removed his signs he would be arrested for having "unlawful living accommodations on Corporation Council property." I asked why he was being informed as to violations of the D.C. Code by an official from another jurisdiction. Lt. Merillat then introduced Capt. Canfield, explaining that Capt. Canfield would advise me to the same effect, which Capt. Canfield did. (Compare Merillat's testimony, pp. 50-52.)
9. I faced my tormentors and explained to them why they could make no pretensions, logically, to devotion to the ideals of freedom of individual belief and expression.
10. I asked Captain Canfield whether this meant that he had to take the signs to the Kremlin.
11. Concepcion had claimed co-ownership of the signs with me. (Ibid. Merillat, pp. 47-48.)
Concepcion pled with the U.S. Park Police not to remove her signs from Corporation Council property as Robert Dorrough looked on.
"The Disgrace sign" was loaded on a Park Service vehicle prior to removal from Corporation Council property. (AUSA Marcy, TR p. 54. Photos courtesy of U.S. Park Police archives.)
12. On March 13, 1983, Private J.R. James (USPP), acting in consort with USPP Sgt. Hall and unknown USPP and Secret Service officials under color of 36 CFR 50.l9 ("unlawful structure"), seized a cart (the alleged "unlawful structure") as well as other signs and literature, and arrested, handcuffed, and transported me to the substation, where I was booked and imprisoned. Charges were dropped.
13. On March 15, 1983, DCPD Officer Minzak, acting in consort with DCPD Officer Jones and other unknown DCPD officials, under color of "checking for a warrant" in connection with the incident of March 11, 1983 detained me, handcuffed, and caused my person to be transported to the Second District substation, where I was incarcerated. Officer Minzak finally charged me with "disorderly conduct," although I had not been disorderly.
14. On April 22, 1983, defendant Manus J. Fish (NPS) acted in consort with defendants Richard Robbins and Patricia Bangert (DOI Solicitors), Director of Public Affairs Sandra Alley (NPS), to violate the Administrative Proceedure Act 5 USC 553. See, Judge Bryant's Memorandum Opinion, CA 83-1234, April __, 1983, p. __.)
15. On April 27, 1983, Private Murray (USPP), acting in consort with defendants Robbins and Bangert (DOI), Lt. Christopher Merillat (USPP), defendant J.C. Lindsey (USPP), and unknown DOI, NPS or USPP officials, under color of 36 CFR 50.l9(e)(9)(10), arrested me and seized my signs. Charges were dropped.
16. On or about May 3, 1983, defendant Jerry Parr (USSS) acted in consort with defendant J.C. Lindsey (USPP) and unknown USSS, NPS or DOI officials, to justify 36 CFR 50.l9(e)(9)(10) by creating the false the impression that "signs on the White House sidewalk threatened "presidential security." Together Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Parr submitted a total of five sworn affidavits, and gave similar testimony, under oath, claiming that one of my signs had been used by an intruder to scale the fence, an incident which never happened. See, Judge Bryant's Memorandum Opinion, CA 83-1234, April __, 1983, p. __.)
17. In an attempt to call the attention of Mr. Parr and Mr. Lindsey to the fact that they were obviously not telling the truth, I climbed onto the White House fence, without a sign. I was arrested, by the USSS, and charged with "unlawful entry," although I had not entered the White House grounds. As it happened, the SS had a video tape of the entire episode, which
18. On or about February 19, 20, and 21, 1985 Ellen and I were repeatedly harassed and photographed by Park Police officers Duckworth and Bonn, and many others.
19. During March, 1985 the Park Police, through their attorney, agreed to preserve the photographs and video-tape taken by officers Duckworth and Bonn on or about February 19, 20, and 21, 1985. Unfortunately those photographs and video-tapes have since also been purportedly destroyed.
20. On July 12, 1988 at about 1000 hrs. it was raining when I arrived at the signs in Lafayette Park, riding my bicycle, wearing my packback, and transporting a carton containing 100 copies of a book entitled PlanetHood which I had just picked up at the Post Office.
