Public Gathering Permits
After finding refuge
from ideological persecution in the wilderness of the "New
World," the people who founded this country would be shocked and aghast at a current National Forest
Service power/land grab. In September, 1995 FS published a final
"group use" rule to criminalize the assembly of more than 75
people without a FS permit in any National Forest.
Although this rule might not seem to be a serious imposition
on the people of this country, it is important to consider that
NO PERMIT REQUIREMENTS PREVIOUSLY EXISTED TO RESTRICT FREEDOM OF
ASSEMBLY IN THE NATIONAL FORESTS. There is a reason for that.
Until this rule, and ever since this country began, every
person has had the "right" to "peaceably assemble" on public
forest lands. A "right", like assembly, is and has always been
distinguished from a "privilege," like driving.
This regulation is very much like the law" that made Robin
Hood an "outlaw," and would invest the Forest Service with legal
authority to say, "DISPERSE YE REBELS," and, like the British at
Lexington, open fire, if that is determined to be what
enforcement officials like to call "reasonable force."