Secret Service are at it again! Come Hiroshima week

peace through reason (prop1@prop1.org)
Sat, 06 Jun 1998 00:25:04 -0400


June '98 Peace Release

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<bold><bigger>Secret Service are at it again!

</bigger></bold>

</center>The Secret Service have staged two substantial un-Pentagon-type
park closures this week, the first precisely at the time of our 17th
Anniversary picnic last Wednesday.  


Here's my June 4th letter to the Washington Times:


<paraindent><param>left</param>Yesterday (June 3, 1998), when we were
gathering at the antinuclear vigil signs, expecting friends to join us
shortly for the 17th Anniversary Potluck Picnic, someone showed up who
said that he had read about the picnic in the Washington Times.  Thanks
for publishing the notice.


He was fortunate in leaving when he did, for shortly thereafter the
Secret

Service shut down Lafayette Park for a couple of hours, claiming a

"suspicious package" which turned out to be not so suspicious after 
all.

This effectively ended our picnic, of course (a few new and old friends

came back who ate and swapped stories and drummed for disarmament a
while).


The closure of the park was disturbing.  Just the other day a Park
Police

officer told my husband, Thomas, that the Secret Service wanted to stage
an

exercise closing the park without notice.  The Park Police told the
Secret

Service they couldn't do that, it didn't conform with regulations.  So
it

looks like the Secret Service staged their own little Pentagon-type

exercise.  They certainly didn't seem nervous.  Other than refusing to

allow Concepcion Picciotto to finish covering her literature with
plastic

before she had to leave (and smiling unpleasantly as they said "no"),
there

were no activities discernible from the next block that would indicatre

real concern.  Could they have been pretending there was a bomb scare?

Isn't that what the Pentagon did the other day?  But if that was the
case,

why did they inconvenience the public?  Because they could?


People leave packages in Lafayette Park all the time, forgetfully or

untidily. Are they going to do this every time they see a homeless
person's

bag, or a diaper bag, or a jug of water?  We're very concerned that 
this

new event may turn out to be another erosion on the public's rights in

Lafayette Park (see our website, http://prop1.org, and hit the "Peace
Park"

button, for background).


This isn't just an inconvenience for the vigilers, of course.  I have

videotape of dozens of other people who were turned away yesterday --

several of them muttering angrily.


After all, this 7-acre piece of history was set aside by Thomas
Jefferson

FOR THE PEOPLE.  And even the Park Police think the Secret Service are
out

of line.


</paraindent>The next night the Secret Service did the same thing.  This time we
didn't have a picnic to interrupt, and I told the officers they could
arrest me, and I absolved them of responsibility if a bomb went off, but
I was by-golly going to cover up the literature with plastic, since it
was once again threatenting rain.  Got away with it this time.  Hope
they'll be reasonable the next time.  You never know.


We drummed for Diana Nomad at the tail end of the picnic, when rain and
police had cleared out and the six stalwarts who came back recalled the
Persian Gulf War.  Do you remember the Nomad case, in which the Court of
Appeals ruled that drumming in Lafayette Park was protected speech?  Read
about it on our website http://prop1.org - Current Events - Diana Nomad


<center><bold><bigger><bigger>Come Hiroshima Week!

</bigger></bigger></bold></center>

Why don't you all come to Peacer Park, Washington, DC, the first week in
August, during Hiroshima Week, to drum for nuclear disarmament?  With
India and Pakistan testing, there's a window of opportunity here.  Come
make this summer count.


Spread the word if you think it's a good idea.  You'll have to coordinate
your own living logistics, but we can let you know where the DC area
campgrounds are that are near Metro.  If you let us know that you're
thinking of coming, we can keep you advised of Hiroshima activities
August 5th to 9th.


Love,


et in dc

Peace Park Crew




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