Call Of The Day: Defend Free Speech In Our Nation's Capital

The Trump administration has proposed new rules that would dramatically limit the right to demonstrate in our nation’s capital — and Senator Bill Cassidy has a chance to stop it.

Senator Cassidy will question Trump’s nominee to the National Parks Service, Raymond David Vela, this Thursday, November 15, and it’s vital that Cassidy hold him accountable for defending the freedom of speech.

This proposal is but the latest attempt by President Trump to stifle public opposition to his administration. That’s why we need to find out if the nominee to lead the National Parks Service, Raymond David Vela, will defend civil liberties.

Urge Senator Cassidy, a member of that committee, to ask Mr. Vela to promise that if he is confirmed as Director of the Park Service he will withdraw these terrible proposals.

One call to make:  Senator Cassidy

Senator Bill Cassidy:  DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office:  504-838-0130; Monroe:  318-324-2111; Lake Charles:  337-493-5398; Alexandria:  318-448-7176

Hello. My name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [Or wherever you’re from].

I’m calling because the senator is a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. I understand that this Thursday that committee will be holding a hearing on the nomination of Raymond David Vela to be the new Director of the National Park Service.

I'm also aware that the National Park Service recently published a proposal to limit the right of Americans to demonstrate on the National Mall and near the White House. Under that proposal, most of the White House sidewalk would be closed to demonstrators, there would be strict new restrictions on signs, banners, and structures such as speakers’ platforms, new limitations on the right to engage in spontaneous demonstrations in response to breaking news, and long delays in granting demonstration permits. The Park Service even says it may charge large fees for the right to demonstrate.

I urge the senator to make it clear to Mr. Vela that these proposals are unacceptable. All Americans have a right to demonstrate in Washington DC — why should demonstrators pay fees to use the National Mall if tourists don’t have to? The White House sidewalk is an essential place for people to bring their views to the attention of the President. And people have a right to demonstrate right away when something important happens.

I’m asking the senator to ask Mr. Vela to publicly promise that if he is confirmed as Director of the Park Service he will withdraw these terrible proposals. In America, peaceful demonstration is a constitutional right.

Thank you.

This call is adapted from the ACLU, which can be viewed here.