Re: GS "Demonstration" Stopped in DC
Cheryl Singhal (csinghal@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Tue, 6 Jun 1995 13:30:41 -0400
On Mon, 5 Jun 1995, Bruce Harper wrote:
> On 6/2/95, I wrote:
> >On 6/1/95, Ed Henderson wrote:
> >>An article in Today (June 1st) USA Today reports that six Girl Scouts were
> >>prohibited from reciting the Pledge of Allegence at the steps of the
> >>Jefferson Memorial because the ranger said they were having an unauthorized
> >I will come up with some additional details this weekend (today was recycling
> >day, so I may have to head to the library for newspaper research) and post
> >them to the list early next week.
> Additional details, from an AP story in the Tuesday, May 30 edition of the
> _Raonoke Times & World News_:
> The Girl Scout troop is from Bedford, Virginia, Troop 266. There was no
> date specified as to when this happened, other than "recently." Six Girl
> Scouts and their parents traveled to Washington, D.C. They were standing
> on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial and planned on reciting the Pledge
> of Allegiance, a poem about the flag, and the Girl Scout Promise "to
> commemorate graduation to the next level of scouting" (level not specified).
> The girls were approached by a National Park Service guard, who said the
> girls were involved in a demonstration without a permit, a violation of
> federal law. The parents intervened and eventually the guard relented, but
> it was too late to restart the ceremony and the girls had to leave (the
> article did not specify why it was too late to start over). After the
> troop returned to Bedford, Troop Leader Dorothy Narodny wrote a letter to
> Rep. L.F. Payne (D-Nelson Co.) complaining about the treatment the Girl
> Scouts received at the hands of the National Park Service. Payne wrote a
> letter to Roger G. Kennedy, director of the National Park Service. As of
> Friday, May 26, Payne's office had not received a reply. The reporter was
> not able to contact the NPS for comment since the office was closed on
> Monday, May 29, for the Memorial Day holiday.
> That's it from here. If there is any follow up, I'll post the details.
> Those in the D.C. area might also keep an eye out for any reports on the
> incident (or fill in any details about "demonstrations" at national
> monuments and how one goes about getting permission to hold one).
> Bruce in Blacksburg Webelos Den Leader, Pack 56, Blacksburg
Bruce, and the rest -- I have spent most of my life in or near DC. I can
reassure everyone that the Girl Scouts were treated no differently than
any other group who wishes to hold a ceremony, ritual, or demonstration on
Federal property. A permit from the NPS must be obtained PRIOR to the
demonstration, ritual, ceremony, event, happening, etc (allow 6-12 weeks)
and the estimated number of participants, the exact date and time and
details of the event must be provided on the form.
One of the reasons for this is to regulate (or at least ameliorate) who is
demonstrating next to whom -- a Troop of Girl or Boy Scouts next to the
Gay Rights Group, or the Rainbow Coalition next to the Neo-Nazis are
combinations NPS wishes to avoid! <G>
Another reason is probably the recent flap about vendors on the grounds.
Tourists visiting, perhaps for the only time in their lives, our National
Monuments have been vocally upset by the crowds of hawkers, vendors, etc
supplemented by the various groups posing for pictures, etc. Heavy-duty
restrictions are now in place in response to these complaints.
Another fine example of the old axiom about paperwork -- get enough of it
signed and you can do ANYthing.
BTW -- the monuments now pretty much shut down at dusk, so that may be the
reason it was too late to start over. (It MAY have h elped had the adult
leaders approached the NPS personnel _before_ beginning, just to touch base.)
If it makes anyone feel better, I got a parking ticket at Jefferson during
a presentation in honor of his birthday, because I didn't see a
waist-high 3x5 in sign saying "Cab Zone"?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City