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Brennan Center Submits Comments on NPS Proposal to Implement Fees and Restrictions on D.C. Protests

The Brennan Center submitted comments to the National Park Service on proposed changes to regulations governing protests in national parks in Washington, D.C. The proposed revisions would severely limit the First Amendment freedoms of demonstrators in our nation’s capital.

Published: October 16, 2018

The National Park Service recently announced proposed revisions to Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 7.96, regarding protests in national parks in the Washington, D.C. area. These considered changes would impose onerous restrictions on protesters in our nation’s capital, including by:

  • charging administrative fees to protestors;
  • severely limiting available protest areas around the White House and the Washington Monument, including reducing by 80% the iconic and historical protest area in front of the White House; and
  • placing onerous and overly-broad restrictions on the use of “structures” in demonstrations.

These proposed restrictions and burdens on core constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of assembly come amidst a worrying backdrop of other governmental attacks on First Amendment values, including attacks on the free press.

The Brennan Center opposes many of these proposed changes and outlined key areas of concern in comments submitted to the National Park Service on October 15, 2018. Those comments are available here