Tea Party Group Asked To Submit Website For “Permission” To Rally in DC
The Tea Party Patriots were planning a rally in Washington DC on Wednesday June 19th. It seems as though they have run into a problem however. The police have requested to see their website before “granting” them permission.
Kevin Mooneyhan from the Tea Party Patriots described his latest Tea Party challenge:
Below is the timeline of events surrounding our June 19th rally at the Capitol. We haven’t done anything to publicize this event yet because we wanted to make sure we had the permit in hand. You know, follow the rules, do the right thing, etc.
Event Date: June 19, 2013
Permit Submitted: 5/22/2013 via fax
Officer Brown contacted me on 5/23 to ask me 2 questions
If we would have a banner and if so what the dimensions would be and how we would hang it. If we were going to have buses and to make sure that we coordinated with Union Station since the Capitol couldn’t accommodate buses.
The impression that I got was that it would likely be approved in a few days. She told me, “Hopefully the next time you hear from me, it will be to let you know that the permit is approved.”
The following Tuesday, 5/28/13 I reached out to Officer Brown for an update and she told me that it had been submitted upstairs for approval and that 3 sergeants still had to sign off on it. She didn’t know when the final approval would be.
June 4, 2013: I contacted Officer Brown again to inquire about the status. She told me that it wasn’t submitted to the higher ups until last Friday, May 31, 2013. This contradicted the earlier phone call. She said she would follow up on it and contact me later this afternoon. I didn’t confront her about the conflict of information because at the time I didn’t have the exact dates of when I communicated with her. But her comments made me suspicious, which is why I went back to look at the dates that I made contact.
June 4, 2013: I reached out to some contacts I have on in Congressional offices to see if there was anyway that they could help speed along the process. The response they received from Captiol Police was that they wouldn’t speak to them because they weren’t the party who submitted the application.
June, 4 2013: Jerry Bell contacted me to inquire about the permit.
** Is the purpose of your event to promote government accountability?
My answer was yes. This was also indicated on the application
** Have you ever had an event on Capitol grounds before? If so, when was the last one?
My answer was yes and March of 2012.
** Have you ever had any opposition to your cause show up at these events in the past?
My answer – possibly. If there was any opposition it was a small amount. Nothing ever escalated beyond civil conversation.
** Do you know of any opposition that will be at your June 19th event?
My answer – not at this time because we haven’t publicized the event yet because we wanted to make sure we secured the permit first.
** Have you invited any members of Congress to the June 19th event?
My answer – I have informed some Members of Congress, but official invites have not been extended because we are waiting for approval of the permit.
** Does your organization have any social media sites like Twitter or Instagram? I know that you have a Facebook page.
My response – yes we do, but I’m not sure why this is relevant to the application.
Then he thanked me for my answers. Then I asked when he thought it might be approved and I went into details about this permit, including the timeline of events, and he asked me to submit the timeline to him in writing.
June 4, 2013: Officer Brown called me back to follow up from this morning. She said the permit still hasn’t been submitted, it still needs to be signed off on, but she sees no reason why it wouldn’t be approved. She then said it would be okay to go ahead and send out invitations to the event.
A copy of this permit is attached. You can see in the “Timeliness of Application” section that it states, “Applications must be submitted at least one hundred twenty (120) hours, or five (5) days, in advance of the activity to guarantee processing. Applications will be accepted up to one (1) year in advance. Additionally, demonstration applications must satisfy all requirements stated herein before processing can be completed; therefore it is imperative that the spokesperson responds promptly to all queries from the Special Events Coordinator.” This seems to indicate that it shouldn’t take more than 5 days to receive an approval or denial of the application. It has been nearly 2 weeks for this application and still no approval or denial.
Permit Submitted: April 29, 2013
We also applied for another permit for 10/12/13 and haven’t heard anything back about that permit. That permit was submitted by Darcy Parker of Tea Party Patriots on 4/29/2013. On 5/1/2013, she called to ensure they received the application. On 5/9/2013 she called and spoke to Officer Nichols who indicated the application was received, but there was no way to tell when we would hear back about it. That is the last communication we have had regarding that permit. This permit has been outstanding for over 5 weeks and we still haven’t heard anything.