Letter from William Thomas 1/25/93
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038
January 25, 1993
Secretary of Agriculture
14th and Independence S.W. Rm. 200-A
Washington, D.C. 20250
ATT: Ron Blackley
Dear Mr. Espy,
Congratulations on your new position. I am praying that you will
use your increased power with wisdom, because only wisdom will
contribute to a more perfect union.
You will probably agree that without freedom to assemble,
"freedom of thought" and "freedom of speech" -- the true
keystones of any democracy -- become hollow phrases.
Many who voted for President Clinton believe that Reagan/Bush
policy promoted the regulatory suppression of free thought and
expression, and greatly diminished the First Amendment. They
hope this administration will reverse that trend of abuse.
For much of the past seven years the National Forest Service, one
of the agencies within Agriculture, has repeatedly (albeit, thank
God, unsuccessfully) attempted to implement a regulatory scheme
which. in any real terms, would eliminate the right of Americans
to freely assemble on "public lands." United States v. Israel,
No. Cr-86-027- TUC-RMB (May 10, 1986; 53 Fed. Reg. 16548 (May 10,
1988), amending 36 C.F.R. Sec. 251.50 et seq, (1987); United
States v. The Rainbow Family, 694 F. Supp. 294, (June 1, 1989, J.
Justice, USED Tex. CA No. L-88-68); 55 Fed. Reg. 8498 (March 8,
1990), and related draft of proposed amendment to 36 CFR 251
submitted to OMB (February 22, 1990).
Somehow NFS has managed to obtain an exemption from ex-President
Bush's moratorium non-essential regulations, and Don Arbuckle
(395-7340) at OMB is currently considering the Bush
administration's last gasp effort to subvert the First Amendment
and restrict peaceable assemblies on public lands.
I"d like to think that the defunct administration has tried to
slide one last fast one past the American public before the new
administration even knows what's going on.
You have an opportunity to nip this affront to democracy in the
bud, and reverse the authoritarian bent of your predecessors.
Please rescind this rulemaking proposal as soon as you are able.
In service to the Spirit of Understanding,
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