The National Parks Service is proposing a restrictive, expensive, and unjustified expansion limits on free speech on land in Washington, DC. For the first time, the U.S. government wants demonstrators to pay to use our parks, sidewalks and streets to engage in free speech in the nation’s capital. This should be called what it is: a protest tax. And it’s not just that. They are also proposing changes that would allow them to:

  • End a protest at any time for a perceived violation of a permit
  • Limit protests at the Martin Luther King Memorial
  • Add uncertainty in the permitting process that would make it difficult or even impossible to plan for buses, sound, stages, interpretation or other key elements
  • Close the White House sidewalk
  • Prohibit basics like literature tables unless a permit is secured at parks that currently require no permit

Comments are our first chance to stop these restrictive changes that limit our free speech! Act today! Comments are due by October 15, 2018.

Please use this working document from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund highlighting key provisions in the Department of the Interior / National Park Service’s proposed overhaul of rules affecting the ability to protest on public space in the nation’s capital. For additional information go to:

To Comment: Go to and search on “NPS demonstrations” to find the release of “Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, National Capital Region, Special Events and Demonstrations” (or search on RIN 1024-AE45). Click on the Comment Now! button The Top Twelve Major Changes to National Park Service Regulations on Demonstrations in the Nation’s Capital