21. Scott Galindez was lying under a piece of plastic.
22. Two unidentified Park Police officials, who looked to be lieutenants, were standing in the immediate vicinity.
23. I asked them whether everything was in order.
24. One official gave me a blank stare. The other replied: "We're just looking around."
25. "And I am just wanting to make sure that I am not doing anything wrong," I replied.
26. The second official indicated that everything seemed in order.
27. Because it was raining, I sat under the plastic and began reading the morning newspaper. The officials remained in
28. At approximately 1700 hrs. I was still at the same location on the south sidewalk of Lafayette Park across the street from the White House.
29. I observed U.S. Park Police private Berkowitz walk past my location carrying what appeared to be a 35mm camera. When I then observed private Fornshill following private Berkowitz, I asked: "What are you guys up to?" I made a conscious effort to speak in a friendly, light-hearted manner.
30. "I'm up to about 5' 11". and she's up to about 5' 7"," Private Fornshill replied.
31. "I see that, but I was wondering what you are doing with that camera," I clarified.
32. "She's taking pictures for her scrapbook," Private Fornshill claimed.
33. "On government time?" I asked.
34. "Yeah," Private Fornshill affirmed.
35. I noticed that Concepcion Picciotto, approximately 40 feet distant from my location, was talking to two female passersby, then I sat down between the signs at my location.
36. After a few minutes the two females who I had seen talking to Concepcion approached me. They were both holding what I recognized as literature which Concepcion passes out.
37. "Why are those police bothering her? What are they doing?" one of the women asked me. They both appeared to be nervous and hurried off down the sidewalk.
38. I stood up to see the two officers walking around Concepcion's location, taking pictures from various angles.
39. I then called to Robert Dorrough to attend the signs at my location, and went to Concepcion, got her camera, and began photographing the police phothgraphers.
40. I then returned to my location.
41. A short time later privates Berkowitz and Fornshill began photographing me and the signs at my location from numerous angles.
42. Because it had been raining intermittently during the day, a piece of plastic was partially covering the literature and paperwork at my location. At one point I voluntarily uncovered several articles so the officers could photograph the contents.
43. "You want to show us anything else?" Officer Berkowitz asked.
44. "I have no secrets. Look at whatever you want," I replied.
45. After photographing my location, the privates proceeded to the east end of the park and began photographing Robert Dorrough's location.
46. Once their photography was completed the two officers began lounging about in the vicinity of their cruiser, which had been parked in the "No Parking No Standing Zone" just a short distance from my location.
47. There were quite a few individuals standing around the vicinity of my signs, a number of whom were signing a petition.
48. I approached the two privates, who were still loitering
around their car, and asked them to photograph the signs with all the individuals gathered around signing the petition. I ex-plained that what was transpiring was an integral aspect of my location, and that if they were making a report of any kind it should reflect all the circumstances.
49. "We're out of film," Officer Fornshill said.
50. "Okay, wait a minute," I suggested, grabbed a petition blank from my location, and offered it to the officers.
51. "I don't want that." Each said, as I offered it to them in turn.
52. "I think you should have it because it relates to what you were photographing," I explained.
53. "Well, we're not taking it," Private Fornshill insisted.
54. "Maybe you'll change your mind later," I said, and very quietly tucked the petition into the partially open window of their cruiser.
55. As I started to back away Officer Fornshill grabbed my left arm and private Berkowitz grabbed my right arm. They threw me up against the car, handcuffed me, and said I was under arrest for disorderly conduct.
56. When I overheard the privates conspiring to seize the signs and literature from my location, I explained to both of them - each individually, and both together - that the signs and literature represented a group effort, that some of the individuals present at the signs were a part of that effort, and that the signs and literature should not be seized because I was relinquishing any claims of ownership to James McGuiness, who was
then attending the signs.
57. Private Fornshill ignored me. Private Berkowitz said, "I'm not listening to you."
58. During the booking process at the D-1 sub-station private Berkowitz was as rude and disrespectful to me as any police officer has ever been. (Paras. 20-58, written 7-13-88.)
Under penalty of perjury
this ____ day of November, 1988,
Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
1440 N Street, N.W. Apt. 410
Washington, D.C. 20005